Further Investigation Into My Soul

Here’s to strong women, may we be them, may we know them, may we raise them.

Since last class I have spent some quality time in my head…sometimes that isn’t always a great place to be. This has been a rough couple weeks to say the least so failure has definitely been an evident thought as I ponder through the impact it has on myself and my friends and family around me. I think I have come to the conclusion that I am my own worse enemy as probably most people that are always reaching for the stars are. I analyzed failure in my own life this weekend and I found that the more I thought about it the more I realized that the fear of failure is evident in my every move. My dog is sick, I fear I am failing him because I can’t fix him. My dad is struggling with the weight of the world on his shoulders, I fear I am failing him because I can’t be with him physically. My mom is in a constant state of worry, I fear I am failing her because I can’t be with her physically either. My boyfriend hates his job, I fear I am failing him because I can’t be happy all the times he is not. So where does this list leave me, spending each day striving to be tough hoping that I am not defeated by the fear of failure.

maya-angelou-quotes

So that just about sums up a couple pretty bad days. On my good days the fear of failure is overcome with the things that I can control. All the things that I have mentioned in my previous paragraph are things I cannot control, things that I cannot possibly be defeated by because the success of each of my family members in their struggles is not weighted on me solely, yet I still fear the failure of not being able to “fix it”.  According to Guy Winch, Ph D, “a fear of failure is essentially a fear of shame. People who have a fear of failure are motivated to avoid failing not because they cannot manage the basic emotions of disappointment, anger, and frustration that accompany such experiences but because failing also makes them feel deep shame. Shame is a psychologically toxic emotion because instead of feeling bad about our actions (guilt) or our efforts (regret), shame makes us feel bad who we are. Shame gets to the core of our egos, our identities, our self-esteem, and our feelings of emotional well-being.” With that being identified I now wonder how do we break this cycle, how do we get rid of the fear in order to allow failure to be our motivator for success instead of the fear of failure.

Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki

Marilyn Tam Speaker, author of “The Happiness Choice” consultant, board-certified executive/corporate/leadership coach wrote an article in the Huffington Post that identified a core behavior that advises; “Be gentle on yourself. It would be counterproductive and sad if you inflicted harsh judgment on yourself as you take steps to adopt an attitude of “New Opportunities”. Laugh and pick yourself up when you forget and lapse into negative thinking and fear. Or when you miss the mark. Instead assess what went awry, see how you can improve next time, and look for openings in the situation to move forward gracefully and wisely. Remember when children are learning to walk, they fall down numerous times, laugh and pick themselves up to try again and again, until one day they are running and winning marathons.”

This is where I want to begin my search on project proposals:

  1. A Guide: creating a guide to encourage taking chances and seeking new opportunities outside of your “comfort zone” that will reward the bumps and bruises that would otherwise be seen as failures and now will become badges of “yeah I just did that”
  2. Greeting Cards: create a line of greeting cards that celebrates your failures with the power of laughter, helping to ease the humility and other toxic emotions that are brought forth from failure.
  3. School Curriculum: designed to reward the risk takers, the children that go for it and attempt projects that are outside of their comfort zones are given more credit than the kids that opt for the “easy out”.

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