This is your Connector's Key. Your ability to fail in your own mind and get back up again is one of your greatest forms of magnetism. Sharing these failings feels extremely vulnerable. However, you'll be shocked to learn over time that you are not at all alone with this key. Many people who eventually share this key have been painfully hiding it just like you.
Moments of perceived failure are learning opportunities
. . . they do not make you "a failure".
The next tab in this section has a TEDTalk video by Brené Brown where she jokes that TED should be called the "Failure Festival" because many of the greatest minds of our time simply refused to stop at more moments of failure than those people of whom we've never heard!
Here, today, we are going to practice seeing through and beyond our failures to a place of perspective.
There are two reasons to write down your failures. The first is that by putting pen to paper your heart and mind have to agree on a story. That task alone activates both sides of the brain in order to visualize the events so that the story can be constructed. Conveniently, fear and shame will likely prevent you from envisioning details from the very worst version of the moment because, as humans, we naturally move on from those moments. The new visualization of the event will therefore be, more likely to be a nicer version than the last one.
The second reason to write down a list of failures all in one place is to see patterns. If, for example, you begin to see that many of your failures center around other people's perceptions of the moments, then you have identified a clear area of challenge going forward that is about learning to read and confirm other people's perceptions -- scary but possible! Alternatively, if many of them center around moments that seem to be spiraling worse and worse as time goes by then you have identified yet a different challenge -- one where framing the moments nearer the time of occurrence may assist in stabilizing your perspective as time goes by.
The goal here is to move your perception of failure out into a place where you can safely and calmly observe it, knowing that the collections of moments will offer greater perspective on daunting challenges going forward.
ASSIGNMENT #1: Click the PDF below to print. With a pen or pencil fill in the table over the next few days. Because we tend to selectively forget uncomfortable moments, some percieved moments of failure may come and go from your consciousness in a flash. It is helpful to keep this table with you at all times so that you can capture your thoughts as they come to you.
Believing you are WORTHY of love and belonging is the biggest variable separating those who feel a deep sense of love and belonging and those who do not.
This was Brené Brown's break through finding that defined the Wholehearted people who seemed to be living a life defined by courage, compassion and connection.
Dr. Brown has transformed her career around this message, and in the context of the loneliness, fear and shame that you know so well through illness, there are few if any people speaking on the topic who are more engaging anyone point than she.
ASSIGNMENT: If you have not watched this seminal TED talk. Watch it now. If you have watched it, watch it again! or skip to the second video below where she follows up her first talk on the main stage and goes deeper into shame and loneliness.
The vulnerability discussion tide is rising in the popular press so you will be hearing more and more about it in the months and weeks to come. This article about Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook is one of many that have come out early in 2017.
You are not alone.