The Sense Of Failure

 Sense Of Failure

Where Does Our Sense Of Failure Come From?

I’ve been thinking about this concept for a couple of days now.

Some of us carry this sense of failure around with us like our favorite purse or suitcase. We don’t even realize that it has totally overstayed its welcome.

This sense of failure has us doubting ourselves sometimes and even causes us to bury our gifts and talents.

I am interested in trying to uncover where this sense of failure comes from.

As a writer, I am still haunted by the thoughts that I haven’t done a good enough job and that I’ve somehow failed at what I was called to do. I dig deep to try and figure out what the hell would make me feel that way after self-publishing 7 books, maintaining a blog, becoming a new mother, starting a dream interpretation business, and constantly working to recreate myself? Even with all of that going on, I still have this black cloud of failure hanging over my head sometimes.

In order to uncover the unconscious feelings behind this monster, we have to understand what we are dealing with.

Let’s Define Failure

Failure, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary, is defined as an unsuccessful person and a lack or deficiency of a desired quality.

Hmmm that is interesting.

An unsuccessful person? Unsuccessful according to whose standards?

Could our sense of failure be prompted by a totally unsatisfiable inner boss? Or maybe our sense of failure is prompted by unreasonable demands, comparing ourselves to other people, or a standard set so high that it would be impossible for anyone to reach. Or maybe the sense of failure comes from our inability to accumulate a decent salary for what we do. It could be anyone of those things above that cause us to feel like we’ve failed.

I think that there are several factors that go into our sense of failure. One of which I think has to do with the society we live in and how we are brought up.

Uncovering Our Sense Of Failure

From a young age, we are worked into a system that is based on rewards. In school we get graded, get gold stars if we do well (according to their standards), and pats on the back if we are good listeners. The athletes of the school get medals and trophies if they display physical stamina and strength. We thrive off of rewards, and those things cause us to feel a sense of accomplishment.

Move forward to the job field. Our bosses give us raises if we perform and meet our quotas. They give good reviews if we are displaying the behavior of a “good employee”. Some companies even give rewards in the form of monetary compensation and promotions to their “best employees”. Again, utilizing the rewards system.

But what about when we are out of school and not under the rule of an authority figure? What about the artists and the independent consultants that don’t necessarily work with that particular grading system or don’t get rewards to say they are doing a good job?

The Journey Seems Unquantifiable

As writers, if we don’t get approached by a publisher, get monetary compensation, get enough likes on one of our posts, or get approached to be featured on other blogs, or other forms of recognition, we seem to equate that with “I am not good enough” which then translates to, “I have failed”. Which is not accurate to any degree whatsoever.

Getting paid for what you do is a skewed sense of success, but so often we define our success by how much we get paid.

Getting published is a skewed sense of success, but so often we think that that’s what makes us worthy of being called successful.

Getting validation by thousands of followers is a skewed sense of success, but too often we think that more followers equates to our worth. More likes means that we are worthy to express ourselves.

These are all skewed perspectives.

What if we don’t get paid for our writing? What if we don’t have thousands of followers? What if the people who read our blog don’t hit like? Does that mean that we are worthless? Does that mean that we are unsuccessful?

Yes It Does

If you are looking at success by those particular standards.

We have to broaden our idea of success. Success has nothing to do with how many likes you get on a post, money, or if you are approached by “someone who is popular” about your art. Those things are all things to be grateful for – yes, but they are not what should determine if you are valuable or not.

We need to take the time to realize that we have actually created something and offered it to the world. Do you know how many writings go unread? Do you know how many paintings never see the light of day or that music is discarded because people believe that they aren’t good enough. That is not you though. You actually have shared your artistry with the world and that should be enough to notice your value, but to some of us it’s not.

Waiting around for someone to validate how good you are leads to nothing but heartbreak when we don’t get the recognition that we feel we deserve. Waiting around for someone to recognize your value and offer you a job or monetary compensation is not healthy either. What if those things never come around? Does that mean you are worthless?

Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. {Author Unknown}

I’m An Artist Too, and I Understand How You Feel

You should be getting credit for the work you put out into the world, especially if it’s uplifting.

You should be getting paid for sharing your artistry with the world.

You should be reaching more people, and those people should be hitting the like button and commenting, especially if your words or artistry has inspired them.

But too often, these things don’t happen. I just don’t want you to get discouraged and to give up because you fear you have failed. It’s not an accurate perspective.

We downplay our accomplishments because we feel we have nothing to show for it, especially as artists if our artistry hasn’t reached the audience that we would like it to. We have nothing shiny to show to our friends. We have nothing to put on display. We have nothing to show for it, but that doesn’t mean that we are not successful.

Think of how many people may have read a post you wrote who were inspired to just live another day. What if you saved a life today?

As Artists, We Have To Redefine Success

It is critical to our well-being. We cannot have this skewed perspective about success and then expect to feel fulfilled when we are not meeting those standards. It’s impossible.

Instead we have to start seeing success as the improvements we are making to better ourselves. Every step, every change, every acknowledgement that we offer ourself should be going up as a gold star on our wall towards success. Every time we feel joy and freedom when we are creating in our field should be a gold star on our wall towards success. We have to build ourselves up and stop waiting for people to come around and validate that we exist and that we are relevant. I am talking to myself as well.

