That Part of us that wants to Fail

As a recovering entrepreneur, I am in a stage where I am in analysis mode. I am looking back at my former business model and looking at what was done right and what was done wrong. More than that however, I am looking internally to also see where I may have gone wrong as a leader of a startup company. As I was doing this reflection exercise, the title of this blog came rushing to my mind, “The Part of us that wants to Fail”, as a fitting title to this entry.

It sounds silly that anyone would want to fail at something, but I think this is a very real feeling that many people have in life. Whether it is someone working at a job or running a company, or simply being in a relationship with friends, family, and others,there is a part of us deep inside that at times wants us to fail at what we are doing. It’s hard to spot, but here are some signs that you might be secretly wishing you failed at what you were doing:

  • “It’s so busy right now…when will it ever end? It never ends!”
  • “I just wish I could disappear for a month (or forever) and not talk to anyone”
  • “I deserve to indulge in (name a negative habit or activity) because I work so hard. It’s alright that I do this.”

And on and on the self speak goes that is the part of us that wants us to fail. It is ever present in our lives but becomes more pronounced when we engage in an endeavor where we are way over our heads and do not ask for help or assistance. I know this feeling all to well as I fell prey to its grip for the last 7 months. Just now I am realizing how to get out of it, but it is not easy.

I do not recommend stopping what you are doing completely to address the problem like I did, especially if you have a family to support, but in order to combat these negative feelings you are having towards whatever your endeavor is you will need some time away from what you are doing to assess why you feel the way you do, and to determine if what you are doing is compatible with not only your life style, but with what you originally set out to do.

Life is work no matter what we are engaging in. When we are not harmonious in our line of work because we are too focused on the day to day without forward looking to the future, we veer off course and our little voice that wants us to fail gets louder and louder until one day it gets so loud that it completely stops you from moving forward. We can look at this negatively in the moment, but in a sense, that voice is telling you that something is not working.

If you are hearing that voice louder and louder like I have right before I decided to take a break from my business, then I implore you to make some time for yourself away from everything and really dig into these feelings. Be honest with why your inner voice is telling you its time to fail. The sooner you address these feelings, the sooner you will be able to adjust your course and slowly that voice will get quieter as you move towards the right path the feels right to you. Trust your judgement. The longer you fight, the more dire the consequences will be once you finally do address the ever increasing sound of failure.

As for me, I am just now coming out of a dark cloud that was cast from my previous business. It has been 7 months since I put myself out in the world and I am now starting to feel that voice receding and a more confident voice coming in telling me to pick yourself up and determine what is next. I share this with you because ultimately I am now viewing the voice that wanted me to fail as an ally, one that I will no longer ignore but instead will use as council to ensure I am always on the right track. If you fail, simply read the quote by Henry Ford above as the image in my LinkedIn post and start your next endeavor more intelligently than the last.