How to Fail

I’m sitting here wondering what to write. The topic is creativity and I feel I have nothing creative to say right now. Instead, I’m checking out my Instagram feed and lurking on FaceBook. I’m following up on book recommendations and spending way too much time at Amazon reading sample pages and adding to my wish list.

It feels like I’m fumbling through a really thick fog. Situations like this can make you feel like a failure.

So what do you do?

Because it’s frustrating to stare at a blank screen. I tend to rifle through scribbled ideas and leaf through inspirational books. This time, I am resurrecting a piece I wrote in 2004.  It’s still very good advice.

How to Fail

I’ve spent a lot of time and effort teaching people how to go about changing their career, how to examine their values to find the grain in their own wood, and how to re-structure their life to accommodate a new livelihood. I also realize that not everyone listens.

So this week, I’m going to tell you what it takes to fail. If you follow my advice, you will be certain to remain in a job you dislike, you’ll be grumpy most of the time and far more susceptible to catching every bug or virus that comes within 3 feet of you.

So, here are 5 surefire ways to stay stuck in a job you hate:

  1. Believe the voice in your head. You know, the one that tells you “You can’t…” or “You always….” Or “You never…” or “What makes you think…” This voice reminds you of all your shortcomings and scolds you when you stray the slightest from the path it has ordained for you. The Gremlin (what coaches call this voice) has been training you so well all your life that you are not even aware that you are following its advice. Keep it that way.
  2. Disconnect your brain from your body. When you are tired, push on. When you are hungry, grab a Snickers and a Coke. When your body sends signals that tell you not to trust a person or a place, ignore it. When you are sad, or angry, or upset, stuff those feelings – deep, and when they show up as joint pain or pneumonia, blame your circumstances. The human body, science has shown, is a brain unto itself. Ignore it.
  3. Stay safe. If you stick your neck out, your head will get chopped off. If you take a risk you will surely fail. All those examples of millions of people who grew and changed and did phenomenal things by taking a risk are just flukes. You know, people like Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Gilbert, or my favorite, Beryl Markham (look her up!). That could never happen to you.
  4. Keep focused on what you don’t want. If there is not enough money, keep thinking about lack (so you can have more of it – “lack,” that is) If your boss is a jerk, keep that jerkiness uppermost in your mind in your interactions. That way you can collect even more evidence to support your thought pattern. Never, under any circumstances, focus on what does work or what you are grateful for, or you’ll have more of that instead of misery.
  5. Have lots of pity parties with friends who love you just the way you are. Sitting around commiserating is an important part of your life and you don’t want to lose it. It’s how you keep focused on what you don’t want. And besides, if you change and grow, then your friends may have to self-examine and do something about their own situation. You don’t want to ruin a good thing, now, do you?

I promise, if you do these 5 things consistently, then all your dreams will never come true.  Fulfillment will be a fantasy and you’ll never make a difference.

If you want a partner through this process, please call someone else. But, if you realize you are living life unconsciously, PLEASE contact me and let’s partner on your growth.  You deserve better than this.

I’d love to read your comments on what you think of my advice!


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