When you think about failure, what comes to mind?
I have a fear of failure.
I’ve probably had this intense fear for the majority of my life. I didn’t realize this until well into my 30’s while deep into self-discovery work.
I thought I was brave, adventurous, strong what I didn’t realize at the time was that I also felt less-than, unlovable & unworthy.
For a long time, I gave the illusion of brave, adventurous & strong. It was a role I played. On the inside, I was insecure, nervous, worried & anxious. It took a lot of energy to pretend. Of course I didn’t realize I was pretending. I didn’t realize what that icky feeling lurking in the background was. Turns out that feeling was a result of being inauthentic. Not feeling good enough “as is”. Feeling that if someone knew the real me, they would find me disappointing. I created a persona I thought people would like better.
What does anxiety and low self esteem have to do with failure?
Anxiety is fear-based.
Fear of some sort of failure, of lacking in some way. If we’re experiencing anxiety, it means we’re no longer living in the moment. We’re either thinking of something that’s already happened (what we could have done differently) or thinking about the future (worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet).
This fear, this anxiety, kept me in opposition of who I really wanted to be. It kept me small, it kept me fearful.
What does failure mean to you?
Previously, it had meant embarrassment, it meant something was wrong with me, it meant I wasn’t good enough. Since doing the hard work, the mindset work, my idea of failure has shifted completely. It had to! Or I wouldn’t be able to share this now. My new idea of failure is letting fear stop me from pursuing my goals and dreams. It’s ok to be fearful, but I’m now making a conscious and deliberate choice to work through that fear. That’s what being brave means to me. Failure is a choice. I can choose to label an experience as failure or I can choose to use it as data to charge forward in a different direction & to keep trying.
What I don’t like about myself, I no longer fight, I’m no longer ashamed – I accept & work on it. I radically accept & admit my strengths & weaknesses. Why? Because I determine my self worth. Because I’m good enough. I’m worthy. I’m loved. And you are too.
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Questions, opinions? Please comment below!