Failure…

A word nobody likes. Failure is a word that carries negative connotations; just thinking about it feels like a personal identification. It certainly isn’t something that we dare give ourselves permission to do… and yet failure is just another reality of life, much like nervousness, death, taxes, passing gas, waiting in line… add your own example here.

Where did most of us get this obsession with always doing things right ALL the time? Where did I get it? When did I stop enjoying life and start being afraid all the time? I surely don’t remember having baggage like this when I was a kid.

It starts by believing a lie… one so subtle you hardly know it’s there. It may even feel like your own thought. Hey you, Stupid. Way to go on forgetting to take that quiz on Friday. Your professor is really gonna think you’re an idiot now. The voice may sound like your mother or father, your supervisor, or your friend (or enemy). And chances are pretty good that, if you allow that voice to ring unchecked in your head long enough, you will become the lie.

By telling ourselves that we better not fail, we not only set ourselves up for it but make it all the more devastating when it happens. By telling ourselves not to feel afraid, we strengthen fear within ourselves. By telling ourselves not to eat that thing, we crave it even more. With all these things we are not giving ourselves permission to feel and to do, we make them stronger… kind of like giving your adversary extra lives in a video game.

I dare you to give yourself permission to do what you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time but have not had the courage to do. I dare you to say “You’re wrong!” to that voice that tells you that you’re a loser, whether that voice belongs to a real person or not. I dare you do the best you can with something, fall flat on your face, feel the humility which comes from it, and get up and do it again and again. I dare you to listen to the lies, see them for what they really are, laugh at them, and walk away. I also dare you to eat that cookie.

Don’t see failure, or fear, or certain other things as your enemies; see them as your friends and learn to grow stronger in spite of them. When you do, you will disarm these things if their power to hurt you and you will truly be a rockstar.

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