Do You Have Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome?


image“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” — Woody Allen

When you mess up, it’s easy to let that foul up, bleep, or blunder get bigger and bigger.

What you resist persists.  And that little mishap can get larger than life, and even take on a life of it’s own.  If you let it.

Or, you can pin that little monster down and nip it in the bud.

We mess up.  Life’s messy.  If you’re a leader, an entrepreneur, or simply human, I bet you can relate.

In the book, Survive to Thrive: 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Leaders, Faisal Hoque and Lydia Dishman serve up some great insight in how to get rid of the Monsters-Under-the-Bed and put fear and failure in their place.

Failure Doesn’t Define You

Failure happens.  But don’t let it define you.  Shame can grow and accelerates when we don’t confront our fears.

Via Survive to Thrive:

“The failure, Feld contends, was part of the experience.  ‘But it doesn’t define you.’  At this point it’s important not to let the embarrassment over what went wrong get the best of you.  ‘Shame accelerates when you let the narrative take over,’ he says.  ‘Shame comes from not confronting your fears.’”

Monsters-Under-the-Bed Syndrome

When you deal with the monsters head-on, they suddenly aren’t so scary.  In fact, they start to disappear.

Via Survive to Thrive:
“Instead, Feld advises, it is important to confront that fear.  Some experts advice writing down a list of worst-case scenarios in one column, and in another, ways to deal with them. 

The act of recording those fears in a concrete way not only allows you to brainstorm a solution, but avoids the entire shadowy ‘monsters-under-the-bed syndrome’ that comes from not being able to define the boundaries of a problem.“

Don’t Let Feelings of Failure Creep into Other Parts of Life

When something goes wrong, isolate it, and learn from it.  Don’t dwell on it.   And don’t let it creep into other areas of life.

Via Survive to Thrive:

“As Feld writes, ‘I separate how I feel from failure from how I feel about life and what I’m doing.’”

Examine Failure

When you put failure under the spotlight, it becomes more objective and you take away it’s power over you.  And, better yet, you take your power back.

Via Survive to Thrive:

“Resilience, then, can spring from repeated use of this practice.  Examine failure.  Hold it up to the light and recognize what went wrong. 

Take the time to define your worst fears before going forward and before they lead to shame and discouragement from reaching your goals.”

Fear, failure, and shame can’t own you.  Unless you let them.

Get your flashlight out.

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