It places men in a vulnerable position when it’s just not possible to complete the task adequately because some things in life can’t be fixed.
Failure is normal and necessary. It allows us to develop resilience and learn from our mistakes. This rational response to failure is not always matched by the emotional experience.
For some guys a foreboding sense of inadequacy emerges as they get more and more confused about how to take care of their imperfections.
For many blokes the thought of inadequacy can be simply unbearable.
My thesaurus describes inadequacy in a number of ways as follows:
“Insufficiency. Failure. Meagreness. Scantiness. Lack. Shortage. Shortfall”
The sound of inadequacy held within the minds of men contains language like:
“Idiot. Stupid. Dumb. D..head. Useless. Good for nothing. Hatred. Anger. Fool. Weak. Wuss”
The harsh and critical responses toward feelings of inadequacy are the experience of both men and women.
There are many influences that contribute to feelings of inadequacy. These include:
Engaging in positive, challenging experiences with trustworthy and supportive adults help children gain feelings of competence and adequacy.
If you missed out on this as a child, it’s likely you may struggle to accept failure as an adult today.
Viewing failure within the restrictive judgemental feelings of inadequacy have a huge impact in shaping low self-worth, incompetence and powerlessness.
These feelings interfere with relationships, work, social life, study and the pursuit of happiness in general.
Some commonplace areas of life that trigger a man’s sense of inadequacy include:
For most men, it’s the overwhelming feeling of shame and rejection that seems to cling to feelings of inadequacy.
Men tend to cope with these feelings in a variety of ways.
Responding to failure and inadequacy requires patience and a whole new approach to reduce unrealistically high expectations of what it means to be ‘successful’.
Step back from your reactions. Put some distance between the problem and your view of it. Come back to it later when you have gained some perspective. Talk to someone and let them know what your are grappling with.
Failing is rarely a matter of life or death. Determine how much it matters in the big scheme of things and let go of perfection. If you don’t achieve your goal straight away take a break and try again later.
If you recognise you have a block to achieving your goals or expectations, seek out a way of getting support in order to learn something new about yourself.
In any given moment in time you shape your future. As profound (or crazy) as it sounds, living in the moment defuses the worries of the past which can create such overwhelming feelings.
This includes the previous one minute, one hour, one day or one year ago. You cannot get those moments back.
See the next minute, hour, day or year ahead as an opportunity to do something different from before.
Resist the need to fight your own or others pressure. Roll with it for a while. Stay flexible with your thoughts.
Let the storm blow itself out. Your reaction will change and won’t last forever. Defuse the strength of your feelings and check in with someone you trust
Failure cannot transform with abuse it will only grow more sinister and destructive. Your view of failure will change with motivation to learn and improve your behaviours, actions, skills and attitudes.