I tried to superimpose that mindset on this Baby Boomer punitive value system. It never worked, not from the get-go. When my enterprise crashed in 2003 I fell to pieces Download Geezerguts. A decade later I still have vivid flashbacks and anxiety attacks. It's as if members of my generation must keep paying emotionally for not measuring up.
The reality is that many of my colleagues did not fail. They got jobs, stuck with them, and retired with a nice pension, social security, and a well-stocked 401K. I can read many career books on how we are all different but part of me now yearns to be less different. Until the failure, I flaunted my differentness.
Will the failure ever be put behind me? I have a hunch that will happen in the next 18 months. Finally, the lessons I needed to learn, such as not trying so hard which opened me to exploitation, then rage, are taking hold. I am attracting a better quality client and am creating better quality work.
What has helped, surprisingly, is zen meditation. Last summer I tried it out, switched Buddhist temples twice, and am now at the New Haven Zen Center on Sundays and Wednesdays and on my own couch about three times a day. The mantra is to take a breath, say to ourselves, "Clear Thinking, then let the breath out and say to ourselves, "Don't Know." Not being required to know can make us wise instead.