• Daily Masks: Failure and Self Sabotage

    “…sometimes when we are beating ourselves up we need to stop and say, ‘Man, I am doing the very best I can right now.’ ” Brené Brown

    At 32 I found myself as a single mom of a beautiful four year old daughter living in a rental trying to figure out how to move forward. Not the first in my family to be divorced, but being raised by parents who were married (still are!), surrounded by a sea of intact marriages and wanting the best for my daughter did not mean I should be where I was. I was blessed enough to have a job that could finance us and an amazing support system, but I still felt like I had failed. Failed myself, failed my family and most importantly at that time failed my daughter.

    Failure is a powerful motivator for any type of mask. If I hide it well enough no one will notice. If I cover the pain I can “fake it” until I can actually make it. But what does that actually mean? Thankfully my “failure” occurred before social media defined what most have created “normal” or “making it” to look like. But it still haunted me for years that my daughter’s life had been forever changed because despite fixing people all day, I could not fix my marriage.

    What if we lived in a world where talking about our perceived failures was accepted? Where we could be transparent with those closest to us and not hide behind a mask that only fuels the shame, the beliefs and the eventual self sabotage. When failure is hidden it becomes our truth. When it becomes our truth it becomes our life.

    Thoughts = Emotions = Behaviors

    If you think you are a failure, you will feel like a failure and then you will act like a failure. Your choices will be in line with what you FEEL you deserve versus what you KNOW you are worth. Your failure defines your ability to self sabotage anything that could or would contrast your core belief. Make sense?

    If you feel you cannot maintain a relationship (or a healthy weight or a job or a budget) then the choices you make will always confirm that truth. It becomes a cycle or self fulfilling prophecy that is a toxic pattern permeating into most areas of your life.

    The good news is that it can be changed! We all define failure through our own lens. What is failure for me may be success for you. What is success for me may be failure for you. How we define what is or is not a failure in our life does not matter. All that matters is what we do with it.

    Will you live in the shadow of what you feel is a failure and add it to the inside of your mask? Or will you forgive yourself, offer yourself some grace and learn from the experience? I know – easier said than done! But it can be done.

    What was on the inside of your mask from last week’s homework? (If you missed the blog on shame – check it out below this one!) Did you see some differences between how you FEEL and what you SHOW others on the outside of your mask? Is there one area that you feel you can let go of and show people the real you? It will take time to be brave enough to live an authentic life. Together we can get there! For now, taking one small step at a time, one issue at a time, one risk at a time will start merging the inside of the mask with what is seen on the outside so you can start to thrive.

    If you are up to the challenge, take some time this week to write a list of all of your failures. The little ones (for me that was a horrifically failed shot put throw in third grade) to the middle ones to the ones that you wish you could forget about. You can call it your good, bad and ugly list! The list is not to remind yourself of everything broken but to start to peel back the layers of what you have been hiding behind to start to heal. In looking at the list there will be some experiences you may be able to laugh at now, some you will be able to forgive yourself for now and some that may require some professional guidance to work through.

    At the end of the day, the only way to live without a mask is to figure out exactly WHO you are behind it. The adventure can be painful at times, but being able to create a life in which you can THRIVE in will be worth it in the end!

    Check back next week as we dive into a discussion on Values. You can always SUBSCRIBE by clicking the word and you will be emailed each week as new content is posted.

    As I stated last week, being known for who you uniquely are at the core is a freeing experience. One that will take bravery and vulnerability, but one that can be achieved.

    Always remember to take care of you. You are worth it!