noun fail·ure \ˈfāl-yər\
1a : omission of occurrence or performance; specifically : afailing to perform a duty or expected action.
Failure, to fail: Is it the act of coming up short of ones goals? The inability to complete a task? No, a failure is one who quits trying. One who gives up in defeat having learned nothing. It doesn’t matter how many times we fall down. It’s all just a matter of how many times we get back up. We can get it wrong a hundred times, it doesn’t matter though. Because all we really need is one successful attempt to get it right.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
-Thomas A. Edison
I know, I know. “Kevin if that’s true then why haven’t I married the girl of my dreams? Why am I not a millionaire? Why haven’t I cured cancer?” –WHAT??–Because you haven’t tried hard enough. You expected the instant gratification of a 40 yard dash when you’re competing in the decathalon. You need to keep trying.
If you begin to feel that you yourself are failing, either in general or maybe just one specific aspect in your life take inventory. Make yourself a list of the things that are going right and yielding positive results, and then another of the negative aspects or drains of energy. Maybe your career is going well, but your personal life is a series of downward spiraling chaos. Make a note of it & circle it. Now do this for everything in your life: your job, your living situation, friends, family, bank accounts, investments, etc.
By the time you’ve done this hopefully your paper doesn’t look like that of the remedial reading kid in spelling class. If it does, it doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. It simply means you’ve got your work cut out for you. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and prepare to get all in it.
I’ve got a feeling that when you focus on all that red ink, a pattern will emerge. We’ll call this pattern the displacement of self-sabotaging behaviors. Generally, those behavioral drawbacks are spawned in our own minds. They are not caused by outside forces, but rather they’re self-perpetuating & self-inflicted.
4 Types of Self-Sabotaging
1. EMOTIONAL DODGING: When things make us uncomfortable or uneasy we naturally want that discomfort to go away, and fast! But in our attempt to alleviate ourselves from that emotional distress, we often sweep those emotions, and their underlying causes under the rug. We pack down those negative feelings and hide them away, yet like the closet stuffed to the brink, it only takes a gentle turn of the doorknob to cascade it’s contents outward forcefully release that pent up energy. Binge eating, overspending the credit cards, even cutting or self-mutilation are all ways of displacing our intense negative emotions, and they are all sabotaging our health, our goals, and our lives.
2. PROCRASTINATION: They say procrastination is the deathbed of opportunity. Well it’s also one of the most common forms of self-sabotage, in that we all do it. It’s like we think that there’s always going to be more time later to do things, or- why do today what we can put off till tomorrow? And before we know it, we’re 70 years old wondering how we never managed to make anything of our lives.
3. ETERNAL MODESTY: Some of us, I won’t name names, have the self-depreciating habit of constantly denying credit where credits due. So modestly embarrassed that we make themselves literally disappear. Refusing to take credit for their successes, and sometimes they play out this elaborate self-effacing ritual in which they almost disappear right before our eyes. In their mind, they do not see themselves worthy of being or doing something worthwhile and benevolent.
4. ADDICTION: The ultimate self-sabatuer, addicts commit to the long downward slide into making excuse after excuse for their continual short comings and then over compensate for their missteps with even grander follies of action which then take them further off their path and deeper down the rabbit hole.
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.” -Henry Ford
Fear not for all is NOT lost all my self-sabotaging wonder blunders, this too is not set in stone. There is a way to end the downward spiral of self-sabotaging behaviors and knowing which behaviors degrade your own life is the start of a beautiful transformation. In the next article, I’ll point out 6 ways in which we can combat that self-depreciating behavior and put ourselves back on track for success. Until then, Be you. Be beautiful. Be blissfully blessed and help yourself, “I am in control of my own life.” Believe it, and be proactive in getting to where you want to be.
“It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce that counts.” – Zig Ziglar