The journey of self awareness and conscious living that I not only practise in my own life, but also now have the privilege of teaching, never ceases to amaze me. There always seems to be more to uncover and just when you think you’ve got yourself pegged, you discover yet another sneaky pattern that is unconsciously sabotaging your life without you even realising it.
Over the past 3 months I have guided a phenomenal group of women through The 90 Day Transformation Project, and I too have been participating in the project myself. I have been both teacher and student and have shown up authentically and vulnerability to teach through personal experience.
Each week I have discovered even more about myself. You would have thought that after being immersed in this work for over 15 years (my journey started when I was 14 after attending my first personal development program) that I would be somewhat enlightened or something, right? But alas, the journey never ends and thank goodness for that as I find the process of self discovery absolutely fascinating.
How We Try To Avoid Disappointment & Failure
Through my work in the project, I uncovered a powerful pattern of mediocrity. Toning myself down. Lowering my standards. Only asking for what I know I can get. Keeping myself average. Dimming my light. Blending in.
When we have a fear of failure and we try to avoid feeling disappointed we will keep ourselves, our standards and our dreams small. We think we are minimising the risk, but ultimately we are just hiding.
Can you relate?
Have you ever applied for the job you know you can get verses the one you want? Have you peeled back the size of your goal, to something that feels more achievable? Have you minimised your personality to avoid being rejected?
Here is how the pattern plays out:
We avoid feeling like a failure by only pursuing things we know we can succeed at.
We avoid the sting of disappointment as we only go after what we know we can get.
Our mind gets filled with small, limiting, fear-driven thoughts. We listen to them and believe them because they keep us safe.
It keeps us small, stuck and deeply unsatisfied. It keeps us yearning to be heard, seen and acknowledged but never being able to put ourselves out there to actually receive it.
It keeps us in jobs we don’t love, in relationships that aren’t truly right for us and in ways of being that keep us hidden.
For many of us we would rather ask for what we know we can get, rather than go for what we really want and risk failing.
It can be pretty confronting to see these aspects of ourselves, particularly when we call ourself a teacher of this work. But rather than feel shame and denial, I thought I would do the opposite. Why not shine a massive spotlight on it and make it be fully seen?
Video: Do You Lower Your Standards To Avoid Disappointment & Failure?
After watching this video, reflect on these questions:
1) Think about areas or your life or times of your life where this pattern has played out. Catch it. Notice it. Shine a light on it. Journal about it if you feel to. Notice how much it has held you back.
2) Ask yourself; If this pattern no longer existed and I didn’t have to fear failing, or feeling disappointed, what would I go for? What do I really want?
3) Then, ask yourself; What thoughts would I be thinking, or what would I be telling myself which would be supporting me to go for it? What do I need to believe about myself?
I hope that by sharing my experiences of this pattern, you too will begin to see how it unfolds for you. It is about time we stopped settling.
The more that we can see it and get really honest about how much we are missing out on in our life because of it, the sooner we will be ready to kick it to the curb. So find the courage to face up to it.
We must up the stakes and ask for what we really want. Go after it unapologetically.
And if you don’t reach it, who cares. You have the choice as to whether you turn it in to a failure or if you choose to still completely love, support and accept yourself regardless of the outcome you achieve.
Have you ever lowered your standards, expectations or desires in order to avoid failure and disappointment? If you were to go for what you really wanted, what would it be? Declare it in the comments below.