Journey Blog with John
My daddy said something that really stuck with me, “whatever defines you, also has the power to devastate you.” That is really powerful especially when talking about my two least favorite F words - Fear of Failure.
Procrastination can be a great indicator to one of the biggest, hidden obstacles in our life - Fear. When I notice this pattern of hesitation in my life, I follow a four-step progressive process to get momentum again. Although some of these steps are faster than others, it all comes down to a DECISION.
Here is how it works, awareness of hesitation in my life (Fear) gives me the opportunity to #1 Declare "I am ready for change”. Then I can #2 Discover the root of the fear and #3 Diagnose the secret of why it has such a grip on me. At this point I am ready for the final and most empowering step - to #4 Decide something new.
As we introduced the question last week, “what does failure mean about me?” reveals my self-definition. If it is based on my behavior or outcome, then my sense of identity is constantly moving as I perform better or worse which is an exhausting rollercoaster.
What gives us a sense of meaning, purpose, value? Some of the big ones for most of us are things like:
- The good opinion of others/ parents/ spouse or even myself.
- Success in business/status/ job title at work / $$$ in the bank.
- Winning/ accomplishment/ comparing ourselves to others.
These can all be good things, but why is evaluating ourselves this way a problem?
When “I am what I do” (or produce, accomplish), then it defines me. When "who I am" is derived from things that can change, then how I feel is tied to them. That means I will constantly be in flux, like the weather in Texas. So when things are going good (as I want them to go), then I am happy. But when those things are going poorly, then I am certainly not.
If this is the only way you have lived, then you may think that “this is normal” - this feeling of struggle to be worth…exhaustion to be enough. But what if there is another way? What if a person’s sense of validation were stable? If it was affixed to something solid, even permanent? What if we were not held back by threats to our performance?
A seaworthy vessel does not fear the waves.
Here is the question for our final step, to Decide... "Where do I want my sense of validation come from?” I know, I know it sounds easy, but don’t dismiss this. If it were that simple, we would all have done it by now. Sometimes we just need the awareness to change our mind, and it's done.
But more often, the answer is deeper and takes work. We need to re-center by revisiting our core beliefs, then plugging into a new power source - one that is foundational, unchanging, transcendent, a True North. We need a new belief that empowers us.
Here is how it works for me. It is inevitable that I will get stuck at some point, so I began by walking through this 4-step process which leads me to awareness that what is holding me back is a core belief rooted in fear. This is not what I want, so I think about a story I love in the Bible, where Jesus talks about two houses, one that is built on sand and another that is built on rock. As you can probably imagine, the foundation (sand or rock) is the key to this moral. Jesus says that when the storm comes, only the house built on the rock will remain standing. I like the imagery of this story because I can relate.
Metaphorical storms of life happen, and a solid foundation changes everything. It doesn't mean that I like the storm, but the foundation I choose effects my sense of being in the storm. So I ask myself, "what is the rock in my life?" What is something transcendent, not changing, something that I can really build my life on?
This is difficult, but finding a solid foundation is worth more than gold! This Decision started me on the path to becoming who I really wanted to be, so when you are ready to make a new Decision, I would love to help. If you are on this path, you are closer than you may think to your true self.
I know sharing is vulnerable, but I would love to hear from you…what has power in your life that you are ready to make a new decision about?
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