Tag Archives: failure

Vulnerable

So I read a post today on Live Your Legend which has been sitting in my pile of things to revisit for a while. It’s the first real foray I’ve had onto that site – at least as far as I can remember – and just this one post has convinced me that I should spend more time there.

The gist of it revolved around admitting your vulnerability, understanding when you’re being inauthentic, and considering the effects that being the incorrigible optimist might have on the people around you.  Check it out here, if you like.

I was hit really close to home.  Part of the business culture in which I usually submerge myself is very enthusiastic, very positive, very large, and very loud.  All of those things are great.  They’ve contributed to lots of fantastic experiences, and I’ve met many friends there.  It’s been a boon to me when I need an infusion of motivation or hope or positivity, and I think that I’ve been able to provide some of that to other people, as well.

Part of what this post reminded me of, though, is a darker side to that.  There have been times when I’ve felt that I’m the only one struggling.  That, even if everyone there wants me to succeed, my success isn’t critical or even significant to them.  As a pessimist, a T, and maybe a depressive, that’s sometimes really hard to deal with.  It’s a mark of personal failure and a hit to my pride and my confidence.  I think the comment I read about the BS Meter rang really true.  I’ve known people on their last legs who’ve insisted that everything was great.  I’ve seen people who, as far as I could tell, were trying very hard to convince themselves of the wonderful and positive stories that they were telling.  It turned me off of many of them, hard.  I’ve done some of that, myself, and I wonder how that’s affected relationships of mine over the past few years.

Again, that’s not to say that the whole enterprise is bad.  I believe really strongly in holding on to positives, successes, and progress.  The small stuff, in particular, has kept me going as much as or more than some of the big breakthroughs – sales, achievements, licensing, etc.  Remembering that, that one time, I opened my mouth to talk to a guy a thousand levels beyond where I was is pretty empowering, even though it didn’t necessarily have any bearing on any quantitative measure of my progress or success.  But the struggles, too.  So many struggles.  I worry that I’ll disappoint my wife, that I’ll let clients down, or that I’ll drop the ball for a friend, a new agent, or a mentor.  I worry that I’ll fall into the habit of hiding from success and saying that I tried, or that it was too hard, or that it wasn’t something that I really wanted, after all.

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On the whole, I think that my mindset is alright, and getting better.  I know that what I’m pursuing is the best chance that I’ve ever found – and I’ve looked – to find the success that I want in my life.  I know that what I do for people is the best program I’ve ever come across, and that it’s objectively just really damn good.  I know that I mean well towards just about everyone, and that if they don’t want what I try to offer, in terms of friendship, business, time, good vibes, whatever, then that’s not my fault.  I know that, if I don’t sustain some of this amazing head of steam that I’ve been building up, I’ll have to start over soon.  And I know that it terrifies me to run this track, because what if it all really starts happening?  What if I suddenly find myself at the head of a team?  What if they’re great people, who want and need and could have success for themselves, and I fall short?  It’s tough to deal with, sometimes, and it is frequently present enough that some days I feel like I’m tripping over it left and right.

But what if I am capable?  What if, even if I do fall short, I knew that others had been in the same position, and then recovered, and even continued to grow afterwards?  What if I was that kind of example to someone with a burning desire for something, someday?  That would be a success.

On Again, Off Again

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I have this nasty habit (previously discussed) of adding lots to my plate.  Usually it ends up becoming more than I can reasonably handle.  I’m not all that great at juggling lots of priorities and I have plenty of bumps and bruises from falling off of one wagon or another.  It’s humiliating when one of those priorities is something that I’ve professed to myself or to others is important to me – something I value and respect and want to honor, accomplish, or stick with.  It’s been diet, it’s been martial arts, it’s been taking care of my emotional state, it’s been my wife, and it’s probably been most everything that I want to be able to pay attention to with any regularity.

That humiliation feels like the bane of my existence sometimes.  It’s hard to swallow my pride and say that I’ve failed and that I’m coming back to try to pick up where I left off. It’s hard to admit to others or to myself that I’m not as capable or enduring as I’d like to be by coming back to face those priorities again.

On the other hand, coming back to those things that fall by the wayside for a bit is another way to demonstrate that they do matter.  I’m not perfect.  I’m not strong, smart, or tough enough to handle everything with its due attention all the time.  I try and try to maintain that state, but it never quite works, or never does for long.  That’s ok.  Returning to a thing to pick it back up is good and important no matter how awkward it feels.  Momentum is the least of what I lose, but any of that loss is better than sacrificing ideals, concepts, goals, or people that I value.

So the word of the day, I guess, is probably humility.  Yes, demonstrate it in public.  Don’t discount yourself or your worth, but don’t take yourself too seriously.  By the same token, be humble with yourself.  Know that you’ll fall off the wagon.  You’ll make mistakes, lose sight of your goals, forget basics and fundamentals.  Forgive yourself.  Refocus.  Remember.  Relearn.  You’ll get back on track.