If you are over the age of 12, you have done stupid stuff. You have. You just knew you were right, attempted the task, and fell flat on your bum! If you ever got caught smoking in high-school; taking a nip from your father’s liquor cabinet you know what that feels like. Chances are you were caught by Mrs. Betty, that sweet nice old lady who just so happened to see you through the window as she was walking her dog just as you were about to indulge– Busted!
Even now, some (insert your number here) years later you and I still do stupid things. They are probably not intentionally stupid (we hope). Rather they are things that reflect a shortfall in our abilities.
Thinking I was super smart, I once paid $15,000 on a truck because I deserve to ‘fit in!’ I saw that same truck being sold $8k less two days later. That same mentality contributed 60% of my $75,000 debt load I once carried.
I once lost my cool with the kids and had a melt down just after talking with them about how to behave! …they called me on it! Argh! While you have never done these things, I have.
Being called out and calling ourselves out on stupid things we’ve done make us feel vulnerable and weak and thus wins the name “Stupid!” But too often that title is placed upon us and not the action. This is the problem.
We should all be given a medal; A “Welcome to Planet Earth” medal. On the back it should read, “Congratulations, You’re Normal!”
We all goof up, it’s part of who we are, so why are we so hard on ourselves? If you failed because you did not try, that’s on you and a whole other topic! But if you tried and failed, Great Job!
Teddy Roosevelt in Citizenship in a Republic states “if he [the Man in the Arena] fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
You have permission to be the Man in the Arena!
So drop the mask there is hope for us. Stop acting like someone, rather something, you are not. …and that’s Perfect.
My friend no longer tries to iron clothes while she is wearing them and I no longer grab pans as they are taken out of the oven (well, most of the time). Give yourself some grace and choose to stop beating yourself up for being human. Decide to fight, decide to win, and if you fail while earnestly trying, your place will “never be with those cold timid souls who neither knew victory, of defeat.”
Would you actually dare to be the Man in the Arena? If so, what would that look like?