Failure: Fear

I realized, over the last few mornings, that I often wake up thinking about what a failure I am, or how stupid I am. Nothing even has to have happened yet. I may have gone to bed feeling great. And yet, there it is, unbidden. Emotional First Aid likens failure to a cold, something we get all the time and throw off with a bit of rest. If we don’t take care of ourselves we can end up with emotional pneumonia. It is an apt analogy. To wake up every morning afraid of one’s upcoming failures is pretty depressing. The good news is that I’m now aware of it. Ironically, perhaps, that’s a success!

Why Bother?

I was doing yoga tonight and feeling all the aches and pains. I keep trying to stay active; hiking, walking, swimming, sailing, skiing, and yoga. And yet I ache – my knees, my feet, my hips and I started wondering if this is worth it; it just hurts to stretch these bits. I quickly realized that if I wasn’t doing this slow, intentional exercise that all those other things I like doing would soon become far more difficult as I age. Maybe there’s a message there about anything that seems like hard work – because exercising our bodies and minds, stretching muscles and emotions and problem-solving, ultimately helps keep us moving forward.

Obligation Observation

There’s a conference coming up at the end of the September for a volunteer organization I’m with which is of interest to me. It would probably be a great thing to go to; I’d meet some new people, make some friends, meet old acquaintances and friends. It would also probably be good for me to go for the sake of the organization. But I’m not feeling it. It is expensive both in terms of money and time. Quite frankly, at this particular time of year, I’d rather take those couple days off work and spend them hiking with my partner. I’ve been mulling this over for a few days and I realized today that a lot of the reason I think I need to go is due to a feeling of obligation to the organization. Now I need to sort out whether that obligation is real or something I’ve fabricated, and, if real, how important is it?


Today’s theme was procrastination. It popped up from a couple of my self-help sources within minutes of each other. Ironically, they appeared just as I was in the midst of distracting myself with unimportant diversions. They helped me figure out that I was avoiding an email that arrived last week that carried with it the potential, I was assuming, for a difficult conversation. Fortunately, I can take a hint. So I dealt with the email quickly, gritting my teeth for a challenging reply. In the end, I got positive feedback. Which is good, but even better was that I learned something about the anxiety, and anxiety-driven assumptions, that can fuel my procrastination. It is definitely something to watch for in the future.