Thursday, May 1, 2014

Feeling Like a Failure

Have you ever had one of those days when no matter what you were doing, it felt wrong? I've had a couple of them recently, including today.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Instead of spending it working outdoors, I was doing paperwork. Holed up in my office ... finishing things that needed doing before my leave of absence ... feeling the pressure of a timeline.

This was just the latest. I felt a sense of failure at two different meetings in the past couple of weeks ~ as though I was on the 'hot seat' and incapable of doing anything right to shift the focus.

I found that I was emotionally beating myself up over these things. Thinking somehow I needed to be perfect or someone needed to rescue me or I was being picked on or I was simply the wrong person to be doing the job I'm doing.

When I begin to feel like that, everything spirals downward. It becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. And I become paranoid, thinking that of course everyone knows just how much of a failure I am.

When I saw this quote, my internal gyroscope straightened ever-so-slightly so that I could see the horizon a little bit better. I recognized that it's not about making mistakes or being perfect or even who sees or acknowledges the mistakes. It's about my own attitude toward them and whether I decide to let them define and defeat me or help move me on into the future.

What makes you feel like a failure? What do you do when you feel that way? How can you change your attitude? What would you change it to be?

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