Do you ever feel like you are mentally swimming in quicksand? Well, you have two choices: you can sink, or you can keep swimming.
I often struggle with a fear of failure when it comes to achievement, but I persevere. I try to stop negative thoughts dead in their tracks. The importance of squelching negative thoughts fast was brought home to me recently after admitting to my family and close friends that I had been dealing with feelings of failure.
What does this term “being a failure” mean? I have two university degrees – one undergraduate, one graduate – and I’m on my way to a wonderful career. How could I possibly believe for a second that I could be “a failure”?
Well, I did feel like “a failure.” I was feeling insecure because, while I am en route to achieving my life goals, I hadn’t yet become “successful” according to the standards I had set for myself. I was comparing myself to others who had it “more together” than me in external terms. I was using them as a yardstick to define my self-worth.
But, how could I do this?! Didn’t I know in my soul that I was worthwhile? Didn’t I realize that I had been letting others and my insecurities have power over me! I had been “taking on” others’ standards for my life, rather than my own; as a result, I had become weak. The loss of strength had made me struggle with feelings of inadequacy, low self-worth, and failure. I lacked mental toughness.
Please. Don’t fall for this trap! Don’t become entangled in others’ standards for yourself. Otherwise, with that attitude, you will have already lost the race; like me, you will have set yourself up for failure. Of course, with such an attitude, I would feel low.
Your emotions can trick you. But, as a wise coach once told me, “You need to learn to take your emotions out of the situation.” Sometimes, if you do not believe something, you need to fake the belief until you do. This applies to your own self-worth.
When you are feeling low, just stand tall, smile, and walk forward. Feel the sunshine. Feel the wind at your back! By acting as if you are empowered, you will gradually become so. Like a sapling turning into a young tree. Like a juvenile eagle molting to reveal its true feathers and becoming the mightiest bird.
Social support is important in life. Close friends and family members have the ability to call you out when you are doing something silly. Because of them, I had a lightbulb moment earlier this week. I realized that everyone is at different stages in their life journey. Each has his/her own definition of success and what that looks like in their life.
For me, I have made sacrifices to achieve the things I have. I am not a failure. I AM A SUCCESS!!!!!
My errors were that I equated success to outcome and that I compared myself to others. But, through my social support, I was reminded about what matters most in life: Your belief in yourself!
When you are achieving something, you will feel like a failure sometimes and you will encounter critics. But, keep going! Persevere! Don’t let these distractions stop you from achieving your goals and from living an empowered life!
Sometimes, when I’m kayaking, my rudder gets weighted down with weeds. But, I’m so enthralled with my ocean journey, that I don’t notice the entanglement. I keep going, faster, with a smile on my face and in my heart.
“I’m not a failure if I don’t make it….I’m a success because I tried.”(Unknown)