Why Are People Scared of Failing?

#fail #failure #success #doit #doitafraid #fear #motivation #happy #healthy #willsmith

Earlier this year, Will Smith made a video about failure and began by saying “fail early, fail often and fail forward.” The question is, why don’t we have this attitude towards failure? The fact that Mr Smith made such a positive video concerning failure says that most people hold the opposite attitude towards it.

What is Failure? Many people have different definitions of what it means to fail. I’ve heard that failure is when you’ve not succeeded yet. I’ve also read that failure is where you learn to succeed. That’s a nice perspective. Another definition of failure that I’ve come across is that it is a massive part of being successful ie to succeed, you will fail. That’s also lovely. But let’s be honest, whenever we think of failure in any situation, we think of losing, not winning, defeat and every other negative description we can think of.

Why is this?

In conjunction to my previous write up, “The Inner Child,” I will once again stress the importance of roots and their effects. You probably don’t understand what I mean by this. In order to understand anything, it is vital to analyze it from its beginning or early stages.

With the case of humans, the focus here should be on the first institution (outside of the family) that children are introduced to-school. And I can honestly say that most of us (if not all of us) were discouraged and put down (mentally) as kids whenever we failed in school. Be it in sports or academically, failure of all shapes and sizes was painful. That F in Maths and that 7th position in that 100 meter race became a symbol of your inadequacy. Such a symbol gave way for feelings of humiliation and defeat.

Unlike how motivational speakers today encourage us to fail at things because they help us learn and grow, as kids we were taught to see failure as the enemy. We were trained to aim for that A+ and other accolades, and whenever we didn’t attain them we understood that we had “fallen short” of the standard provided to achieve such status. For some of us, we may not have been told directly of what our failures meant. Our parents, teachers and class mates may not have outrightly said “you got a D because you’re not that smart,” but the implications were there. Students who got A’s and 1st position were praised and celebrated, whereas students at the other end of the stick were either ignored or frowned upon. Each time I saw that big, red F in my Maths report in high school, a myriad of thoughts went through my mind, with the conclusion that I wasn’t smart enough to succeed at Maths. As a result, I hated Maths and shied away from it. This is what fear does, it makes you hate. It also makes you runaway from things. Most of us who fear failure hate it so much that we subconsciously hinder ourselves from trying new things and going out of our comfort zones, and this in turn prevents us from actually succeeding because a vital ingredient of success is trying (and practice, and many other things).

We need to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). This is one of the hardest things to do-changing the way you think; but it’s necessary in life. I’m not saying it’s even bad to be scared because we’re all scared of something. Sadly fear is something we can’t do without, it’ll always be there. But don’t let it hold you back. I think we’ve all heard this phrase before (if you haven’t heard it before, now you’ve heard it): do it afraid.

Stay blessed and happy AND healthy.

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The Inner Child

#mentalhealth #emotions #happiness #growth #human

In the 20th century, psychologists discovered the importance childhood played in the development of every individual. They described infants and toddlers as blank slates (or canvases) who were taught, influenced, shaped and molded by their experiences. Whether good or bad, we’re all products of the occurrences we faced during our childhood.

This is because our experiences shape the way we think (and we are how we think).

The training our parents beat into us, the encouragement our friends gave us when we wanted to do that thing, the fear our bullies instilled into us, that subject that exposed our failures and that sport that exhibited our strength in school. Growing up with an absentee parent, not having a father figure, lacking a mother figure as a kid, not having friends to play with, being abused, raped or assaulted, the humiliation you felt from a dirty prank. All these experiences in one way shape or form, have influenced the way you are today. You may have forgotten about some of these events from your past, so they don’t bother you that much as an adult.

However, some of these happenings are repressed memories that are so hidden yet so prominent within you (the subconscious) that they trigger certain emotions, attitudes, actions and reactions in you.

Let me reiterate. Every single human being on this earth has been through (and is still going through) something. And whilst our experiences as adults are important and teach and influence us, it’s what we saw, heard and went through as innocent children, that matters the most in terms of the kind of person we are today. It’s those little (or big) incidents that slowly chipped at our happy innocence as kids, that produced who we are and our perceptions in life.

Let me get to the point. We all need to go back in time, search within ourselves for the answers to our brokenness. I don’t need to say it, we all know a lot of people are broken. Broken, angry, hateful, poor in self-esteem, bitter, unable to accept love from people (in friendships and intimate relationships alike). A lot of us don’t know why we’re so defensive, or why we‘re terrified of not being respected, or why we vie for approval and attention.

