When we try to be superhuman, not only does it lead to feeling like a failure because it’s impossible to sustain, we also tend to revert inward so that others don’t see us as we are, spectacular failures and all.
We ALL have failures, we ALL make mistakes, and we ALL have moments of regret.
What doesn’t work is replaying these moments over and over in our heads, berating ourselves all the while.
What does work is learning from them to move forward, to reassess our options, and to reach out for help if it seems like the pit of despair is too deep to climb out of on our own.
Because we sometimes fear what others will think of us if we admit we need help…think of it this way. If a friend or family member came to you asking for help, would you judge them? Would you see them as a failure? Or would you recognize, honor, and acknowledge the courage it took for them to speak up?
One of the things to question of yourself is, “would I judge someone if they came to me with a problem?” This is not to say that you should chastize yourself if you would make a judgement about someone else and what they are going through.
What it should do, however, is help you shine a light on something that you are consciously or unconsciously judging about yourself.
The judgements and jealousies we have are almost always a reflection of an area of our life in which we don’t feel like we are enough.
To use a personal example, I often listen to a podcast in which the host is a working mom who seems to have it all figured out (in case you’re wondering-Don’t Keep Your Day Job with Cathy Heller). She is accomplished in her career, has been very successful financially, has 3 kids, has a great marriage and a supportive husband, and by all appearances seems to be living her dream life full of joy and purpose.
Now, while all of these things may be true, I just randomly came upon a Facebook live she did after an incident that caused her great frustration. In a nutshell, it was about the expectations that get put upon us as moms; either by society, our families, or by ourselves.
Prior to this when I would listen to her podcast, while I found it extremely inspiring and engaging, I would sometimes just puzzle over how she had everything so together and those little jabs of jealousy would creep in.
How is she able to do all of this? Why am I struggling so hard to figure it all out when some people seem to have it so easy?
But the fact was, it was not easy for her. She was struggling to figure it out just like the rest of us are. I realized that my jealousy was just one of the dark places that needed a little light and attention to recognize that I didn’t feel like I was enough in the work I was doing. That I felt capable of so much more.
So that could have gone two ways from there. I could have wallowed in the dark place, bemoaning my lack of progress and success, continuing to get nowhere and just endlessly paddling in the river of misery.
Or, I could use the insight to acknowledge how I was feeling and to make a plan of action to move out of the murky water and into the possibility of the days, months, and years ahead.
Where is your boat going to land? Are you going to continue to paddle against the current in the river of misery, burning out your mind and body and getting nowhere?
Or will you chose to seek the shore, even if it means your boat has holes and is in danger of sinking? Are you willing to take a risk, to see yourself living a new life full of promise? To allow yourself to be vulnerable, to ask for help, to know that there isn’t anything you can’t achieve?