In this contemplation, I invited Anxiety into my guest house and we had a conversation about why it had arrived in this season of product ideation for ThisFeelingHuman.com
In my brief conversation, Anxiety had a small frame of a young adult. He was scrawny and hunched with a constant jittery movement and energy. He quite directly told me that his arrival would be brief, and it was due to a fear of failure. What if I got the product out and it failed. My book is long overdue to be edited and published on Amazon Kindle, yet I had been procrastinating. I was meant to start testing out journaling templates and forms for emotions and mood journaling yet I hadn't started. I had been researching on a virtual calming room space for VR meditation which I have conviction that is what would be needed to get everyone on planet earth to start contemplations, meditations and visualisations for being empowered.
The grand vision may have been too grand that it would only succeed in my imagination. No chance this product could be done by 1 single dreamer. Even if I did get it out, there was no clear possibility that the products would be perfect and highly sought after. What about marketing? Who is going to fund this entire project?
Fears and more fears set in.
Wisdom from anxiety is the desire to be perfect, because it matters to me
I pondered on Anxiety's message of fear and asked myself what is the truth in this message? That truth I held dear to me, that I desire to make an impact, and that has a strong resonance with my choice of vocation. ThisFeelingHuman would have crept into my ego and I became its persona. If it failed, I would fail as a human being.
As I went deeper to contemplate this reality, I felt a tinge of remorse. I had distorted this wonderful and pure intent to bring what is in my head, slowly into fruition. Into a tangible product. The intent was to be true to myself, my thoughts laid bare, my method of working on my emotions was to share my vulnerability to this world, and hope it benefits someone else. This pure and good desire was a powerful force and momentum that got me started.
Now it seems as I linger in the flux of uncertainty over the product roadmap, I am caught up in the fear of failure.
I recall my blog post on desolations and allowing the confusion, anxiety to have its time in the guest house. Muddy waters, let stand, becomes clear says Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. When the anxiety that came with fear of failure was given time to breathe, much like fine wine, its innermost desire tasted good.
I recalled the empowering moments of how this desire to change my life had empowered me to change mindsets and restructure negative beliefs and circular thought processes. How I even came to quit my job and write the book was a proof that this desire had bore fruit.
The desire in itself is good
Having desire in itself is pure and good. It shows we care for something. In my case, the desire to be perfect is borne out of a desire to be better for myself or someone I care about. This desire is highly motivating and can spur me to grow.
I have to affirm the choice to be better and to respect my innermost desires. These desires are what forms part of my being.
The empowering persona of the Creative Innovator
Once the message became clear, anxiety became a messenger not of fear of failure, but of the desire to start work, and making that work good for me and for others. I reminded myself that I had given myself a new empowering label. A persona I called the Creative Innovator. I took the time to read my profile and the blog post that sparked this reframed innovative persona.
I gave myself fresh belief that failure was untrue. In fact failure is growth. When my muscle fails at gym, it is because I worked it hard enough, for it to break down and rebuild. That is what makes me stronger, that is why I intentionally fail by heading to the gym to have a stronger physique.
So in my attempt at ThisFeelingHuman, I am also doing the same process of growth. Growing the product through iterative cycles of product evolutions. Each in itself can be seen as a failure, and it can be seen as a growth cycle too!
Reframed belief that to fail is to grow, to be anxious is to be eager
My mindset about failure began to shift the moment I took on this persona of the Creative Innovator. I wanted to invent and do something. Nothing is done without eventually trying and failing. I had to reframe the belief system that failure was bad.
Failure is good, it means I am growing.
So how was it that I felt anxious about failing in my product design and started to procrastinate until Anxiety had to pay a visit to my guest house?
To be anxious can also mean I am too eager for something to happen.
When I am eager rather than anxious, I wear a positive hat. I become hopeful, anticipating work to be done, I cannot wait to start! Hence I wrote this guest house contemplation as a reminder to my future self whenever I get into such a state, that I would ask myself to discern and reframe my mindset to a more empowering one.
Anxiety Has Arrived In My Guest House
Anxiety had arrived in my guest house, left me a note saying that I care about succeeding, and was perhaps even overly eager to succeed. I took this note seriously and am now eager. No I am not eager, I am enthusiastic, energized, revitalized and taking concrete actions about this desire. Thank goodness anxiety came in time to wake me up from my confused headless chicken state of affairs!