Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Overcoming the Fear of Failure

People often confess to me that they are scared of being wrong. They don’t want to give the wrong answer, or have the wrong idea, or make the wrong move. Sometimes we fear failure before we ever start! Out of all the things that could possibly go wrong,  fear is like the dementor’s kiss. It can leave you paralyzed, lacking the will to fight for what you want in life. Steps need to be taken, and mistakes will be made. Lots of them. 

Making mistakes reveals weakness you can work on developing. It’s like a muscle. If you want big guns, you’ll have to train hard. Mistakes need to be exposed, examined, and dealt with accordingly. Denying it exists, covering it up by blaming, cheating, or hating on anyone doing better than you won’t lead you to a life of personal or financial success. It will only keep you in the monotonous cycle of stagnation, forever toiling through time until all you have left are the scattered memories of a pipe dream. 

Mistakes lead to progress. Every mistake has made me resilient. Don’t get me wrong, failure sucks. You feel dumb and disillusioned. You might resent the hard work you put in because it feels like it’s not good enough. So do you crawl into the fetal position and start sucking your thumb? Maybe for a little while. But time is money, and feeling sorry for yourself won’t get you any closer to your goals. 

Lessons are best learned through trial and error. If you fail a class, get fired from a job, or get dumped, that doesn’t mean you are a failure.  It means you’re human. Shit happens. Take some time to reflect, own up to your mistakes, and learn from the experience. That’s the best we can do. We literally have no control over anyone or anything but ourselves. 

Focus on what was in your control. Ask yourself what could be done differently to succeed next time time. Life is a sport. When that next opportunity arrives, hit that shit hard; give it all you got. What else is there to lose when you feel like a tadpole in a shark tank?

The secret to successful adulting is simple: don’t give up. Giving up is the only true failure. No matter what goal, never stop working towards it. It takes time and lots of energy; it takes sacrifice. But if you keep focused on the thing you want, it will come to you in the right time. 

Often we have these expectations for ourselves. We have a vision of what our lives should look like and feel disappointed if it’s painted in a slightly different shade of blue. We think if we make a time line of events, it’ll just naturally work out. And sometimes is does. More often it doesn’t. Life never ends up how we envisioned it. Some goals take longer to reach than expected; setbacks happen in a circus of happy and sad events. Expectations can make you feel like a failure when in actuality you might be closer to reaching your goals than you think. 

So learn from your mistakes and don’t be afraid to fail. If you want it badly enough, you’ll make it happen. If you find yourself not wanting to work for it, it’s probably time for a new direction.   

Once you’ve reached the promised land, the only thing that will matter is you made that shit happen.

What’s Happening to Love?

What’s Happening to Love?

What I’m about to say isn’t common for a millennial. It’s not very common for Baby Boomers either since the “me” movement began with them. But, what’s happening to love? Love is an innate human characteristic we’ll never get rid of, and suddenly self care has become selfishness that we’re taking to a whole new level. With the amount of people willing to jump ship the minute times get rough it seems like love is becoming rarer and rarer to find. People push out kids then split up right after, start cheating instead of try to work it out with a licensed therapist, give up the minute it gets too hard. News flash: marriages 2, 3, and 4 won’t work unless you work on your issues. 

Once I realized that almost everyone’s solution to problems, whether big or small, was to leave, I stopped talking about my relationship, especially when the people giving me this great advice weren’t in a place I wanted to be. You’ll find someone else, someone better. And I thought, is that why you’re still single? Over the slightest inconvenience most are ready to bounce out of a marriage, out of a family, out of any type of relationship. So why even bother committing? 

I was raised by my grandparents so maybe that’s why my view on this is very different. I was raised by two people who stood by one another through thick and thin and I was around at the end after the dust settled and old wounds healed. They were still in love. My grandma said it wasn’t easy. Not at all. But people then didn’t just leave when times were hard, or when a loved one was going through a period of suffering.

