Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Fear of Failure (as Learned Through "The Biggest Loser")

I have always been a fan of The Biggest Loser. There's just something about people setting a goal for themselves and then working their tail off (literally) to achieve it that gets me all worked up- hooting and hollering at the TV as if I'm watching a sporting event.

If you're a regular reader you know I don't often get super vulnerable on the blog... or really in life probably... But after watching The Biggest Loser tonight I feel like just plain putting it all on the table, err... blog table. I actually had NO plans to blog this week as I'm in pre party-week mode for my son's Pop Art Party. But then I sat down and got wrapped up in an episode of The Biggest Loser. I saw this girl trying (and failing) to jump on top of "the green box" while Jillian screamed cheered her on. Every inch of me wanted to yell at the girl, "JUMP ON THE FLIPPIN' BOX!" because it did, you know- seem so easy. But I couldn't yell because I actually knew the reason she wasn't jumping on the box. For pretty much the same reason I'm not REALLY trying to make Miss Party Mom a reality, like a full-time job reality- which is what I truly think I do want. It's simple: Fear. The thought that if I put everything in to this party business and it doesn't "take off"- it's really quite honestly paralyzed me from trying to learn anything about actually running a business.

In the same way Biggest Loser contestants have an emotional block when it comes to eating- I'm pretty sure I have a real honest-to-goodness emotional block when it comes to learning to run the business like an actual business. In the past few months I've given it an effort- for sure I can say that, but it's just so unnatural for me. Profit and Loss? Bleck. Networking? Shoot me. Worrying about a profit? Who really cares if you're having fun? I mean, I have every intention of eventually making it a real business, you know... in the future. For the past year plus though- just sort of doing it for fun and the occasional profit has really taken the pressure off of the whole "succeeding" thing. And for me- the easy (and fun) part is to just create (which I assume if we're relating this to The Biggest Loser, would be eating). And not worrying about an actual budget or profit- the part that takes discipline (the same way a proper diet does). In another scenario- it would be like handing a Wall Street financer a pack of wrapping tissue and telling him to make a tassel banner out of it... Yes, that right there- THAT is how I feel when I'm trying to figure out the business. So not only is it really not an easy task for me... when paired with the fear of failure- it's kind of like, I don't know... impossible? (Hey smarty-pants Wall Street person- ever heard of Googleing a You Tube video?!)

The Party Creative on Etsy

And the thing I'm coming to grips with lately is that I used to be an incredibly driven person. At a young age I started a career at Mattel Toys and made a successful life for myself. Looking back 10 years later I don't know if doing that so young was a good thing for me or not. It really set me up mentally to feel as if I will never be able to top "being a Barbie designer". I left Mattel after 5.5 years and went on to pursue a dream I had to open up a vintage/consignment clothing store with my best friend. We ended up closing the store after 3 years because we weren't making enough money.

Something happened to my entrepreneurial spirit at that point. Not being able to profit the way we set out to really screwed with my driven "make it happen" mindset... and if I'm totally honest- I lost confidence in my ability to do something on my own again. In my mind I'd gone from being at the pinnacle of my career (unhappy for sure- but successful nonetheless) to having to walk away from something I wanted to succeed so badly. The whole not achieving what I set out to do thing has since really held me back, as a business woman for Miss Party Mom, a blogger... heck, probably even a mom, wife... Um, human?

For me: the fear of not being successful, it's powerful. I've heard this saying: "I'm my own worst critic" and that saying couldn't be more true for me. I have a really hard time taking pride in the small successes I accomplish- like recently being chosen to film an episode for Nickelodeon coming up in February... instead always looking for the HUGE success, like, "Why am I not filming my own show?" And the weird thing is- I don't know where this need for success and perfection came from- I'm sure a therapist could tell me! I don't think my parents were involved... I mean trust me- they screwed me up in a ton of other ways- but I don't think they ever required all that much of me- they weren't ever the "striving-for-perfect-kids" parents. So how did I get here?!

Back to the girl not jumping on the green box... Hearing Jillian yell at her- it was literally like she was yelling at me. I was thisclose to breaking down and trying to actually find a damn green box and jump on it. Except my green box would be getting serious about making a profitable job for myself as Miss Party Mom. When the woman was babbling through her tears to Jillian, "I'm scared! What if I fail?! I've never been athletic- I can't do it!" I felt like I was yelling, "I'm scared! What if I fail (again)? I've never been business-smart!" Forget The Biggest Loser- I need The Business Loser!

Ok- so, are you ready for the punch line?? I signed up for a business class. I mean I kind of did this before Jillian screamed at me the white girl who couldn't jump but now that I can kind of wrap my head around why the hell I've been dilly dallying so long... I think I'm REALLY ready. I know, I know... I've said this before. But Jillian wasn't yelling at me that time. And with all the change in our lives lately... New city, new home, new church, new hair (?!)- I think it is time to start the year with some new goals... Like, making my dreams a reality? Ya, that sounds good.

New hair, don't care.
While I'm being vulnerable I mind as well put a no makeup pic on the blog. Don't get used to it.

SO. Check back in about my class. Hopefully it starts in February, I'm on a [short] waiting list right now.

Wish me luck (on every level), I need it.

xo Party or Die xo


  1. You CAN do it and I am so excited for you. Big cheers from the sidelines Kenna. You're destined for greatness!

  2. man, that's a trip that you wrote this right now. i've been thinking about all the ideas i've had and wanted to pursue, and never gave myself a chance to really "execute" them because of the fear of failing. well, you know me better than a lot, so you know my "jack-of-all-trades" attempts at EVERYTHING. if i had one wish, it'd be to have natural ambition. i wish i wouldn't give up so easily because i have a million projects i wish i had motivation to perfect/finish. thanks for writing this, i/you know you CAN do anything you want.. please don't give up, because you're so creative, and don't let your God-given talents be fearful of failure. glad you're taking a business class - that's AWESOME!!

  3. I'm totally hear what your saying.... I wish all the luck you want, but you don't need it!!!

  4. go for it sister. you can do it.

  5. You can do it, Kenna! You're absolutely talented, and you're going to get your mojo back! :) We are absolutely behind you in this. That was a really nice read, thank you for sharing that. I couldn't be any more thrilled to hear about your business class. Good luck! ♥


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