Go back in time. Check through your childhood, adolescent-hood and adulthood. Keep checking to see where this so called “personality” of yours came from. Be honest with yourself, don’t try to deny a clear emotion within you. These emotional and mental issues don’t pop out of no where. They always, ALWAYS stem from something. It’s not easy, but you can do it. So go to that inner child within.

Stay blessed and healthy and happy.

Learn to Live for Yourself

#freedom #feminism #choice #freewill #happiness

We should all learn to live for ourselves. Now I am in no way advocating for selfishness. I am however saying that if you love doing something and enjoy it, or if you’re good at something, as long as it’s not hurting anyone, do it.

I seriously advocate for freewill. As a man, and as a woman, do you. Stop being constrained by culture or societal norms and expectations. You don’t owe anybody anything (except to love and respect them).

Round the world every single individual is born and raised within a given society (or societies), and is somewhat guided by that society’s cultural norms and values. Our culture shapes the way we think and behave (for the most part) and influences our outlook on life.

Religion (or the lack thereof) also plays a massive role in how we live our lives.

Culture (or way of life) operates in a very dictatorial fashion. It tells us how we dress, influences how and when to get married, sways our personalities in terms of gender expectations eg men-hard, women-soft, it acts as a lens through which we perceive our world and the world of others, it impacts on our dreams and ambitions eg in a lot of societies (like my country Nigeria), certain fields of expertise like Medicine and Law are valued above professions that involve Art (entertainers and visual artists) etc. This is how culture is.

I acknowledge that every culture has its ups and downs and everyone has a love/hate relationship with their culture. So don’t think I’m undermining the place of culture.

What I am saying is that culture was and still is created by human beings. It’s not a decree from God or a superior being. So you can live by your cultural dictates but know that you can also live for yourself as well. You have a choice. You don’t have to get married before you’re 30 or even get married at all. You don’t have to follow the “school-job-marriage” pattern. You don’t have to work immediately after you graduate from university (except if you’re desperately broke, sorry). Your fashion sense doesn’t need approval from anybody. You don’t have to explain your life decisions to people. To not want any kids is not a crime; also, to want only a certain number of children is not a bad thing either. Like I said earlier, you don’t owe anyone anything (except love, love everyone).

All these are easier said than done (depending on the country, society and family you come from), but do try. Also you may need to factor in the people in your life when evaluating your lifestyle and life decisions. All I can say is live wisely and safely, and if you need to compromise, compromise wisely and fairly.

Get to know yourself outside of your cultural norms and dictates; and outside of your family’s values and traditions. Again I’m not saying culture and family upbringing is bad, but most of us don’t really know ourselves. As in, our real selves. We’re so imbedded in our cultural and family norms that we’re basically products of our society who simply regurgitates its values and ideologies.

If you can, travel to different places. If you can’t, research on other cultures. Try learning about other cultures and embrace difference-you will find that you don’t actually think the way you thought you did or agree with the things you thought you agreed with.

With regards to religion, I don’t have much to say. As a Christian, I live my life through this belief: if it’s not in the Bible then it’s not an obligation to do it. Even if it is written in the Bible, because God is a God of freewill, He still doesn’t demand that we obey Him. It’s more of a “should” thing (for your benefit), and less of a “must” thing. Only God can judge me so I try not to let people’s opinions or views or even my culture, sway me.

Love God (all ye who have a Faith), love people and love yourself (those with and without a Faith).

Stay blessed, happy and healthy.

Are Men Suffering?

#equality #feminism #masculinity

There is a certain way the man is expected to be. In his home, in his place of work, in his school, in decision making etc, there are specific qualities that men are expected to portray.

They consist of being hard and tough, unemotional and less than sensitive, logical and pragmatic, superior and grandiose etc. Married men are required to be the protectors of the home and are responsible for making sure their family is well provided for.

There are many other “responsibilities” society gives men other than the ones I have listed above, but please look back at these characteristics that I have mentioned. Can you see the problem?

It’s clear: these are unrealistic expectations which absolutely no human being (whether man or woman) can function with.

Women have their struggles in society. Of the two sexes women are undoubtedly the oppressed group; but I want to highlight something that isn’t being highlighted enough: men are programmed (by society) to be self-destructive.

Now I understand that not all men follow the societal norm of what it means to be masculine, but a large number of them do (subconsciously).

It’s worth understanding that Masculinity is a learned behavior (so is Femininity). Men aren’t “naturally” tough, logical, insensitive and uncaring, in comparison to women. There are loads of caring men that are better with children than some women, there are loads of illogical and asinine men; and as for emotions, all men are emotional, and all women are emotional. We’re all humans with feelings, and at all times we react to situations and people with emotions. Now depending on you and your personality (not depending on your sex), you may choose not to let your emotions dictate your actions, words or response to that stimulus. Or you may choose to tackle the situation purely based on your emotions-this is based on you as a person, not on your sex.

