If I ask you this about your opinion of me, of my singular or collective actions, you would probably say “no, you are not a failure.” But would you allow yourself that same grace? For me and in my profession I see that many of us are harder towards ourselves more than anyone else. I don’t know the psychology of this and would be interested to hear that point of view, but as just a regular mom with a career, plodding along this blue planet these are my thoughts.
If I do or don’t do something according to plan, I’m hard on myself. I sit, I analyze where I went wrong, I review old lists, and set new lists. Truth speak, sometimes I get in a rut feeling like “ugh I will never be able to accomplish ‘x’.”
I search for podcasts, videos, and writings to share with me that secret sauce that I’m missing, and there always seems to be something I’m missing.
Rarely, okay basically never, do I recognize the things that I have accomplished, the areas that I have grown, the plans that I have seen through. Yes I may abstractly say “oh how far I have come” but do I reflect on all the things I’ve done right to get to where I am? No, nope, never. Do you?
“Why such an unequal scaling system regarding failure and achievement?”
As a personal trainer, I see this in many others. But here’s the thing: if a client sets a goal and they don’t reach it, I don’t think “Oh you failure! Why didn’t you reach your goal? You will never reach that goal and you should stop trying!” That seems unreasonably harsh. Even as I write it, I think how I would never think nor say those things to a client. But I KNOW that I have said those things to myself and I know that I have watched and listened as clients have said versions of that to themselves. So I ask the question again “Am I a failure?” and I realize that is the wrong question.
In training if someone doesn’t reach their goal, we just reset it. If things aren’t moving at the speed at which we hoped then in our monitoring of that we ask ourselves why, and from there we make changes as needed to reach or adjust the goal. Vastly different from sulking, sabotaging, and berating.
As moms, many of us share the common fear of failing our kids. We set lofty goals for what we will do for them, what we will do with them, what we will teach them. Many times we have to revise.
But did we fail?
If it was me talking to a client or another mom, would I think that she had failed? If my answer is no, then it is time to redirect. For me becoming more analytical and less emotional is the best method to separate the facts and to analyze, healthily, the goal.
I don’t write this to say what you should do or even really to give a bunch of tips. I hope this article merely brings to light the things that we keep buried in our darkest, emotional depths. The thought in the back of our minds, “Am I a Failure?”
Let’s discuss this so that maybe we can grow past it, before we forget to enjoy the now.
Bougiemama community, I leave the floor to you, let’s talk…
Do you congratulate yourself as much as you knock yourself?
In what ways can you stop the patterns that berate and begin to make productive progress towards your goals?
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