Some days you’re the statue.
I think today I’m the statue.
I have a deep-rooted fear of failure. And when I say deep, I’m talking into the depths of the ocean deep. It is totally debilitating.
I’m so afraid of failing, of making a mistake, of looking like a fool that I overthink things, plan things out, consider every single scenario, and obsess.
My version of spontaneity is thinking something over for a month, and then one day suddenly deciding to do it.
Perhaps it is because I lack faith in myself and my abilities. Maybe I give too much credence to the thoughts of those around me. How about both those things together wrapped up in a tightly wound ball.
I often give up before I’ve even started, simply because I don’t think I’ve done everything perfectly.
Yes, I know that last statement was ridiculous. Believe me, I know.
Every day is an exercise in reminding myself that mistakes are good. Mistakes are to be overcome. Mistakes are what helps us learn and grow. It is exhausting.
I have what is often referred to as a fixed mindset. This implies that if I don’t inherently know how to do something, or do something right the first time, I immediately think I’m terrible at it and should not go any further.
Conversely, a growth mindset implies that you know you won’t be good at anything the first time, and that after much practice and experience, you’ll eventually master whatever you set your mind to. You know it takes time, so you don’t sweat it.
I think the day I learned the term “fixed mindset” it was like one big Aha! Moment. Suddenly, my habit of being hard on myself made sense.
So, what do you do when confronted with the idea that it is practically ingrained in you to remain stationary out of fear of failure?
Hole up in the basement with some sodas and pizza?
Wait. No, no you don’t.
You fail. Repeatedly. You damn near make a sport out of it, seeing how often you can fail and how spectacularly. The more fireworks, the better.
Doesn’t that sound totally uncomfortable? My whole body aches just thinking about it. Purposely making an ass of myself for fun?! What am I thinking?!
I’m thinking that this fixed mindset is for suckers, and I want out.
You can find your way towards a growth mindset, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
It is a constant exercise in remembering that no one is good at something the first time, and if they are it is pure luck.
Everyone has to work at something. No one has a perfect day, or experience, every time.
It is intentionally living in such a way that leaves you space to make mistakes and not kick your own ass for it afterwards.
It is striving for excellence; not for perfection.
So, while today I feel like the statue, I know it will get better. Mistakes are the fuel to be better and do better. Mistakes are what make life interesting.
Ha! Just kidding. Mistakes suck big time.
More importantly, though, is that while today I feel like the statue, I know tomorrow I’ll feel like the bird.
Onward and upward!