So, most of us deal with the reality of this fear. It’s debilitating, crippling, and keeps you from even trying to do new things. It’s the fear of failure and it’s one of my biggest fears. The crazy thing is this: No matter how hard we try, there will be times when we will fail. No matter how gifted, intelligent, witty, cute, or nice we are, there will be a time when you will hit the ground…hard.
I’ve had a bad habit of either not trying to do something because I was scared I would fail or I’d try and fail and then keep going as if nothing has happened. Neither of those is a healthy solution.
Sometimes our life will put us in a predicament where we have to really confront and deal with our issues. Apparently, my life (and God) feels that my time is now…No, it doesn’t feel good but, it will be worth it.
The first step to dealing with this fear (or any for that matter) is to identify it. You have to know what it is that you’re dealing with. When I think of “failure”, I don’t think of some broad idea. I think of specific times where I have failed. Those are what I need to identify. So, I prayed and asked God to bring back to my remembrance any failure that I need to address. Sure enough, they came flowing out and I had a list 20-something strong.
Let me give you a heads up. This will not be an overnight process. I’m going through it as I type. If you don’t see another “My FEARLESS Journey” post for a while, it’s because I’m still dealing with this situation. This doesn’t mean that I won’t allow myself to live in the meantime. It just means that I will be attentive to my needs in this area until it’s done.
At this point, it is important that you pay attention to how you feel. Are you upset or angry? Are you sad or overwhelmed? You need to allow yourself to feel your feelings and deal with why you are feeling that way. What is the underlying reason for your feelings? For me, I felt nothing. Actually, what I felt was an immediacy to handle this. I didn’t feel sad or guilty or condemned because of my list. It didn’t bring me shame to see my failures in writing. What it did was make me see, firsthand, what I was dealing with. It was almost a relief because getting them out meant that I didn’t have to carry them anymore. It was a jumping off point. A place where I can start dealing with this leg of my journey.
Oddly enough, just documenting this is a step out of my comfort zone. I’m sharing some of my skeletons and what will you think about that? How will that make you feel about the person that I am? I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t care about that. I have to focus more on the fact that there is someone out there that is going through the same things that I am going through and I need to share so they can have hope…so they can know that they are not alone.
The second step is to pray about your list. Bring this all to God. At the end of the day, He will be who helps you through all of this. He will be who guides you along the way. Ask Him how or where you should begin. We are all different so how you proceed might be different that how I proceed. It is important that you take your time and really be aware of things. I say that because what you don’t want is to be going through this again.
For me, the next step is to identify why those failure have occurred. For instance, I’ve gone through a divorce. My initial reaction to that divorce was, “It’s all his fault. Had he ______ or ______, I wouldn’t have _____.” That response solves nothing…and I really mean NOTHING! You learn nothing. Nothing changes and quite honestly, you would’ve gone through all of it for nothing.
At this point in my life, my response has to be, “Why did that happen?”, “What did I do to contribute to the problem?”, “Why did I do that?”, “What could have been done differently?”… As you can see, this might be a long process. I admonish you to go through it because it will help you to not continue making the same mistakes.
Dealing with past failures will allow me to know that these “failures” are really lessons that I learn. It changes my perspective. Knowing that I am always learning and not necessarily failing, will give me a door to move forward with things that may seem intimidating. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be scared. What it means is that I can do it…even if I’m scared.
There are no perfect people and failing is inevitable. It is important to differentiate between failing and being a failure. As long as I don’t quit, I’ll never be a failure. Yay!
Keep this in mind: Your failures do not define you.
Until next time…