I regularly struggle with fear.

Fear of failure. Fear of not knowing what to do. Fear of not belonging. Fear of rejection. Fear of loss. Fear of messing things up. Fear of letting others down. Fear of being ignored. Fear of doing it wrong. Fear of doing it right, (much like Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight, he referred to a dog chasing a car, what would the dog do if it caught the car? What would I do if I actually succeeded?)

These are a few that popped into my mind in the minute or two I took to jot down ideas. When I start to fear, these fears overwhelm me. Then I start to shut down and I am filled with despair, self doubt, and worthlessness.

Not too long ago I heard Danielle Strickland give a talk and she discussed refusing despair. She suggested refusing despair. She suggests visualizing goals, working towards them, and refusing despair. When it works itself into my mind, heart, and soul?

Refuse it.

This deeply resonates with me because I know the feeling of despair all too well. I know how failure feels because of all the dead ideas I have. Thier epitaphs written in the graveyard of despair.

However, I now have a new tool to use. When fear and despair stop by for a social drink or two, I refuse them entry and instead make sure I keep hope in my house. I choose to hope for the best in my projects, ideas, and work.

I choose hope even though I will fail again.

I choose hope even after I forget, let fear and despair into my house, and need hope’s help to remove the bad actors.

I choose hope even when I am overwhelmed by anxiety and the enormity of the projects I have in front of me.

I choose hope because I know fear and despair will show up again and they are not where my story ends.

How do you handle fear and despair? What are some of your fears? How do you choose hope in the face of fear? What reminds you to choose hope? Who helps you choose hope? D

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“As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you will lower them.”

–Robin Williams

How true that is for all of us with or without alcohol.

When I was in the midst of my own crazy cycle. The moment I realized I was nearing damage that could not be undone was when I stopped, self-reflected for a moment and realized how low my standards were compared to what my behavior was becoming.

The absolute dissolving of my standards was going to have to reach new lows in my life and my behavior was going to spiral out of control. I was going to lose it all.

Where are your standards at? Where are they headed? How do your actions compare to your standards?

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Stay on Target

You have seen your organization state their goals. You you have seen your organization act on their actual goals. Hopefully the two are aligned.

Spending your time on your organization’s goals will always net a positive. Your role has stated goals. Spending your time on your role’s stated goals will always net a positive.

In your personal life, spending your time on your simple goals will net a positive. So that when you achieve the measured result, you can celebrate. As you execute the actions needed to attain your goal, you can check off the associated boxes. Once more, we can celebrate our completion especially when we hit our goal in the allotted time. And nothing feels better than hitting a goal that is relevant to you, your family, and your personal life.

What goals do you have for your life? Are they simple, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time specific? (Yes, I tweaked SMART goals to fit some of my priorities.) When was the last time you set, tweaked, or took action on your goals?

How about failure? Do you know what it would like to fail at your goals? Do you know what it would feel like to fail a your goals? When will you assess these decisions so you do not accidentally set yourself on the path to failure?

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Scary Hard

Some time ago, I decided I was an excellent second. I mean, who is Robin Hood without Little John? Or Hook without Schmee? How about Jobs without Woz? Maybe even King Arthur without Merlin?

Do any of these people really succeed without their second in commands?

The other day, I was doing dishes recently and realized I was using this as a crutch. I was not having hard conversations because I was a second. I was allowing myself to not take the lead in my own life because I was the second. I was letting the “firsts” push me out of the way.

Not literally.

Literally, I have been thinking of very smart ideas and then saying, “That will never work.”

Or I have been thinking of the right moves to make and disqualifying myself before I even twitch in the right direction.

I am not an arrogant person. When I say, ‘…very smart ideas.’ I mean something like, having my car looked at when it is acting a little weird. A real genius idea…right!?

No sooner than I thought of this idea had I talked myself out of it because it could never work.

I bought into a lie about who I am. I sold myself short because of a mental spasm to a good idea. I canceled my own ability to succeed.

Pretty much the only reason I can come up with for why it is so easy to talk myself out of these ideas is fear.

Fear of failure.

Fear of doing it wrong.

Fear of letting other people down.

Fear of the unknown.

However, whether I am a first, a second, or a ten millionth. No position allows me the right to not do my part, try things I am afraid of doing, and push my own limits.

I think I am very comfortable. I am too comfortable.

How do you sell yourself short? Where are you too comfortable? Where do you stop yourself from doing things you’re afraid of doing?



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The Real Tizz Shady

“Fake it till you make it.” – Somebody said this. 


It is a terrible philosophy. You have two outcomes. 

1. You make it in an area where you should not have made it. 

2. You don’t.

I would guess the latter is the more likely outcome. Truly, how often do you make it? How often does anyone make it? Why was I faking it in the first place?

Why was I faking it in the first place!?

Seriously, I was trying to fake my ability to do things I did not love doing, and I am not good at, in the first place. I do not think I will love doing everything I do in life. There will always be things in life and work that are simply the things I do not want to do. However, I was trying to do things that I find interesting. But I was doing it simply to please others and because I thought it would just, ‘be okay.’ 

I cannot come up with a scenario where, “fake it till you make it” actually makes sense. I am even more upset with myself for trying to do it. Not intentionally, but it is what happened. I tried to be someone I am not, something I am not. I am glad to be moving past that. I am upsetting the status quo. I am making changes to the way I act and interact with others so I am not trying to be anyone other than me. 

I am who I am. I want to be who I am. I want to be a healthy version of who I am for the people I love so they are better at being who they are. None of us need to fake anything. 

Where are you faking it?

–The Real Tizz Shady

Epic Failure

If revenge is a dish best served cold; then, failure is a dish best not served at all. At least that is how I’ve operated in my life up till now. Any time I apply myself to something I succeed. Maybe I’m not the best at it in the world, but I would at least succeed. I would decide “task xyz” is worth my time and effort, pour my heart and soul into it, and I would be a success. 

The part of this equation I’ve never dealt with is when I pour myself into a task or working to achieve a goal and then I fail. Not in the sense of I came in second place in a competition. More in the sense of, the goal was totally and utterly unachieved. 

This summer I encountered one of these “unachieved goals.” This is part of the reason I’m falling apart. I’ve never encountered failure of this proportion before and I have no healthy way of encouraging myself to get back on the horse. When a failure of this proportion is built on a foundation of self doubt and issues with my dad and all of a sudden, I have the perfect recipe for an angry depression. 

Now I have to figure out a healthy way to stop these things from destroying me. I have to figure out how to get myself back on the horse. Some sort of motivation maybe? I am truly clueless. I am looking into myself and every time I turn the page to the, “How To Motivate Yourself” chapter it is as if the whole thing is written in hieroglyphics. 

I don’t know how to motivate myself past failure besides to tell myself to just keep going. This method only works for so long with me. There will be more to this. I am not giving up on this, I just don’t know what more to do.

What do you do when you encounter failure?