Another week just loaded with so much to do that I’m behind on my posts. But here it is. I blame the tax season.
I think that this post might be directed at me more so than at any of you, dear readers. But please take what you may from it, because whatever I feel, someone else must feel it too, right?
This has been a week full of challenges. And when I am faced with a challenge, I always meet it head on. Attacking any new challenge usually ends with one of two results for me personally – success or failure. And as I struggled with the muscle conditioning class of my brand new circus training, and squeaked and wailed as I tried to pull myself up on the spinning hoop, I felt an immense sense of failure. I consider myself a rather strong woman. My weight training, backpacking, martial arts and yoga is testament to that. None of that strength showed its face when I struggled pathetically through my classes. Despite the encouragement of my instructors, and being assured that I’m really strong for a beginner, I could not help but burst into tears when I failed to haul myself into an inversion yet another time in hoop class. I had to walk away, take deep breaths to calm myself, and then put my mind back into a You-Can-Do-It set.
I had not felt so utterly defeated in a long time. And I felt it more so because of the confidence I had in my strength. I don’t think I would have felt so deflated if I had failed at something I was
completely unprepared for such as…advanced accounting. What happened at circus really attacked my ego.
And then my friend, who has been at circus much longer than I had, asked me, “Why are you so afraid of failing?”
I uttered the usual reasons, fear of judgement, fear of not being worthy, fear of not belonging…etc. etc. And then she said, “You can’t be afraid to fail. You can’t succeed unless you fail. People aren’t going to stop loving you because you failed.” Something along those lines.
And then she told me that I am way, WAY too hard on myself.
What I know about myself is that my fear to fail stems from levels of external security. I think my unwillingness to fail is definitely a weakness. She is correct. Without failure, we cannot change and develop. When I competed in chess years ago, my instructor told me that we learn a lot more when we lose a game, than when we win a game. I have associated the word failure with so many other negative attributes, that I forget that failure also means opportunity to grow and learn.