My therapist asked me a question tonight that really got me thinking. I had a bad day today so my usual meltdown mode had set in when I blurted out at 60 miles an hour the story of my day before I had even sat down. She looked at me with wide eyes, waiting for me to take a breath before saying “bad day?”. I obviously answered with yes before continuing again with the hell that was my day. But that’s not the important part of this. She asked me what I’ve failed so far in life.
For someone is so adamant that they are a failure at life it kind of had me lost for words. What had I failed at? Could I pinpoint one specific thing? Because I’ve failed. I’ve failed a lot. But personally I like to take my failures and scrunch them up in to a ball at the back of my mind as if they are unwashed, un-ironed clothes that I never plan on wearing again but just keep there incase I want to get them out and give them a whirl around my bedroom.
I answered by saying how most recently I had lost my newly found positivity (that I had for like two days) which I had really really wanted to hold on to. As soon as I answered she questioned me again by saying “okay and what else?” as if we were in a boxing ring and he was pushing me to keep throwing punches in his direction, insisting I keep the list ongoing and flowing rapidly like a shower head that shoots out water from all different angles.
It ended up with me rambling off a long list of everything I saw as a failure about myself and everything I saw as a bad thing I had done or experienced. Until I looked at her hoping that she would stop me from speaking, hoping she would ring some sort of bell which would signal that this current conversation could finally come to an end.
But she didn’t. She didn’t even blink.
So I carried on and on, even discussing my love life which is just a legitimate cataclysmic mess. Until she finally. Finally. Opened her mouth and said “Your problem is that you’re too scared to fail, so you don’t even move.” And I just took a breath. I stayed silent wondering if she was going somewhere with these comments or would I just have to guess why this was relevant.
She continued. She compared me to a piece in a chess match that just stays put because it’s too afraid of being tossed out of the game. She compared me to a small child that’s just been caught doing something they weren’t supposed to and they just freeze instead of running away or apologising. She said it’s as if I am just stood there with my eyes closed, hoping that the situation I am in will change but it never does because I’m just stood there.
And do you know what? I have never heard something so true. It’s like I stay frozen in time as much as I am not enjoying my current situation because even though what is happening to me is bad, the future terrifies me even more.
She compared me again to a toddler. One that is playing a game of freeze tag. So basically. She compared me to exactly who I am. A girl paralysed in her own uneven footsteps because she is constantly collapsing in desperate pleas of what ifs.
So let’s be honest. Fear is a buzz kill. It’s what ruins us (me) and stops us from doing things. It starts off slowly and then it’s absolutely all at once. I personally have things on my to-do list that I am prepared for and ready to do but the sheer thought of moving on and making decisions terrifies me. And the thing that does that to me is the past.
It’s my fear of falling or failing once again. It’s the thought that I could do something that I will learn to hate. So basically, in my mind, the wonder of if I will regret not doing something is apparently easier than the spiral downhill bumpy road that I have imagined in my mind when it comes to doing anything new. Basically. I am just being too scared to try.
She said to me that she knows I want to be successful. But she also said to me how ridiculous I am being if I think the list I kept reeling off was failures. She said to me “You have to fail and fail and fail and fail and fail, until you can sit there in front of me and read off the things you messed up on so fluently and fast. That’s when I know you’ll be ready to learn how to success.”
Maybe she’s right. Maybe I need to realise that the things I have done aren’t failures just because they might go slightly wrong. Maybe the reason why people are so inspirationally successful is because they have failed behind the scenes so many times and we don’t even know. I mean what normal person goes round voicing their failures. Who the heck posts their failures on social media anyway? We’d hardly know about someone’s love life being crap or someone’s coursework going absolutely wrong or someone investing too much money and time in to the wrong thing from their darling posts on Instagram or their adorable hashtags on Twitter.
We only know what we see from people and that’s when they finally decide to post about success.
She told me to think about my successes before thinking so much about my failures. And she told me to come back when I was read to fail, fail, fail, fail, fail fail. Fail.
Because who can be successful until they have gotten over a few failures, a few knock backs, a few stresses?
Take care and try not to worry too much,