26.11.19

Accepting myself as the failure I am


I have come to realise my fear of fucking up has pretty much cemented my position in life as a failure. It has stopped me from trying a long list of things. Too many to even try (and fail) to recall.
No matter how much I’ve wanted to achieve something I end up not even attempting it because I’ve worried so much about the outcome that I talk myself out of even trying.
I have this unrealistic expectation that I will be a pro on my first go, and since that really is very rarely accurate I usually give up pretty much immediately, and when I ultimately mess up I tell myself ‘I told you so’ and am reminded not to try anything ever again.

In reality, the outcome is not-as-terrible as I see it to be, it is in fact just not perfect. *GASP*
To me it’s shocking to think that I might have to be bad at something before I can be good at it. I have very high expectations of myself - expectations that I would never dream on inflicting on anyone else.

So I think my only option now is to accept that I am a failure and just do the thing anyway.

Fear in its simplest form is there to keep us safe. It stops us doing dumb stuff that might cause us harm ... most of the time anyway.
But by living with and surrendering to this irrational fear, being perpetually afraid of messing up, looking stupid or getting it wrong we are guaranteed to never achieve anything spectacular.
It leaves us stagnant.

They say irrational fears are inherited. Maybe this one’s grown from the lessons we’re taught as women. That we should stay within our boundaries, that failure is something to fear so best not to try, just in case.
Or that we’re given the message that we can do everything, but ONLY if we do it perfectly. (Because if you don't everyone will definitely let you know exactly how they think you could have done the job better)
Perhaps it explains my constant procrastinating. Avoiding things til the very last moment so that if it ends up a complete car crash I can use the excuse that I only did it the night before. A form of self preservation almost. So I can more easily brush the failure off, because didn’t I put that much effort in anyway.
It's probably the reason why I keep ideas and projects I’m working on quiet until they’re *perfect* (fyi, which is NEVER). Because if I fail behind the scenes that’s less embarrassing isn’t it. I can just beat myself up about it and you’d all be none the wiser.

We usually conceive success to be linear, so when something inevitably goes wrong it makes any other achievements in the past insignificant. Added to that the belief that failure is permeant. No going back. THE END! It’s a wonder we’ve even made it this far tbh.
I often see the phrase 'failure is the stepping stone for success’ being thrown around, and in many ways that can be true. Sure, hopefully we learn not to make the same mistake twice. But it’s also worth remembering that every single failure doesn’t *need* to have a monumental outcome resulting in some life changing lesson.
It can just be a mistake. That’s it. The important part you take away form it is that you made it through.

It’s easy to convince yourself other people have it easier. It would be nice if successful people came with a disclaimer that pinpoints exactly how many times things went wrong for them to end up where they are today, just to make us all feel a bit better. The truth is they failed just as much as me and you. Maybe more times in fact. The difference is they just got on with it ...

There are so many things you don’t even know you’re capable of because you’re too busy worrying over messing up along the way.

So next time you’re asking yourself WhY Do I Even bOTHeR, challenge the voice in your head that creates these worst possible outcomes and ask, so what? Seriously, who cares.
Messing up or looking stupid is not a good enough reason not to do something. Allow things to not go to plan. See what happens.

Give failing a chance.

I’m accepting the inevitable. I’m a failure. I’m taking away the negativity from the word and I'm embracing it. For all the big achievements I’ve not quite reached, for all the little fuck ups and bumps in the road I've actually learnt quite a lot. And I’m doing ok for it.

The more I fail at stuff the more I realise it really doesn’t matter. None of it. You can start again as many times as you want.

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