I’m really enjoying Seth Godin’s blog and his recent blog on feeling like a failure certainly resonated with me. It is not about the action itself, it is how you feel about this.
Godin is an entrepreneur, marketer, author and public speaker. He writes about marketing, social media but most of all, about making a connection with your audience, which he certainly does.
Have a read of this:
On feeling like a failure
‘Feeling like a failure has little correlation with actually failing.
There are people who have failed more times than you and I can count, who are happily continuing in their work.
There are others who have achieved more than most of us can imagine, who go to work each day feeling inadequate, behind, and yes, like failures and frauds.
These are not cases of extraordinary outliers. In fact, external data is almost useless in figuring out whether or not someone is going to adopt the narrative of being a failure.
Failure (as seen from the outside) is an event. It’s a moment when the spec isn’t met, when a project isn’t completed as planned.
Feelings, on the other hand, are often persistent, and they are based on stories. Stories we tell ourselves as much as stories the world tells us.
As a result, if you want to have a feeling, you’ll have it. If you want to seek a thread to ravel, you will, you’ll pull at it and focus on it until, in fact, you’re proven right, you are a failure.
Here’s the essential first step: Stop engaging with the false theory that the best way to stop feeling like a failure is to succeed.
Thinking of one’s self as a failure is not the same as failing. And thus, succeeding (on this particular task) is not the antidote.
In fact, if you act on this misconception, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of new evidence that you are, in fact, correct in your feelings, because you will ignore the wins and remind yourself daily of the losses.
Instead, begin with the idea that the best way to deal with a feeling is to realize that it’s yours.’
This just goes to show, that a lot of the time, it is all in the mind, and the stories that we tell ourselves, and that these form the basis of our beliefs.
For the word failure, you can substitute, not good enough, don’t deserve etc. It is the interpretation that we give to events that have happened.
And if you think you are a failure/not good enough/don’t deserve/I’ll never get another job/have any money etc, chances are that you will keep doing things that reinforce these beliefs.
Here’s how it works.
95% of what we do we do unconsciously. The flip side is that only 5% of what we do, we do consciously. So, the unconscious mind is constantly running the show.
Say for instance, you want to get a change your existing job or get a job, if you’re not working.
And then you see a job advertised that fits with your experience. But then this voice pops into your head and says ‘they probably wouldn’t give me the job anyway’ or ‘they don’t give jobs to people like me (my age/background/education)’, ‘I’m not good enough… ‘ etc.
So, what do you do? You might not even apply for the job anyway (what’s the point, I won’t get it anyway?), or you might send off a half-hearted cv, thinking there’s no point in me wasting my time as they probably won’t even look at it. You are feeling like a failure.
But what if you thought ‘this job is perfect. I have exactly the right experience and I know I could make an excellent contribution to the company.’
Well, then you go at the task with a completely different energy. You are much more likely to do a killer cv, showing your prospective employer how amazing you would be in this job, the value you could add to the company, and that they would be crazy NOT to hire you.
So, can you see how changing your belief can change your actions and the energy that you bring to it?
It doesn’t mean that you will always succeed right away, but sometimes it is about showing up, believing in yourself and keeping on keeping on (believe me, I know all about this!).
And the beliefs we have about ourselves, and beliefs in general filter into every part of our life.
Take a moment and say each of these phrases to yourself, and ask yourself how true does this feel? So, 10 is it’s 100% true and zero it is not true at all.
- People like me can be successful.
- People my age/like me can find a loving relationship
- I can earn a living doing what I love
- I deserve to be financially secure
Are you surprised by how low you scored on some of these? What is the story that you are telling yourself in terms of your own success, be it with finances, relationships or otherwise? Are there any other stories that you tell yourself?
The beauty of EFT/Tapping is that it is great at shifting beliefs, and that you can change these beliefs, thoughts and behaviours at a very deep level.
And the reality is that life is just too short to keep holding on to these beliefs. Maybe it’s time you did something about this.
Let me know if you want to have a chat about this.