That’s not to say there aren’t good reasons to leave someone. No one should deal with abusive partners whether physically or mentally. If you find yourself staying in an abusive relationship, it’s beneficial to look into why you stay. People will treat us how we allow them. Plain and simple. We all have different thresholds of what we’re willing to deal with, but it seems no one is willing to deal with anything anymore. 

What you get when you’ll deal with nothing is exactly that— nothing. No one walking this earth is perfect, so how can you expect your partner to be? And with the increase of anxiety and depression year after year, most likely the person you fall in love with will be suffering at one point or another. People ebb and flow just like love. 

There was a time I went through a period of severe depression. Through a combination of unresolved issues and seven years of estrogen pumping into my body, I didn’t have the strength to repress it anymore and I finally snapped. My boyfriend never left me even though I pushed… hard. In my mind I felt I didn’t deserve him, that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t deserve love. Most people would’ve agreed with me and left. All the positive qualities of myself were buried under an avalanche of negativity. Instead of drowning in it, I went to therapy before I lost myself completely. 

When you love someone, the relationship is supposed to be a support system, not a “oh this isn’t fun anymore gotta go!” Circumstances differ, but if your partner is making the effort then these are the places where love is built. Sure it’s great when it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but that’s not reality. Life is hard. Love is easy, it’s just not easy to maintain.

Anyone in a long-term relationship or marriage has had thoughts of leaving. But the next time you do, ask yourself, “Can I still see myself growing old with this person?” If the answer is yes, then maybe the solution isn’t someone else. Maybe the answer is doing what’s necessary to strengthen the relationship. Or just bounce from person to person looking for perfection that doesn’t exist. The choice is yours. 

To the Cell Phone Addicted

To the Cell Phone Addicted

Albert Einstein’s fear has come true: Technology has surpassed our human interaction. Everywhere we go there are more people with their eyes on a screen than living in the moment. Even kids I see gangin it with a dozen people still have someone else they need to talk to other than the group of people they are with. 

As a world-class loner & introvert, this astonishes me. It’s rare that I hang out with anyone, let alone 10-12 people. A dinner group of 6? That’s an incredibly high number to me. But I can see how it’s easy with so many heads to duck away and check your phone without being noticed or missed. Still, I think not giving others our attention while they are in our presence is taking them for granted.

When it’s one-on-one, sitting on your phone really makes the you look uninterested. Call me crazy, but I like to give people my full attention when they’re speaking. Isn’t that how conversations are supposed to work? I mean, we all know of those who love to hear themselves talk. The conversation is always one sided and it’s clear they’re not listening to anything you say. Staring into your phone while someone is talking to you has the same effect. 

Having a conversation with someone whose attentions are elsewhere is frustrating. “Oh sorry, what? I was just …” Right. You were just … not paying attention. It gives people the impression there’s somewhere else you’d rather be, that they are not interesting enough for you, and that just feels downright shitty. 

Studies by psychologist Jean Twenge and others have proven emotional cues are not learned by kids who have unrestricted access to cell phones. Without understanding emotional cues, one can’t determine how another person is feeling by his/her demeanor or facial expressions. Researchers claim this is voiding out empathy or compassion, one of man’s finer characteristics, from the human psyche. This is really bad when you think of the characteristics of a sociopath, psychopath, etc. But don’t trip, because other studies show that empathy is so engrained in us that it can be rekindled pretty naturally. Like so natural, you’re in nature. 

Just as with kids, in adult relationships, if someone is deaf to your emotional cues it becomes hard to connect to that person. Sometimes you have to endure this person’s behavior because it’s your boss or family, but it doesn’t stop the annoyance. Relationship experts report that excessive cell phone usage is poking holes in people’s marital bliss. Phones have created distance between people, making it easier to escape rather than deal, cheat rather than work through it, and avoid rather than tackle problems head on. 

It seems like everyone is itching to be elsewhere, discontented with the company they keep. I thought we were supposed to cherish these close relationships? 

In friendships it’s similar. As you get older, relationships with friends become harder and harder to maintain. It’s true that phones and social media help two people at a distance talk, but it’s not helping anyone when you both meet up and one person is distracted, not listening, and off in his/her own world. I have to laugh when I see a group of people out together all staring into their phones. I mean, what is the point? Ya’ll are rude. Maybe this is why I have very few friends. Rudeness has overtaken the population.

