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Recognizing Failure

Failing doesn't make anyone a failure, only quitting does. Repeat this. Memorize this. Bring this forward to your mind when you feel unsteady. Now that's out of the way, lets talk about Failure. My favorite plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, defined the Failure Mechanism as a warning system that helps the individual recognize that they are veering off course. He used an example of a missile that steers towards its target by veering off course and correcting itself to get to its destructive destination. I'm not so sure about this metaphor..

I experienced a wide range of these failures throughout my life. I lived with them. When I had no friends, they were there for me. They threw me into familiar spirals and patterns of thinking. Self loathing was comforting. As strange as it may sound, I'm grateful for the experience of the depths of negative emotions. I feel in touch with humanity and every great artist who experienced the same. We're all the same and plunging into emptiness and sadness made me feel in touch with humanity. I'm even more grateful that I've come out unscathed from them. I'm stronger and empowered with knowledge and skills. I have scars to prove it, physical and mental. I learned to keep these friends at bay. I know how to recognize behaviours and emotions that do me no good. I can nip them in the bud before they start to take hold of my mind and my physical body. Just two days ago, doubt and worry tried to take root within me. I didn't know how to fend it off until I made a call, "This thought doesn't do me any good. Reject." It vanished immediately and I felt lighter. I don't even remember what the thought was. That is how powerful how recognition of emotions that do us no good can be.


I used to feel subpar. I felt unsuccessful because I wasn't on par with others around me. I was on the competitive plain going after something I didn't want. A career in some random company. It was never a goal. I never really had a goal, but I was frustrated because I was a certain age and I had to be whatever society told me I should be. I picked a goal that mattered to me and that started stretching me. It's a goal that fits me so perfectly and frustrations started to vanish. I am going after something I truly care about.

Aggressiveness Who hasn't snapped at an innocent party because something didn't go their way? Maybe this is my blind spot, but I've lived in a household where misdirected aggressive was part of my day. I have been training to not let my emotions get to me and affect others and I can recognize in others very well. However I directed aggressiveness into myself my entire life and had to relearn the habits of self-loathing.

Insecurity When your subconscious and conscious mind are not in sync, you are insecure. I've been insecure my entire life. I felt I didn't belong in this world, that I was pretending and trying to fit in. Wearing the wrong clothes, doing the wrong things. Going within and taking stock of my self image, leading my life with the end goal first changed. No matter where I go I don't feel insecure anymore, because it is planned and deliberate. Life doesn't happen to me. I have control. Being insecure is why I spent most of it alone. Loneliness I spent most of my life believing that I couldn't make friends. Social contact was not satisfying. I would say to myself, "I just can't connect with people". Nobody is going to reach out to you and initiate contact if you act like a recluse. I became an active participant and everything started changing. It also started changing as soon as I identified the reasons for my insecurity. Self-reflection and self-study led to friends and social contact.

Uncertainty Oh yes, indecisiveness. The fear of being wrong. I'm a decisive person, but I haven't pushed my decisions in my professional life. I practiced decision making in every aspect of my life except in work. This one was an easy one to learn, but you have to know what you want. As soon as I recognized my true purpose, uncertainty went away. If I failed, that's okay. I'll try again.

Resentment All of failure feelings roll into one. You feel insecure because your self-image doesn't match the outside. You don't find social contact satisfying, because you feel like a fraud. You're frustrated because your results don't match your unrealistic "perfection". You don't understand that you need to live by being true to yourself and provide value first so you become resentful. I felt that my life owed me a debt. I provided no greater service, but I felt "wronged". Resentment is a poison to the spirit. As soon as I took control of my life and the circumstances I felt lighter. I am not owed anything. I owe the world the ideas that come to me. Emptiness

The pursuit of activities that do not fill you, loud clubs is an easy example. I didn't seek solace there, but I did through consumption. Consumption of items, food, media, alcohol. Those activities were not inspiring. I was just passing time. I sound like a broken record at this point but repetition is the mother of all learning (Russian saying). Picking the right goal. Following my purpose and intuition suddenly filled my life with fulfillment. I choose how I spent my time. I choose the vocations to pursue. I choose the people I speak with. Sometimes that choice is a person who died 100 years ago but wrote books on the unconscious mind.

Awareness and recognition of these negative behaviours and feelings revolutionized my state of mind. We all have control over them and we can choose what to do with them.

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