If you ask the average person what they are most afraid of they will likely tell you something regarding failure – “I’ll make a mistake and embarrass myself.” “I won’t get picked.” “I will not pass the test.” “I will mess up and get fired.” “They won’t like me.”
As humans we are wired to protect ourselves from danger with a negativity bias. This is how we have survived as a species. We are always scouting for threat. Except today it is not likely that a Mammoth will trample us so this fight-or-flight bias often does not serve us well. And sometimes the threat we fear isn’t even failure. Sometimes it can actually be the unknown consequences of success.
ARGHHH you say.
You can’t wait for the Holy Grail of career success, romance, a thin waste, a beach house, or if you live in Pittsburgh – two sunny days in a row to arrive. Stay with me...
As a coach, mother, wife, friend, leader I am struck by how often we interpret events in our lives a certain way then play to those stories until they become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This can be good if the story is empowering and positive. All too often it is not. It’s as if we get sucked helplessly into someone else’s story that flips quickly to the last page where the ending reads the same for us every time – disappointment.
Several years back I was a stay-at-home mom with four children under seven-years-old living the country club life on the surface but was in an unpalatable marriage. I filed for divorce as a leap of faith and six months later the children and I were on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless, and without an automobile. I did the big, “Why me?” I kept waiting for justice that doesn’t likely come when you represent yourself in court. I was certain my children would never go to college and I would be considered...
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