This makes it clear that the “men aren’t emotional” narrative is untrue.

The danger of masculinity is that it robs men of their freedom to express themselves properly. We’ve all heard this saying: “men don’t cry.” Seriously? They don’t cry?

We’ve also heard that married men protect their family. Okay, that’s lovely, but who is protecting the man?

We feel that all men should at least subscribe to one sport and in the case where we come across a man whose interest lie less in sports and more in arts, we deem it odd. Or we see it as “girly.”

We tell our little boys “you run like a girl,” well why is it such a bad thing to run “like a girl?”

We expect our men to be the sole providers or the main providers of the home. Even single men in the dating game are expected to have money or be in financially echelon to be considered an eligible partner by women. Everyone (both men and women) should earnestly work hard and be financially stable (to the best of their abilities). Why should men carry the burden of being the financial powerhouse? Both men and women (married and unmarried) should be financially independent and stable.

We expect our men to show no form or emotion or vulnerability, which is so ridiculous because everybody has their vulnerable, weak moments. Everyone has their highs and lows, everyone gets scared and confused-it’s not a bad thing.

But no, a man must always be firm and be in charge.

Men are also expected to tower over their female counterparts-in wealth, in ambition, in talent and skill-they must always be superior. It’s so sad because it’s clear most men see their value in being superior to women (and sometimes being superior to men as well). And so when they come across a woman who is wealthier, more talented or even taller than they are, there’s friction.

Ultimately what happens is that our men are broken internally, and because “men don’t share” (only women do), they suffer in silence. Worse still, is that they pass this broken lineage to their sons, and in a lot of cases you find that many young men (also broken) have estranged or non-existent relationships with their fathers.

Why do you think the rate of suicide in men is increasing? According Verywell Mind, men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Their mental health is at risk. Men are human beings, not rocks.

Thank you.

SYMBIOSIS

#equality #relationships #equalityinrelationships #marriage

Symbiosis is an interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.

For all intents and purposes, this is the best kind of relationship-a relationship where both parties put in work (to the best of their abilities) and as a result, each party benefits from the work of the other person. Selflessness plays a big role here.

This is how ALL relationships should be. By relationships I mean friendships, partnerships (both in business and among people), marriages and other romantic relationships, team camaraderie etc. In order for a relationship to truly be healthy and balanced it is vital that everyone involved puts in effort for the well-being of the other person(s).

So in a marriage, a husband puts in work for his wife in terms of her needs, ambitions, career, cares, burdens etc. The wife in turn, puts in effort for her husband’s needs, dreams, ambitions, cares, burdens etc.

P•S this does not mean that each individual isn’t required to put in work in themselves. They still do (but with help).

This all seems like common sense right? Why do I have to spell this out? Well…because I still hear this statement: “a wife is a helper to her husband and so she meets his needs..”

Now, a wife indeed helps her husband-she helps him in “heading” the home. As the husband is the head of the family, he can’t lead the family alone (or at least it will be quite difficult to do so). We’ve seen loads of single parents, especially mothers, lead and raise families on their own, and (sometimes) they do fine. So raising a family as a single parent is not impossible, but in a lot of ways, it could be challenging.

What am I trying to say? A wife helps her husband in being in charge of the home. Just like every President needs a Vice President and every King needs a Queen and a set of advisers; every individual in a high position needs a right hand person. This is what a wife is. She leads the home with her husband.

This wife/Helper narrative has been distorted to create a lopsided relationship where a wife helps her husband in all areas of his life whilst the things that concern her are secondary if not neglected.

Think about it..

If both a husband and a wife (in a healthy relationship) are to help one another, encourage and cater to each other, then why would the wife be called a Helper? If two of them are to help each other (equally), why is the title of Helper given to only one of them?

Our concept of Husband is Head and Wife is Helper is quite misconstrued, that’s why.

The Helper Mentality

In most marriages around the world, both from a cultural and religious perspective, the wife is expected to please her husband, help him shine, lift him up, be a burden bearer etc. Whilst this is not a bad thing (in fact, this is essential), the problem is it’s one sidedness.

A husband’s success and needs are more important than those of his wife. A wife is still expected to shine (in some cases), but it’s not completely crucial that she does. And even if she does succeed there exists the unspoken yet prominent belief that wives shouldn’t be more prosperous than their husbands. This belief applies to financial prosperity (so a wife earning a higher salary than her husband), fame, influence, power etc. The husband should always tower over his wife, after all he is the Head of the family.

