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I’m Not a Failure, I’m a Badass – Functional Rustic Approach

Originally Published March 18, 2018. Updated August 7, 2018.

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I’m Not a Failure, I’m a Bad Ass – A Functional Rustic Approach. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

It’s 7:30 am….the sun is officially up. I used to have until 8 am before it got light outside. I’m surprised at how much the sun rising early is impacting my feeling of productivity.

I start “working” around 6 am. I sit in the dark – only the lap top to light the room – and I make pins or edit pictures until the sun comes up. That used to be 8 am. With sun up-and-at-’em by 7:30 (and only to get earlier as the year continues) I am not accomplishing what I used to by sunrise.

Obviously, the solution is to change my expectations. Instead of accomplishing tasks by sunrise – complete them by 8 am, for instance. But that’s not how my brain works.

Logically – I have a very realistic and effective solution.

Emotionally – “I’m lazy”, “I get distracted too easily”, “I’m never going to accomplish my goals.”

It’s difficult for me to write this. I view myself as a confident, capable, positive person. I want to be viewed as such. When thoughts/feelings like this come over me though it can be difficult to shake the ‘stinkin thinkin’.

I generally keep these thoughts to myself for a few reasons.

First, what if people make fun of me for sharing? Specifically, what if people use the fears I have expressed against me or as a way to harm me? What if I post this and people comment, “You ARE lazy and will never accomplish anything.” Realistically, people wont say that AND/OR if someone did I would likely just think, “well that guy’s an asshole”. None the less, the fear is there.

Second, if I tell you that I have insecurities you may be less inclined to see me as confident, capable and positive. The fear is that if you know my struggle you will no longer view me as an authority figure on positivity or accomplishing goals.

Third, friends and family will read it and worry about me. I don’t want that. And it isn’t necessary, doubts are normal. The interest in my well being is appreciated – but I hate the idea that someone is exerting energy and time worrying about me – I don’t want to worry people. I want to inspire people.

Fourth, people will treat me different because I am “going through” something. This thought process causes me the most inner conflict. I have chronic pain and nausea plus anxiety and depressive symptoms. I don’t want people to edit their words or actions around me simply because I am dealing with those issues – but at the same time if I am struggle to accomplish something I want them to keep in mind all the physical/psychological factors I am overcoming to complete that task.

My “issues” are not intended as an excuse for not doing things or a request to receive higher praise for completing tasks while coping with them – but rather they are presented to highlight my success. For those that don’t deal with physical or psychological issues daily they are less appreciative of the effort taken by those that do.

For example, I injured my right elbow (I’m a righty) just before the holidays last year. I couldn’t hold a cup of coffee much less a hammer to build anything. However, it was supposed to be a DIY Christmas so I needed to make gifts. It took me a week to accomplish what normally would be completed in a day. Of course I was disappointed in how long it took me, but then I thought about what I had to do to achieve that. I built and painted all of those gifts with one arm – my ‘weak’ arm at that. Plus, the workshop is in the barn and the barn averaged a temperature of 20 degrees F. Now, instead of viewing those gifts as “taking too long to complete” I see them as “Look what I built with one arm and in freezing weather”.

I’m not a failure – I’m a bad ass.

As I’m reading through this I am reminded of a quote I saw recently.

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You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion

In case you didn’t notice – there is a theme to the negative thinking I am experiencing. I am assessing myself based on the opinion of others – and not even what they actually say, but rather what I think they may say. I don’t want to be a person with these insecurities; I especially don’t want others to view me as an insecure person.

But these “insecurities” are what make me who I am – they are actually my strengths. I ‘beat myself up’ for not accomplishing goals on schedule because I have standards for myself. That may not seem like much for some people, but having high expectations for Functional Rustic (it’s basically an extension of me at this point) is a big deal for me. I excel at completing things for other people – but historically I have struggled with doing it for myself.

This post feels very “woe is me” but is actual an example of positive thinking in action. When I began writing I was feeling pretty shitty – but now I am optimistic again. Instead of just dwelling on my Stinkin Thinkin I wrote it down. As I wrote it I saw how fucked up it was – and how illogical my thoughts were. I am also reminded of when I was a mental health therapist – every client shared similar thoughts. I learned countless lessons hearing how my clients conquered their fears – and maybe you will learn helpful lessons too by joining me on my journey towards repurposing my life.

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Written by Sarah Palmer – Owner, Functional Rustic

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5 thoughts on “I’m Not a Failure, I’m a Badass – Functional Rustic Approach

  1. I love the way you changed your thought process from a negative to a positive!!! That was fabulous to read how one would change the words in their mind!!!

    Loved this post!!!!
    So insightful and helpful for future use!!

    I would love for you to teach us more!!!

  2. Repurposing your life – that’s a great concept … especially when you touch on DIY projects.

  3. Thank you for saying so. It is remarkable how changing my perspective on one thought pattern can have such a profound impact on my over all well being. Imagine if I addressed all my baggage?! Hahaha.

  4. Yeah…I repurpose both literally and figuratively. Ha. After years working as a therapist I seldom achieved a sense of completion with my work. My focus was on the persistently and severely mentally ill so finishing treatment wasn’t really an option for them – or me. The act of starting and finishing something I can reach out and touch is so satisfying.

  5. You’re right Sarah – their condition was not going to change. My high school friend Carol, who now lives in New York, is a permanent caretaker for her physically and emotionally challenged sister who is now in her 50s. Carol is her legal guardian as her mother died suddenly of a stroke in 2012. Her mom lived in Lincoln Park and Carol had to uproot Mary Beth who did not comprehend how/why their mom died and went through a very emotional time and they had to seek therapy for her. Carol has her in a day program in NY, similar to what she did here in Lincoln Park, giving both of them a break from one another. The problem is that Mary Beth never had to do anything, but go to her program, return home and eat or watch TV. She had/has no interest in anything else. Carol has tried to get her to do some chores, take some responsibility and she balks at any suggestion. Mary Beth would like to live in a group home and has told Carol that she could do what she wants and not be bossed around anymore. My sympathies to Carol. She gets no break as her husband works in North Carolina and only visits twice a year.

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