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Why is it Always My Fault?


Do you ever feel like everything bad seems to be your fault and good stuff seems to stay just out of reach? I know I have had many periods in my life that I felt that way and this is what I learned: finding fault and laying blame are tools that fear uses to keep me from trying anything new or different. Now why is it important that I not try things that are new and different? Because then I would be stepping outside of my Comfort Zone and fear does not want that to happen. Fear’s only job is to keep me safe, and, in this case, the definition of safe is familiar – in other words, only what I already know or think I know.

How do truly successful people become successful? By constantly pushing the boundaries of what they know and believe, and seeking new information, new ideas, and testing things to prove them right or wrong instead of just believing what they are told. They also live with the conviction that mistakes are simply learning opportunities, not judgments of their inherent worth.

This is where fear used to get in my head and keep me “safe, stuck, and small” [Britten, Rhonda (2001) Fearless Living, New York, NY, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.]. As long as I believe mistakes prove my lack of worth, I will fear them and do my best to shut them out of my life. As I learn to embrace the lessons and choose to stay open to the blessings they will bring, then I can see the blessings, learn what I need, and take the next step.

Here’s an example: I had signed up to fill a last-minute speaker spot in my Toastmasters club. I chose to use my workshop introduction as my speech since it was already written and pretty familiar – I’d already used it 4 times. It seemed like a good idea to include more detail of the study I was quoting, so I added that. The feedback from my speech included the comment that I was much more enjoyable to listen to at the end of the speech when I was sharing my personal experience than the early part which seemed over-burdened with statistics.

Because of my relatively newly-acquired practice of willingness to be open to good in all things, including criticism, I was able to be truly grateful for the comments from my evaluator. I felt no sense of foolishness or stupidity for not having aced this talk to this audience; after all, the point of joining Toastmasters was to improve my speaking skills and the evaluator helped me do just that.

Staying open to the lessons in everything that may seem to go wrong, or negative comments we hear, takes practice and courage which I have only been able to develop with the help of the support I have in the Fearless Living community and the friendships I have fostered as a result of the teachings of Fearless Living. For me the key has been the building of a personal support community. I need to be reminded that nothing is really only about me, nor is much of anything really dependent on me alone, nor am I so powerful that my failings can end the world. Some of that almost sounds silly to me now, but it didn’t feel silly when fear had me convinced that the bad in me was more powerful than the good, so rather than be overcome it must be hidden. Trying to hide all my faults and weaknesses was exhausting. Now I have learned that asking for help and embracing opportunities to learn and grow are invigorating and inspiring.

Would you like more vigor and inspiration and less blame in your life/head? I can help. And if you and I are not a good fit, I know lots and lots of other Certified Fearless Living Coaches and can help you find one with whom you do feel comfortable. You really are fine as you are, now let’s get to the point where you know how to believe and live that.