Here is the point of this write up: the helper mentality. This way of thinking- “wives are helpers,” is extremely misconstrued, overused and abused. As a result, a structure where the husband is the main person and the wife is secondary, is created. According to this view, because wives are helpers and their husbands are the prominent figures in the home, it is essential that any and everything that concerns the man is met, attended to and satisfied.

We see examples of this in how wives are expected to (and sometimes pressured to) satisfy their husbands’ sexual needs. As I said above, there’s nothing wrong with a woman pleasing her husband. The question is, what of the wife’s sexual needs? What of her sexual rights? What happens if her husband wants something from her and she doesn’t concede to it?

Another example is this:

A church member praying for a couple : the prayer for the man is “may you shine and be great and become better in so, so and so” and for the wife it’s “may you be submissive and learn to be a good listener and may you be a good helper to your husband.” Yes I have witnessed many prayers like this countless times.

Now I’d like to think that any loving wife would desire her husband’s breakthrough in his career and in life generally. So praying for a husband like this is great. However, why aren’t the wife’s dreams, ambitions, cares and concerns prayed for? Why are the prayer points for the wife focused squarely on her in relation to her husband?

I could go on for days, but this last example is a personal one. A lot of times when I have conversations with people about food and I tell them that I don’t like eating or cooking certain foods eg fish, the first response they give me is either “what if your husband likes fish?” Or “is that what you will tell your husband when you get married? Better start liking it.”

See me, having an innocent conversation about food, and after I reveal my distaste for fish, of all the responses that could’ve been made, why a question about how my future husband will cope with my disdain for the food?

You’ve completely dismissed my plight with fish and focused on the issue my future husband is going to have with me for not liking the food.

I know, the situation in the last example is slightly lighthearted, but the people who asked me these questions weren’t asking a random question out of thin air. These questions stem from a way of thinking that we uphold in our society; and it needs to change.

To…Be…Continued…

Are Men Leaders?

In light of my last post on whether women are helpers, I will be focusing on the perceived notion of men being leaders in this piece.

Sigh, where to start…

Men aren’t leaders. You aren’t a leader simply because of your sex or based on your sex (and believe me God did not ordain men to be leaders because there were female rulers in the Bible whom God appointed eg Queen Esther and Deborah) . Like I said in my last write up, husbands are the Head of their homes and wives help them in leading the home and ruling it. The thing is, not all men are husbands and not all men plan on being husbands; but somehow we conflate the idea of a man with the concept of a husband together as if they’re always one and the same. They’re not. Not all men are husbands.

Why do I say men aren’t leaders you say?

Well as I’ve said before being a leader has nothing to do with your sex (whether man or woman), it’s about personal merit. Personal merit as in, how selfless you are, kindhearted, wise, diplomatic, how good you are at noticing a problem or a need and finding a solution for it etc. These qualities are what make a leader, not the fact that your chromosomes are XY.

The fact that people believe men are the ones who should take up positions of power and not women is so laughable given the evidence we have in real life. There have been countless horrible male leaders in history: Hitler, Iván The Terrible, Mussolini, King Herod, King Nebuchadnezzar and many more in today’s society.

What does this evidence tell you?

Oh you say men are more logical than women? If you know any of the figures I’ve listed above (or any other insane male leader you know), please analyze their personalities and rulership-were they logical individuals?

Let’s even step away from high profile personalities. Are you telling me that you don’t come across men that are unreasonable, insecure and foolish-(and off course not all men are like this).

Do you know how common it is to hear the same old narrative of kings, Prime Ministers and other politicians executing a violent campaign in another country or region or planning a war, purely with the intention of greedy economic gain?

Does that sound like a logical individual (whether man or woman)-you sending countless soldiers to risk their lives, and for what?

You may also think men aren’t emotional…(as if they are rocks). Anger, pride, insecurity, fear…these are the main emotions a lot of men (not all men) tend to express. For example a husband beating up his wife, a father emotionally bullying his son for not being “tough like a man,” a husband feeling threatened by his wife’s accomplishments, any and every man who believes men should always tower over women, any and every man who seeks to be feared etc. All these and the like are actions driven by emotions.

Oh no but it’s only women who are emotional and make decisions based on emotions…everyone is emotional. And everyone at some point in their lives has made a decision based on their feelings. So why make it seem like this is a feminine characteristic?

Now on the flip side, there have been amazing male individuals in positions of power: Moses, King David, Joshua, Obafemi Awolowo, Martin Luther King Jr etc.

In addition to this, there have been amazing female leaders (Harriet Tubman), and ruthlessly evil women in power (Jezebel).

What this all means is that (as I’ve mentioned before) being a leader has NOTHING to do with whether you are a man or woman, it is based on you as an individual.

So…you are not a leader simply because you are a man or a woman.

Personal merit.

Thank you and Stay blessed.