Failing Me and My Dog

Atticus watching TV

I am studying human behavior now from every angle… in My life.

I’m studying everything I say and I’m especially paying attention to fleeting thoughts and feelings.

I’m sure it’s bordering on obsession.

It involves what I say to my husband, to my daughters, to my colleagues, to my friends, and to my dog….

… especially after a lady in the park yesterday said, “You’re still going to training?”

That is never a good sign when a stranger says that to you

while observing your dog’s behavior in that moment.

Step one- I controlled my shame storm and didn’t kick into self-defense.  In the silence, she proceeded cautiously, giving me some advice in the best way.   After a few moments, I connected with her words, and recalled the basic step she was describing.  There it was, the basic step that I was failing to do… the step that would make my dog and me happier.   So Atticus and I are back to the basics.

As Atticus and I continued our walk, I could feel my angst still simmering.  Why does this happen?  Why is there lingering angst after being called out when the outcome is helpful?

I always have to talk myself down, talk myself through the shame storm. As a leader and mentor, I witness this same reaction in other people.  It’s like we have to process our failure before we can accept the good stuff.

What makes us tick? Nurses especially?

Our fear of failure is so pronounced.   I suppose it’s possible that it’s related to fear of someone dying or suffering if we fail; but, really, with each and every failure?

What I am realizing now is that this feeling has been a part of me throughout my career and life.

How can nurses ever get to that happy place of celebrating our failures?

I know that my nurse self is nothing special; I’m just the person writing this blog.

I suspect that your life is a lot like mine, full of twists and turns, lost missions and goals, times of confusion, discovery, found loves, frustration, crazy joy, hurting and healing …. All wrapped up sometimes in one moment.

I heard an interview the other day with a guy who talked about his father saying to him as he was leaving home as an adult, “ Go on, son, go out there and fail.”

I think that that is the best parental advice I’ve ever heard!

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