Jul 27 2012

Fear of Failure

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One big, obvious, fear that stops people from moving forward, growing, and living life fully is Fear of Failure.

Why are we so afraid of failing? What’s the big deal? I think there are a number of aspects to this issue, but it seems that underneath it all is a core of shame. “What will they think of me if I fail?” We feel afraid that others will see us as we sometimes see ourselves: bad, damaged, inferior.

Another contributing factor is having an improper perspective. We, in general, as a society, tend to see failure as an identity rather than an experience. What that means is this: if we try and do not succeed, we ARE a failure. It becomes our identity. “I am a failure.” Not true, but this is how most people relate to things that don’t go the way they think they should have gone.

The proper – life affirming – perspective is to see our experiences as lessons, opportunities to grow. Then, when things don’t go the way we had hoped, we look at what happened and learn from it, instead of giving into the self-pity and powerlessness that come with fear of failure.

What is there to learn? What do we need to grow? Certainty of Self. The ability to live life on life’s terms. Our capacity to love. To become Bazooka-Proof. When that’s the end game, there is no failure if things don’t work out, just an AFGE (another freaking growth experience). The more you embrace growth, the stronger you become and the more powerfully you face life’s challenges.

Exercise: List three big “failures” in your life. Did you perceive those failures as reflecting poorly on you? How? Now turn it around: in what ways did those/could those experiences strengthen you? What did you learn? How can you apply that in your life now?

For more on shame, go to: Shame, The Real Relationship Killer

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Jul 9 2012

Acceptance

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The spiritual group I belong to has a saying, “Our acceptance of others is a measure of our acceptance of ourselves.”

Recently, I began to notice just how true this is. Whenever I felt upset about something (in other words, not accepting), it always had a core component of lack of self-acceptance, or worse, self-loathing. The more I looked around me, the more I saw this to be true with my clients (and others) as well.

Our access to serenity, power, and freedom is based in our Certainty of Self.

How strong is your sense of self? Your upsets will tell you.

How often do you find yourself feeling hurt, angry, irritated, etc. by other people and life situations? Notice when you are not accepting a situation, person, or thing. What is it saying about you? What are you making it mean about you?

For example, when your loved one, co-worker, friend, or family member does something you don’t like, something you find upsetting, look beneath the surface. Usually, it’s triggering a core fear – the thing we least like about ourselves. Does it make you feel unlovable? Ashamed? Not valued? Not good enough? Then explore the places you don’t love yourself. Does it make you feel controlled or disrespected? Explore your fear of losing power with others.

More often than not, as you look deeper, you will see that the core of all upsets is based in a lack of acceptance of self. The way to strengthen that is to notice. Notice, notice, notice. Don’t judge. Accept the non-acceptance. Question the non-acceptance. Then things will begin to change, and you will begin to strengthen, and the stronger your sense of self, the fewer the upsets!

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