I started this blog as a way to air out our story. Not just mine, but writing with the belief that in sharing my occurrences, I’m in fact telling your’s too.
But I have to confess, life for me over the last 6 months has been littered with so many failures and disappointments that I’ve been too ashamed to share them at all. As each month goes by, and another seed of excitement and hope is planted and fails to sprout, I’ve drawn further and further into myself to try and save face. I can clean up well and put on a white suit, but the exterior only serves as a salve for the wounds I’m licking.
Shame is defined as a negative, painful, social emotion that can be seen as resulting “…from comparison of the self’s action with the self’s standards…”, but which may equally stem from comparison of the self’s state of being with the ideal social context’s standard.
So as I consider this definition and evaluate my emotions, I must say that I haven’t risen to many of the standards I’ve set for myself, or that i’ve inherited from society. My personal failures and disappointments are heaped in a bin, and are spilling out onto the floor. Who’s going to clean this shit up….me? Oh.
Standards & Expectations
Honestly, it may be time to call out my Standards & Expectations (and those inherited)…to identify them, and weed out those that aren’t self-serving. For instance –
- I expected that my education would make my path straight and easy. I still have this whispering missed expectation that my MBA promised a life for me…but no.
- I expected everyone to be progressive and supportive when I met and fell in love with an amazing man, who happens to be White (racial prejudice is so real). And my continuing surprise of relationships becoming strained when I decided to pursue “my own thing” professionally.
- I expected my business to take off sooner than it has…but no. But i’ve put in 5 new job applications this week in an effort to support myself until the business can.
- I expected that the foundation I laid would always be here. But here I am, about to have address #4 this year. Foundations can be shaken…hence earthquakes and jackhammers.
- I expected my value to be apparent. Job applications denied like a college freshman’s credit. 20 projects pursued in the last 8 weeks, and not one seed has sprouted (yet….fingers crossed for a YET).
Hardwork does not create a promise – hardwork is simply a prerequisite. And it sucks like hell to do everything that you know to do, to find that your efforts just aren’t good enough. As my mentor recently told me –
…talent is the minority portion of what is needed to succeed. The other part is sheer perseverance. Hard work is a given, luck is helpful.
Failure. I’m there. Life is steamrolling me, and by God, it is NOT my desire to live by the grace of another’s (potential or perceived) generosity. Thus, my climb continues.
This phase has caused me to become more private, because sharing trouble with the wrong ones will cause you to acquire some anxieties (or worse, Judgement) that you really don’t need. That fabled success standard – someone’s imagination/fantasy of you – is rarely the truth of you. Sometimes people will decide who you are, and if you inherit their disappointment, it can put you and your dreams in a hole 6 feet down…if you let it. If there is anyone in your life who tells you that “You should have been ___ by now, but you aren’t. You aren’t successful.” or some variation……delete their number from your phone. I’m so sincere.
When you need to share your troubles, tell the one’s who will encourage you…give you hard truths swaddled in LOVE…let you cry…listen, and not lecture…forward you emails and tag you in FB posts related to your goals.
You DON’T have to play by the rules of others. But you DO have to be open to change. You DO have to have discernment for wise council – solicited or not. You DO have to live with an open heart, so that it can speak to you, and you can follow it..
Words from a Bestie
I have no concept of shame. I don’t know how you “get” shame. It’s not shame…it’s a learning lesson. So what if you’re living with your aunt, or your parents. Just say “Even if it’s not the Penthouse, I just need get out of this house,” and keep it moving. I see people fail all the time…but that’s how you learn.