Failure. It sounds so finite. Thing is, everyone fails at something someday. Maybe it’s a course in comparative literature. A job deadline. A new venture. Failure is inevitable. Sometimes it’s the fear of failure that pushes you into it. You become so paralyzed with fear that you do nothing and, ultimately, fail. But failure isn’t finite. Because at some point you’re going to fail again. Spectacularly. Maybe only you will know about it. Maybe everyone will. Maybe your failure comes in the form of not acting on something you know you should thereby stalling your progress. Maybe your failure comes in the form of acting on something you know you shouldn’t; taking you down a rabbit hole into which you should have never ventured. The funny thing about failure is that it doesn’t exist. At least, it doesn’t have to. You can say, I failed. Or, you can say I tried something, it didn’t work, I learned a lesson and moved on. There is power in the words you use. Think about it. If you say to yourself 10 times, I’m a failure, chances are you’re going to feel and act as a failure. If you say to yourself 10 times, I took a chance and now I know what not to do, chances are you’re going to feel empowered. You may not have won this time but you have the tools to succeed in the future.
Failure and relationships are a completely different ballgame. You can do everything in YOUR power to succeed but if the other half of your relationship refuses, you’re not the one who failed. Endings are hard. No, endings are painful and terrible and should be recognized for what they really are; the death of a possibility. The death of a dream. It’s hard to reconcile something that once had so much promise to a broken ending. But it’s not THE end. You can’t change someone to fit your expectations. Either they do or they don’t. Sometimes people recognize a need to change but it often comes with a price. It’s too late to fix what is irreparably broken. The key is seeing the cracks before it becomes too late. Even then, if the other half fails to see the need to fix something, it’s already too late. Sometimes you hold on in the hope that they’ll recognize the need to change. Other times, they’re perfectly fine just the way they are and it’s you who must change your expectations or find someone more suitable to your needs. It sounds harsh, trust me I know, but it’s the truth. You can only change yourself. Do you lower your expectations to stay in a situation where you’re not being loved, respected and fulfilled? Or do you demand the respect you deserve and walk away when it’s not given? Respect, honesty, love, communication and fidelity is not a one-way street. If you’re traveling it alone within the confines of a relationship, it might be time to reassess where you’re headed.
I’ve gotten several nudges from the universe lately in the form of essays and articles about forward progress. My life has been somewhat stalled lately. You wait and you wait and you wait for something to happen and it finally does but then you’re left with the inevitable, what do I do now? You’ve spent so much time and energy invested in something and now that it has passed, you’re left with a whole lot of time and energy. I read an article the other day about the difference between should and must. Most often, we do the things we know we should, AKA the daily grind, because it’s easy to stay in our comfort zones. Must takes us out of the comfort zone, to the edge of the cliff and asks, what must you do to live the life you want? Yes, I must work to pay the bills but what’s keeping me in a job I don’t particularly like when I could be thriving doing my passion on a daily basis? It all comes back to fear of failure. What if I can’t pay the bills? What if I have no safety net? What if?
What’s holding you back from your better life?