Our lives can be equally measured by the ways in which we handle both success and failure, since it is inevitable we will have abundant amounts of both. Up until now, I have been talking about coping with anxiety that crops up every day and how I handle it.  So far, every story has been a success.  But today I write about failure.

It happened yesterday evening after a long and tiresome day of fight off heat exhaustion. I was all set to work at children’s “summer camp event” in which I volunteer my time. My body had other ideas. I felt ill, woozy, nauseated, drained…all real and legitimate symptoms.  Unfortunately, these symptoms turned to fear and anxiety.

Real Symptoms Can Trigger Fear

I usually can fight these off by positive self-talk and relaxation techniques – but not last night.  I had to fight off wave after wave of panic attack.  The fighting took its toll.

I did make it to the event, but the symptoms of heat exhaustion kept triggering full-blown panic. This, in turn, made my body weaker and weaker, until others noticed and thought I needed medical attention. Reluctantly, I returned home and collapsed from exhaustion.

But that wasn’t the hardest part of the experience.  The hardest part is today: the feeling of failure, of defeat, and the thought that I let other people down.  Now comes the tough questions: how to I get over this experience and what do I do in my future?

There is both good and bad news about this, as usual.  The good news is that this experience does not have to affect my life. The bad news is that is takes a lot of hard work to get past it – but I will.

Don't Surrender

The healing starts today – right here – with this blog.  I write about my experience and share it with everyone.  That weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Next, I tell myself that I can go on.  I keep the positive thoughts flowing.  I surround myself with things that point me in a positive direction: upbeat music, inspiring images, family and friends. And most importantly, I tell myself that I will never, NEVER surrender to fear.

My failure will be my success in that I will not let it slow me down – and that IS an achievement.  You, too, can make your failures inspire you towards your goal of a happy life.  Just remember to NEVER GIVE UP.

I leave you with an inspiring photo I took of a dog playing in the surf at sunrise on the Jersey shore…

Dog at Sunrise

About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

2 responses »

  1. Colleen says:

    It is “funny” that just before I read this post — I was really angry. That might not sound weird accept what I was angry about was a memory. Something that happened years ago with two people that I don’t even see anymore. I have relived this memory many times. Each time I end the scenario differently in my head — instead of being a doormat — I spoke up — I made it clear that they had hurt me.
    Each time I have this memory – I let myself feel it — I don’t fight it. I find each time the pain is less and I as a person feel somehow more expansive. So, I don’t think you’ve failed at all. It sounds to me like you let go of some of your pain and made room for more joy to flow in.

    • Joe says:

      A person fails only if they surrender — if they stop trying. And that is something I will never do! It helps to share the experience and I hope it helps others with theirs.

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