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Avoid failure & lack

Most of us only play part of the game of life. We gravitate towards, and give our energy to, things that feel like a safe bet or a sure thing. We back away from those things that feel uncertain or which require us to rest in faith rather than fact or certainty. The result of this is that we feel like we are only partially in the game, partially invested, and therefore only partially create, experience or be what we desire. Why don’t we play all in? Why don’t we give life our all? The answer is simple. We don’t play full out because we are afraid to lose and/or we are afraid of what we might have to give up. You can call losing failure (personal or circumstantial), not getting what we want, feeling pain, hurt, upset, disappointment or lack. We run so much from feeling the experience of failure and lack that it keeps us from playing the game of life.

It’s a bit of a paradox. By not fully playing the game we lose before we lose. We choose failure before failure chooses us. It’s a tricky little strategy. Most people aren’t even aware that they are doing this. They are so used to giving a quarter, half, or three quarters of themselves, that they don’t even realize that there is more that the can give to playing the game. They cap out or give themselves an arbitrary ceiling when they have so much more capacity beyond what they think. They might be moving along with their life and then hit a place where they feel uncertain. They aren’t sure how to proceed or what feels right. Maybe they feel a lack of confidence, resources, skills or knowledge. Often when we don’t know “how” we hit an inner stop sign and just stop. We don’t move forward or then we begin to feel stagnate or like we aren’t progressing.

I find that not knowing “how” is frequently a way we keep ourselves underneath an arbitrary ceiling. As long as we don’t know how then we aren’t accountable or responsible to keep going, because after all we don’t know. There are times when we need to learn a skill, take a class, get a mentor or gain some type of knowledge, but when you are committed and playing the game full out you never let that stop you. You find a way because you are committed. You don’t allow it to become a reason to stop playing the game. You don’t stop. Rather you show up and keep finding your way through the maze of this human experience, learning and growing along the path. Remember the juice is not in getting to the destination, but rather who you become on the journey towards the destination.


Utilizing your free will

In addition to fearing failure and lack, there is another reason why we don’t play full out. It’s because we don’t feel like we deserve a great life. We are so used to our current way of living, that stretching ourselves too far out from where we are feels like too much for us to allow in. We are so used to living in a perpetual state of not ok-ness, or waiting for the not ok-ness to happen, that we accommodate to feeling not ok as our normal state of existence. We don’t actually feel or believe that we could be ok or that it’s ok to be ok. If our life is going good we hold our breath waiting for it to not be good. We live in this near constant inner state of yoyo’ing back and forth between not feeling ok and then feeling ok but being worried about when it’s going to end.

So there is a very simple fact that is important to just accept, I mean really accept, which is that everything is going to change. Even if something has seemingly been the same for 5 minutes or 50 years, it is guaranteed to change at some point. This is the nature of life. Life is movement and movement is change. Most people don’t like or invite change because it feels uncertain. They don’t know what to expect, and beyond that they are afraid of what they might feel like on the other side of the change. When you really accept the inevitability of change you are much more willing to play the game of life all in. You get that nothing will remain, neither the things you like nor the things you don’t like. Great things will come and go. Crappy things will come and go. There is a constant cycle of this happening all of the time. You can’t hold anything in place that wants to change. If you try to you will fail.

What is beautiful about all of this is that when you accept this you will also learn that there is an inner resourcefulness inside of you. You will discover that your free will is in how you choose to see whatever it is that you are experiencing. This is your power, and it is mighty indeed. In a single instant you can transform your experience of whatever it is you are experiencing, even if you’ve been experienced it for decades or lifetimes. This means that even though you might feel loss, failure, disappointment, pain, or lack of something that you desire, you can always be good, or dare I even say, great. This is not to bypass whatever it is you are feeling, rather it is rise above it and say there is more than this, I deserve more than this. More than feeling the way I do, more than experiencing what I am experiencing, more. This is where you come on line. This is where you get back into the game and begin playing, really playing. You’ve already felt the pain, the loss, the failure, the not ok, and you are done tolerating it. The ball is in your court.

Many people don’t let themselves get to this point. They don’t put their foot down and say enough. Rather they tolerate less than what they deserve simply because they don’t think they deserve more. But you do. You deserve whatever your big heart desires and you are equipped with the inner resourcefulness, ie. free will, that is required. It’s your birthright. It’s who you are. If there are things along the way that you need to learn then you will learn them, and more than that, you will learn through them. Choose to play the game full out. Life is ready and waiting for you to say yes to it.

Dr. Amanda Love, Spiritual Coach

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