{flickr photo by: Scott Robinson}

Happy Belated April Fool’s Day!

Did you escape one of these 100 top hoaxes of all time?

Surprisingly, the annual “fear of being fooled day” isn’t as anxiety-provoking as the fear produced by being fooled on an ordinary day. How do I mean?

Lately, I’ve noticed a growing fear of being caught red-handed in the throws of fool-dom. Maybe you’ve gotten a few signs that your partner is unhappy in the relationship, your job isn’t a good fit or your friend may be mad at you. But you’re not quite sure.

Aren’t signs supposed to be BIG, blinking, glow-in-dark, knock you over the head with them, indicators that you’re going the wrong way?

Not always. Sometimes it’s just a subtle, intuitive, gut feeling that something’s not quite right.

That doesn’t mean you need to grab a magnifying glass over your life. That doesn’t mean you walk around fearful, non-trusting, and paranoid.

What it does mean is that you keep your eyes open and stay in touch with how you feel. But it also means you live your life.

Yes there are many times in life when you played the fool. You got in relationships that were not good for you. You failed at a job that you shouldn’t have taken to begin with. You stayed too long in a friendship, in a relationship, in a career, in a place that didn’t serve your higher purpose.

And you learned from those situations. In fact, the pain and heartbreak of learning the hard way may have been so traumatic that you vowed never to play the fool again. If only…

I hate to break it to you. But you will probably make a mistake again. And you will feel foolish and mad at yourself for doing it. But don’t beat yourself up about it. You can’t live your life as a human being without playing the fool every once in awhile.

The best way to prevent the negative feelings associated with being a fool? Don’t buy into it.

  • *Remind yourself that you did the best you can.
  • *Remember what Jane Fonda said on OWN’s Master Class, “We’re not meant to be perfect. We’re meant to be whole.”
  • *Just because you didn’t get it this time, that doesn’t mean you will never get it.

Learn to heal yourself in self-forgiveness. When you’ve done that, when you realize that we all make mistakes and are foolish, you will let go of the anxiety of being vulnerable.

More importantly, you’ll figure out that there are far worse things than being the fool…like never truly living your life.

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