Monday, October 1, 2012

You Can't Fail.....If You Never TRY.

I've been thinking a lot about failure recently.  I know, fun thoughts right?

But what I've been thinking about, is that most of the things in my own life that I perceive to be failures, are not failures at all.

I am my number one critic.

After a lifetime of "constructive criticism" from family members, I've trained it into my brain that everything I do is not quite good enough.  That everything about me, could use just a little improvement.  And on bad days everything is probably crap.

I mean, of course, everyone could improve things about themselves or areas of their lives, but thinking of everything as lacking or a failure is destructive long-term.

But one of the things that I've started to realize is that because of my desire to not be criticized or be viewed as a failure, I have essentially stopped trying.  Because if I don't try anything new, I can't fail at it.  You know the thoughts I'm talking about.  Not talking to someone new because you presume they won't like you.  Not learning a new skill because you presume you're not going to be any good at it.  Or worse yet, not trying to improve something about yourself that you are unhappy with because you think it won't make a difference.

What I SHOULD have done, is work on convincing myself that just because something isn't perfect, doesn't make it a failure.  Because if I look at things with that lens, then what I actually have, is a series of accomplishments and a series of learning experiences.  Both are much healthier than viewing everything as a failure.

Easier said than done though.

When people criticize you, it can be damaging to your overall idea of self-worth when done to that extent.  But when you start to criticize yourself that heavily, the implications can be damaging to your entire identity.

So that being said, October is going to be the month for self improvement and self awareness.  When you find yourself being overly critical of yourself or others, think about how your framing those criticisms and focus more on input that can actually result in making a positive impact on your life.

Cheers,

Ash




11 comments:

  1. And Ash, there's sooooo many things you don't/didn't fail at, too. Remember those things when you feel yourself getting all judgy wudgy. You're awesome :)

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  2. Thanks Ames. In my head I know I'm not a failure. I just have to banish the little voice in my head that keeps telling me nothing is good enough. Because in reality, that voice isn't even mine.

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  3. Hey Ash, getting to you know better over the past week or so, it sounds to me like you've had a few "a-ha" moments during that time that will hopefully make this transition easier for you. If nothing else, know that you are not alone and there are others who have gone through/are going through similar issues. Don't hesitate to reach out.

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  4. I have had some a-ha moments in the past few weeks. It's one thing to be able to acknowledge that you feel a certain way, a totally different thing to figure out why you feel it or how to stop feeling it. Just knowing that there are non-judgmental people like you guys who can not only listen, but give a different perspective has been very helpful. You rock.

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  5. You go, girl! If you ever need a pick me up, just shoot me a message and I'll totally tell you 14 and a half reasons why I think you're awesome...Whatever it is, you can do it.

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    1. Aw thanks Chrissy. You guys are going to make me cry.

      On a side note....what's the half a reason ;)

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    2. I just like to be a little bit different (it rounds up).

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  6. Awww Ash, I hate when I have those days. I totally understand, I have anxiety dreams about failure pretty much every single night. You just need a cheerleader. (Chrissy isn't lying, she really will cheer you up, it's like her cosmic purpose in life.)You're fabulous- don't forget it!

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    1. OMG we really are turning into one big happy blog family.

      Now that I'm more aware of why I do the things I do to myself I've realized exactly how much I"m holding myself back. And at 28, feeling like you're missing out on things isn't fun. Especially when it's your own doing.

      Chrissy is a really awesome Cheerleader. I really am going to cry all over her one of these days.

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  7. Oh my god, Ash. I seriously needed this today. I was just feeling all dejected and "I suck at life". Then I read this. Now I remember that I don't suck at life, I'm just working at being better at life.

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    1. That is an awesome insight! Took me a long time to realize that just because I fail at an action or something like that, it doesn't mean I am a failure in general. Big distinction.

      A friend of mine said something great. See everything as a speed bump instead of a full on road block.

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