I Will Leave You With This Story

I look at my son, who is 5 months old now, as he tries to crawl, and when he falls down slightly frustrated with his progress, I never once say he has failed. I see the tenacity in him, and I know the next day (after a good night’s sleep), he will wake up refreshed to try it all over again. I see the smile on his face when he recognizes that he has moved a little closer towards his goal (my plate of food or the tv remote with the light-up buttons). He has such wonder in his eyes. He never thinks about what he wasn’t able to do the day prior. I think he has something in him that knows he has this ability, and he works everyday towards doing what he innately knows he can do, and he will get there.

That, in essence, is how we should feel. We know deep inside who we are and what we are capable of. We will never be completely done, but each day offers us a chance to get better and better at our craft, whether we get the recognition or not. Each day offers us a chance to be able to see how we have progressed in our artistry, whether we get credit or not. Each day offers us a chance to feel more joy about what we do and how we do it. That criteria should be the criteria for success, and we cannot fail at such a thing, because we are never done.

I have a new song for you all to check out. It’s called Masterpiece by Jessie J, and it is the perfect song for those who feel they have failed in life. Essentially, we are all masterpieces and we aren’t done being created yet. I even think of a play on words for this title. I think of Master Peace… I am still working on my Master Peace as well (the ability to master my inner world and to feel one with that).

Thank you for reading!

What do you feel you have failed at in life? If you redefine failure and success, are those thoughts still valid?

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Freedom Friday: Manifesting The Space I Desire Most

Set Yourself FreeMy Freedom Friday Post Is About What I Desire Most

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For this Freedom Friday post I figured I’d share one of my dreams with you.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted a house.

Even when I was a preteen, I use to look through the pages of the magazines and catalogues that would come in the mail and visualize me walking through one of those beautiful mansions – that from my childhood perspective – seemed very easy to get. Through my childhood eyes, I needed nothing more than to wish for something, and one day it would appear (so I thought).

But my dream of owning a home wasn’t just to satisfy my materialistic needs. There is something about the thought of having a space of my own that just means the world to me. Something about the thought of building a warm, comfortable, inviting space that just gives me the feeling of purpose.

For some reason, I feel that I was made to create an inviting home.

Now I know that may sound crazy to some of you, but I cannot explain my strong desire to own my own home in any other way, other than I was born to obtain it.

It’s just like I felt about my son. I knew that I always wanted to be a mother. Life’s circumstances and many personal things caused me to not be able to have a child for a very long time. I was devastated when I hit the 30 year old mark and thought that my dream of becoming a mother would never happen. I even wrote a poem one day stating that “I wasn’t fit to be a mother”, that’s why God hadn’t given me a child yet. That could be the only reason from my perspective. I wanted a child sooooo bad, and God wouldn’t grant me that wish. So to me, I had done something wrong and I wasn’t fit to be a mom (in my mind).

I couldn’t understand why I would have such a huge desire in my heart and not be able to fulfill it. But on August 13th of this year – my son was born. I have never felt so alive in my entire life other than every moment of my pregnancy and everyday afterwards that I look at my son. It truly is a dream come true.

The desire for my home feels like the strong desire I had to have a son.

It’s more than just getting a house though. Sometimes, I don’t even know how to explain the strong desire, but I am going to try to, because part of me feels like I am standing in my way of receiving this blessings. So I figure if I just share what I dream of and why, it may somehow loosen up the resistance I have inside to receiving such a beautiful space.

I think part of the thing blocking my home is the fact that I am not completely comfortable with who I am yet. I always call “home” – the place inside where you are comfortable with who you are and what you do.

If I don’t feel at “home” with myself – there is no possible way that I can own my own home physically. I believe that alot of what we create has to do with the thoughts that we think and how we feel about ourselves. Lord knows if I could get some kind of grasp on how this whole spiritual/physical thing works, I would be unstoppable. I yearn for understanding. Not just to get things… but to feel like I belong here and like I have a purpose here. Ya know?

How can I feel at home with myself when I feel like I stripped myself of all financial security? The means for my living right now is being channelled through my husband. I haven’t made any money for myself in a few years – even though I have put my blood, sweat, and tears into my writing and other areas as well. It’s demoralizing to feel that I can’t support myself. It seems as if anything I try to do outside of a 9 to 5 job fails. As if the universe is saying, “you are only meant to work for or under someone else. You aren’t meant to be on your own or realize your own dreams.” It’s heartbreaking.

This is one of the big reasons why I haven’t received my home. I am not financially prepared (at all) to obtain such a thing. You would think that with such a huge desire to own my own space, that somehow I would start attracting circumstances to support that dream, but I haven’t been able to do it, and it’s just hurting me so bad.

But if there is one thing that I learned from having my son it’s that – my thoughts about it were mislead. I was worthy of having a son – it’s just that I thought I wasn’t because it was delayed.

Whenever I get discouraged about not getting something that my heart desires for my life, I try to remember a quote.

“Every delay is not a denial.” {Author Unknown}

God knows, that I desire nothing more right now than to own my own home. I don’t know why. I just have a strong urge inside. I am trying everything that I can to build that “home” internally first so that the result of that progress will then be the physical manifestation of my home.

It just feels like it’s taking an eternity, and I feel like I am so far away from it with no help or support as to how to reach the goal. I don’t know… maybe one day I will figure it out.

Sometimes we just have to let out how we feel. It doesn’t do us any good to keep our strongest feelings bottled up inside. I don’t think it does any good to complain all the time either. So I decided to just kind of put words to what’s going on inside. It helps me make sense of how I am feeling. That’s what writers do.

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Thanks for reading!

Are you ready to express yourself for Freedom Friday? If so, don’t forget to click the “leave a comment” button, and share your story. If you prefer to share the post on your own blog please be sure to add the words Freedom Friday to your post & link back to this post.

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