My homebody ass would rather be on the couch, in my cozy pants, half paying attention to you while I watch TV. Then at least we’ll have an equal share in the relationship and I can save my gas and time for someone who actually enjoys my company!

No, but seriously, what’s the point? If there’s somewhere else you’d rather be, go! If there’s someone else you’d rather be with, go get em. Life is short; don’t waste your time surrounding yourself with people you can’t bother paying attention to. And if this isn’t the case, then put your phone down and stop taking people for granted. They came out for you. The person on the other end of your screen did not. 

That should say enough. 

How do you feel when you hang out with someone who is constantly on his/her phone? 

How to Motivate Your Wife to be a Loyal Spouse

How to Motivate Your Wife to be a Loyal Spouse

 Listen ladies and gents, we’ve all heard the stories. Somewhere along the line a woman has come along and shattered your hopes and dreams of a happily ever after. At some point she gave up trying to satisfy her needs at home so she took to the universe to send her another more aware of the attention she was craving. It happens to the best of us.

First and foremost, pay attention to her. I know this sounds so easy and many men are probably thinking, “I do!” But do you really? The last time she was talking did you look away from the TV or phone to devote your full attention to her or did you “uh huh” her to death until she realized (or didn’t) that you weren’t really paying attention? This minuscule yet important difference means the world to your significant other (SO). Making eye contact and giving someone our full attention makes the person feel validated and important. Looking at something else makes us feel like there’s somewhere else you’d rather be. Try these other tips to give her your full attention:

  • Look into her eyes, not the phone or TV;
  • Pause at a commercial to talk, not flip to another channel to fill in commercial space;
  • Just hold her. This is much different than sitting next to her and touching.

That leads us to our next motivator. Touch her. Not just when you’re fired up, but everyday in small ways. While you’re walking by her in the hallway, for instance, touch her hand, hip, anywhere really. If your wife is like most women, she’s been cleaning up the house, taking care of kids, pets, going to work, trying to get laundry done, or get dinner on the table. A simple acknowledgement by you would remind her why she chose to spend her time with you. You never know where that could lead to. So,

  • Touch her as you’re passing in the hallway;
  • Graze her hand or hip;
  • Hug her. 

Last but certainly not least, show your gratitude for all she does. If she likes tea or coffee, bring her a cup while you get yourself a snack. Or better yet, go out of your way to show your appreciation. Is she a student or professional who works a lot from home? Nothing feels better than having uninterrupted time and, POOF! Tea is made and ready to drink without having to break her train of thought. Is she relaxing after a long day? Even better. Just don’t make her do it— that’s the goal.

Thank her for what she does. If she pays half the rent or mortgage, tell her how much you appreciate it. Not all women pay for their roof. Show your gratitude for her efforts and love her for being your partner. Some simple ways of acknowledging her contribution are:

  • Thank her for doing the dishes and/or for cooking;
  • Do little things for her that she appreciates like bring her tea or coffee;
  • Clean up after yourself. Load the dishwasher or simply bring your dish to the sink. Something is better than nothing;
  • If she loves gifts, make a habit of getting her something small every week. This can be flowers, a snickers, a Dollar Tree yoyo— get creative; 
  • Consider reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. That kind of effort will leave her giddy for hours. 

All in all your woman just wants to feel loved. She wants to feel like she’s an essential part of your life. Lots of people assume that their wives will always be there. They take her presence for granted not intentionally (I hope), but because life happens and if you’re a rockstar partner, you’ve been on your grind trying to build a better future for your family. What’s important to remember, however, is that the future is built on the foundation of the present. So hold your girl at night— idgaf if your arm hurts. Find another position. Don’t forget to take what little time you have to ensure your relationship stays strong and your love is happy. 

Do you have any helpful tips or wish-list items? Post it below!relationshipsissuesfaithfulpartnershipintimacy