The biggest complaint I’ve heard since I’ve started this journey and in my current job (I now schedule for registered dietitian’s) is this sentence I know I should do this BUT… insert I’m so busy with work, my family needs me, I just love eating ice cream, or the one that broke my heart I’ve started so many times I don’t know if I could handle another failure.
What is it about the fear of failure that stops us from progressing forward? In this day and age of social connection we do not launch any journey without this fear that we are going to fail. Look I’m not a fan of failure at all. It’s painful and it’s awkward. In Sunday school*(*I promise I’m usually quite good in Church. I have my own quiet book and I share my goldfish crackers and I don’t kick the pew in front of me.) our teacher told us that we weren’t failures but rather they were lessons from us to learn from. Which I raised my hand and asked but what about the “lessons” that scare us from moving forward? The look on everyone’s face was OH. We aren’t doing that here.
Yet isn’t it time to acknowledge that failure is what propels us forward? I have failed so many times when I get on the scale. I have failed when I have to buy a bigger size of pants, I have failed when I eat two pints of ice cream to deal with emotional situations instead of talking about it. One day in a major shame spiral I called my therapist and said I can’t fail at this whole life thing anymore I can’t fail one more time. Which there was a HMMM pause. Then this ground breaking sentence.
“The worst thing in your life has already happened.”
Woosh went the ground beneath my ideas about failure. If I had already experienced the worst thing in my life then in theory I had already experienced my worst failure, my worst heart break. Which then raised the question of why do we allow ourselves to be haunted by past mistakes? Ask anyone about the things they are good at and you will get maybe three things. Ask someone about the things they fail at and the list will be four pages long.
The truth is our failures is that they make us feel comfortable. If stay fat then I don’t have to deal with the reality that it isn’t my weight that holding me back but rather it’s myself. It keeps me in line with everyone else. Failure and shame keeps us in line with everyone else. You failed so you have to stay here.
While I dwell on my failures and fear of doing anything I feel that my best self is just hanging out sitting in the corner buffing his nails going are we going to get work yet? Which raises the question. If I am so comfortable with failure how do I feel about success?
I’ve been so afraid of what the answer is.
All I know is that I’m open to giving myself a second chance. That when I fail I’m going to keep going. Failure is not how I define myself anymore.
And yes. We are doing that here.