How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure with Mia Lux
"Make failure the goal."
How do you overcome your fear of failure?
I’m excited to have a very special guest on the show today — recovering attorney, comedian, and host of The Conscious-ish Show, Mia Lux.
In this episode, Mia shares her story of perceived failure, perfectionism, and overcoming fear through comedy. We discuss how to activate the fear of failure by conditioning ourselves to make failure the goal. Also, if you have ever wondered about the practice of lucid dreaming, Mia shares some amazing techniques that will get you facing those fears in a unique and powerful way!
- Our viewers have expressed that fear of failing and looking bad keeps them from living a limitless life. They feel the need to be perfect.
- Mia explains that there is a difference between the fear of failure and perfectionism, which she has struggled with both.
- Failing is trying something that did not work. Perfectionism is much worse. With perfectionism, even doing really well gets you to just ‘I’m ok.’
- Mia’s standard for passing used to be, “did I blow them out of the water?”. Even when she did well, she felt like she was failing because it wasn’t sensational enough. When you are at that degree of self-criticism, you can’t win.
- Mia explains that people who struggle with perfectionism can be doing seemingly well and making high achievements while still going down a “crazy criticism spiral” that causes them to feel they are failing.
- After burning out as a lawyer and then as a high school teacher, Mia realized there was something in her that was destroying her from the inside out.
- She had not failed in those careers, but she felt as though she had failed. It was her perceived failure.
- Most of the time we are not failing—we are failing according to whatever uniquely constructed perceptions we have about where we should be.
- We can make mistakes, but mistakes don’t have to make us.
- Mia figured if she was going to learn how to fail, she did not want to do it intellectually—that is how she got into comedy. Comedy became her way to practice failure. You cannot do comedy and not fail the vast majority of the time.
- Learning to get up after each failure became Mia’s goal. She changed her success criteria.
- Even though her brain would be “screaming” at her — by going through the experiences that reminded her of failure and coming out on the other side ‘ok’, she became desensitized to the fear. Now her brain does not “scream” at her anymore.
- Comedy was her way of activating fear and learning how to accept and overcome it—constructively and deliberately.
- Our nervous system is hijacked with extreme physiological responses when we experience certain emotions, like fear. It’s important to work through those feelings.
- Moving forward, things that would usually trigger her, she created resistance for.
FAILURE IS THE GOAL
- There is something for everybody. Everyone has some small, safe, constructive space where they can fail. The trick is to find what that looks like for you.
- Make failure the goal. You can pick a new sport or something you are not good at that will require time and resilience to improve.
- Become curious and focused on the experience of failure.
- Change can’t just come intellectually because the challenge didn’t just come intellectually through conversation, so it’s hard to fix with a conversation—but getting an experience creates a metaphor.
FACING FEARS THROUGH DREAMS
- Lucid dreaming is the act of being conscious in your dreams while dreaming.
- Many people don’t realize when they are dreaming, while some people experience moments in their dreams when they ask the question, “Is this a dream?”
- It’s possible to use lucid dreaming to deal with fears and bring them to resolution.
- When you get lucid, you work with the symbolic imagery of a dream. You don’t gain total control of the dream, but you get a powerful, co-creative influence with the dream.
- One strategy that Mia uses is to ask to meet the aspects of herself. For example, when she was experiencing limiting beliefs about the launch of her show, she asked her dream to meet her fear of success.
- Dream memory, intentionality, and motivation are major factors in getting and staying lucid. It is a process and it takes time to learn how to stabilize a dream.
- Once you have those basic skills down, your capacity to get your mind to respond increases.
- When she asked to meet her fear of success, her mind produced a dream figure that she was able to converse with. She asked the fear of success, “What is this?”, and it responded, “I don’t think you are going to be happy if you make it. Successful people aren’t happy.”
- Once she had the realization in the dream, she had to integrate it by giving it a hug and saying, “I’m sorry, I accept you.” Often, after integration, the dream figure will change or transform.
- In a lucid dream, everything feels as real as real life.
- Mia believes that having real (seemingly real) experiences with fears where you can ask them questions, relate to them, and feel them, is some of the most powerful psychological and spiritual work that people can do.
- Dream recall is an essential step in lucid dreaming. Keep a dream journal to train your brain that dreams are important.
- The reason we don’t wake up in our dreams is that we are so mindless in our lives. A good practice is to ask yourself many times throughout the day, “Am I dreaming?”
- This practice is referred to as a reality check. When doing a reality check, focus on one spot on your hand, flip your hand over, then flip it back. In a dream, your brain finds it really hard to replicate your hand.
- If you do reality checks 10-20 times a day, you will begin to do them in your dreams. It’s like when you think of something all day and then dream about it.
- You are training yourself and becoming mindful about whether or not you are dreaming. The first time the answer is yes to the question, “Am I dreaming?”, you are in a lucid dream.
- Don’t be upset if you get lucid for the first time and wake up. It’s natural to get excited about being lucid and you might respond to the excitement by waking up.
- Seek out tools and resources to help you to embrace fears in a way that is safe, but allows you to get acclimated with them.
SHARE WITH US
- Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us on social media (@MyMiaLux & @JimKwik) and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us.
- Also, tell us if you have ever experienced a lucid dream.
- Visit The Conscious-ish Show to check out Mia’s late-night comedy show.
Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy
Episode 180: Creating a Lasting Change with Jessica Ortner
Episode 176: The Art of Visualization
Episode 156: What You Can Learn from Fear with Tim Larkin
Episode 014: How to Remember Your Dreams