Tag Archives: failure

How Kathleen is In the Game

Vulnerability Lost is Intimacy GainediGnite - Share your StrugglesPoint to Ponder:
Are you struggling with something that you haven’t shared with others out of shame or fear of being judged?

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

I am truly not afraid of trying anything new, especially if it involves a good dose of adrenaline!! But since childhood my biggest fears have been failure and judgement by others.

In my classes I have often shared my father’s philosophy on happiness: “Happiness is found through your accomplishments.” Growing up with this mantra was quite scary. If I was not winning, getting a promotion at work, or raising perfect kids, I was not going to be happy. I was so proud and would not share any of my misfortunes with others. Even my best friend in high school didn’t know about my crazy family situation I was going through for four years! My four daughters were FAR from perfect and gave us a wild ride for many years. It wasn’t until the last few years that I embraced my NEW mantra: “Vulnerability lost is intimacy gained.”

Being afraid to show vulnerability kept me from having fuller and deeper relationships for years. How great it feels to be transparent and hopefully help others through all of the trials I have lived in my 54 years!

Facing my other fear — the fear of failure — I still have. When it comes to competing in the Austin Fittest Competition each year, I go to win, not just to compete. That sure makes it less fun. iGnite member Martha Lynn Mangum opened my eyes this year to focusing on having fun and enjoying the competition and not thinking about the win. I have to say it was the most fun out of the four years I participated! I took down my guard and got to know my competitors on a deeper level afterwards and the day ended with all of us being friends instead of competitors. The bonus was I still won, but had much more fun!

Action Item:
Consider opening up to a loved one about something you’re struggling with, and notice how your relationship deepens and your burden is lifted.

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Live With No Guarantees

Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight — but probably won my life back.

-Brené Brown

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

As mentioned a few weeks ago, myself and eleven other iGnite leaders and members attended the Texas Conference for Women. Brené Brown, an inspirational researcher and story teller, was one of the keynote speakers who spoke on the power of vulnerability. I must be honest, my first reaction to vulnerability is weakness, because if you’re vulnerable you are weak and cowardly, right? But, it wasn’t until Brené described it in her terms that I completely grasped the full power and potential of vulnerability, which is brilliant!

One of the stories Brené told was about a young man who randomly stopped her after watching her talk on TED.com. He explained that her talk inspired him to tell his girlfriend that he loved her; however, his vulnerable moment didn’t turn out as he had hoped. His girlfriend did not return the enduring gesture and told him they should see other people.

Unfortunately, this young man’s story didn’t end the way he had hoped, but I absolutely think he did the right thing. Obviously, this girl wasn’t the one he was supposed to be with and, as we all know, experiencing a broken heart is part of life and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Furthermore, if we lead and live our lives with our whole hearts, meaning we get out of our logical and non-risk-taking heads, disappointment and heartache may certainly be an occasional result, however we will live with no regrets nor “what if’s” and live a life filled with joy!

In essence, whether or not we lead with our heads or our hearts, life will always be filled with distressing moments that can and will harden our hearts and cause us to avoid taking risks and experience potential failure. However, to use the words of Brené, which are also heard in the video of the week, “Stop controlling and predicting, and do something with no guarantees.” Dang that’s good stuff and I highly encourage you to take the twenty minutes and watch this life-changing (and funny) talk!

Point To Ponder:
Do previous disappointments prevent you from taking risks and enjoying life to the fullest?

Action Item:
Do something that you have always wanted to do but fear has prevented you from doing so.

Wisdom from the Big Bang Birthday

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

Dad playing football with all the grandkids

See the distant road rather than the mud on the windshield.
— Bill Swinney (Kathleen’s father)

Action Item:
Fill your life with joyful, positive and passionate people, thoughts and things and remain focused on them. Never forget that life is an adventure.

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

This month we celebrated my Dad’s big BANG 88th birthday at his ranch. Seriously, it was a bang of a birthday, as he has an authentic Civil War cannon that he loves to fire to commemorate another year of his ‘great adventure.’ This year we had an Eight Bang Salute celebrating 88 years on the 8th of July.

Dad has shared his enthusiasm for adventure with his six children throughout his life, and he taught us that nothing is impossible!! For example, when we were young he threw six ropes off the back of the boat and had us get up and ski together. In the mid 60’s, he created the first parasailing expedition by going to the local Army Surplus Store and purchasing an old parachute. He cut holes in it, tied it to the back of the boat with a ski rope and took off with one of my brothers dangling from the parachute in a small makeshift rope seat. It was quite a site to see back then!

Just four years ago at the age of 84 he decided to build a big new ranch house by himself. He has always had an altruistic spirit and hired some ex-cons and a one legged carpenter to assist him. He finished his pride and joy in less than a year. Unfortunately, the ex-cons returned to rob him and stole his truck!

Following the big bang birthday I received a hand-written letter from my Dad — something he does a couple times a year to all of his children. He expressed his joy for life, along with incredible wisdom. This is what he wrote:

“Life has been a great adventure for me—and it continues to be so. Remember these things:

  • Believe there are opportunities for success instead of pitfalls leading to failure. Don’t let trivialities get you side tracked

  • There are a myriad of positive ways to view life—so keep the negative out of play.

  • Remember the redeeming value of rest and the exhilarating value of work and KEEP THEM IN BALANCE.

  • The body will follow the mind until it collapses with fatigue, so if you can keep your body fit and strong then you can get more performance as your mind pushes the body into high test situations.

  • Most importantly, remember the human body is the most complex chemical plant God created and the chemicals are dispersed by how one thinks. Thinking positively dispenses chemicals that lead to accomplishment, and daily accomplishment puts “OLD AGE” on hold! Sounds simple, BUT IT WORKS!!”

This is only one of many wisdom notes my father has written me and eventually I will share them all. Until then, I do not doubt that Dad will someday meet our Heavenly Father, exhausted and exhilarated from truly living and thoroughly enjoying this life that He so generously gave us. The thought “What if I would have…?” will never enter his mind, and I strive to carry on his grandiose passion and joy for life.

I found this 67 year old inspiration water skiing barefoot with a friend and while I not sure I want to ski barefoot at 67, she inspires me to never stop. She’s pretty remarkable!!

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