The Success of Failure
This isn’t one of those blogs that talks about how many times Edison failed before he finally lit up a room. Though I do appreciate those stories. This is about the idea that there is no such thing as personal failure. I hear you arguing, “But my dreams didn’t come true,” “But I’m still struggling.” Or “I can’t pay my bills.” Yes, failure to do something or create something may exist, but what I’m saying is that people are never failures. Let me explain…
Have you ever noticed that you have a goal and might be very close to fulfilling it, but at the last moment something happens to undermine that goal? Something YOU do destroys the very thing you’ve been working for? Like getting nervous on a date with someone you are attracted to? Or blowing an interview that you were completely prepared for? Or starting a fight in a relationship that was going really, really well?
These things happen because of our personal programming. As children we absorb certain beliefs from our parents and surroundings that guide us as we grow. Our sponge-like minds set our happiness level, our values, and our beliefs about ourselves. So, when we have a date with a smart, sexy guy, but our personal program says that “I can’t have what I want” or “guys aren’t trustworthy” or “nobody will love me”, we will find a way to spill food down our shirt or laugh inappropriately when he talks about something important to him.
The good news is…We are not failures! The fact that we haven’t created our dream business or kept our marriage together is not actually our fault. We were given these beliefs that we are fulfilling, like a computer program. You know when a computer won’t do what you want it to do… Does it help to hit it? Curse at it? Scream at it to change? No.
It helps to REPROGRAM it so it does what you want. No amount of criticism, guilt or blame is going to influence the computer. Just the correct code.
So, how do we figure out our program and harder, how do we reprogram ourselves?
To figure out your program, look at your life. What is the pattern you keep repeating even though you know it is harmful? What is the name of your Inner Saboteur? Anxiety? Anger? Frank? This would be a Turning Point moment when everything is going well, then suddenly it isn’t. The feelings you have in that moment show your pattern.
Sometimes when I reach a very intimate place with my husband, I begin to get uncomfortable. Everything is nice and happy and it feels, well, new and different. It doesn’t feel like the anger and tension that was between my parents. It feels like ease and comfort and boy, is that awkward. I literally have to hold myself in place to stay in the moment with him. I have to control my desire to undermine the moment.
Once you’ve located your program, how do you reprogram? Different techniques work for different people. Hypnotism has been highly effective for some. Tapping has worked to clear unconscious patterns for others. Breathwork can help mourn the original trauma that created the false belief.
Another great way to overcome the pattern is to remain conscious when the Turning Point is happening. To sit in the uncomfortable (or sad or angry) feelings until you can let them go and adjust to a new feeling. Our Ego wants to keep our Happiness Thermostat at the same level it was as a child because that is safe. We have to be with the protective ego and help it release control to overcome the pattern.
The ego is like a Colonial in the army. He will scream at you to follow the order. He will try to frighten you to follow the order. He will even take over your body and cause strange pains to force you to follow the order. But we must persevere. Regardless of how many times Colonial Ego screams at you that “You don’t deserve the job, the love, the good life,” you must thank him and reiterate that you do.
Colonial Ego actually has your best interests at heart. He wants you to Survive so he insists you play the tune that helped your parents survive. But if you are like me, it’s not a pretty tune. I want a sweeter song to swing to.
So, as I continue my climb up the TV writing ladder and as my hubbie and I continue to create our family, I bring compassion to myself. I forgive myself for judging myself as a failure. I remind myself, there is NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE. I, like the rest of the world, am following my programming. And step-by-aching-step I continue to rewrite the code until the life is the one I choose and not the one I was given.