Ever feel like you fall in to a cycle where you no matter how hard you try what you are doing just doesn’t seem to work? You get frustrated, feel like quitting and then to make matters worse, you start to look at those around you and think “what is wrong with me?!”
Just me? That’s fine, I’ll tell you how I deal with it then. A few weeks ago, I was struggling through another speed work session and pondering how it was possible to not be improving…clearly I should just never plan to get faster and be done with it…or not. I realized fear, failure and comparison were making a rough spot that much worse, instead of motivating me.
Thomas Edison tried more than 9,000 experiments before he created the first successful light bulb.
Michael Jordan was removed from the high school basketball team because of his “lack of skill”.
Steven Spielberg was placed in a learning-disabled class. He only lasted a month and then dropped out of school forever.
Oprah was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
Failing is a lesson to teach us what not to do on the next go round. It’s something we’ve often heard, but I feel like we can’t be reminded often enough that perfection isn’t the name of the game and most people aren’t super stars at what they do straight out of the womb. I realized that while I haven’t seen the progress I want in my speed, I have been testing out new workouts and seeking answers…so I’m not failing, I’m LEARNING.We often don’t label what is holding us back as FEAR because we are strong, confident, taken on the world, accomplish amazing things women…but every time we worry if what we are doing is “good enough” that’s fear. One great tip I received was to focus on putting out what you are proud of and then no matter what the response, you did it to the best of your ability and no more can be asked of you than that. Who’s to say your best isn’t more than enough?
MAKE COMPARISONS WORK FOR YOU
In many cases, I believe if we were focused solely on what we were doing our fear of failure would be less. It’s so easy to see others current level of success and believe you should be right there with them. Though you have no idea that maybe they struggled for years to attain the perfect job or had been running a decade before really hitting their stride.
However, comparison isn’t all bad when used in the right way; use it to identify what you truly want. If you want the PR, the nice car, the writing job, then figure out what you need to do to get there and start taking action. Be unafraid to fail because every failure will teach you something new and make it possible to achieve more than you originally had the knowledge to even envision.
FEAR BUSTING EXERCISES
Write an entire page..not 2 lines not 5, an ENTIRE PAGE of all your successes from the last year. You will immediately remember all the things that didn’t go well and maybe a few good one’s…then it will require you to dig and then you will start to see how many successes you simply glaze over each day. It’s important to give yourself time to appreciate that progress before jumping on to the next big thing…you know that whole appreciate what you have thing kinda works.
Another new tool I am going to implement I found in The Charge. On Friday of each week before leaving, I will write down things I learned and a few successes. It’s an ongoing reminder that I am constantly challenging myself and while not all things are going perfect, I am making progress.
I know there has been A LOT here recently about goal setting, habit changing and so forth. That’s because I figured if I needed to hear it, someone else probably did too.
I am grateful for Christmas cards that arrive unexpectedly from across the country, reminding me that friends are really forever even when separated by many miles and lacking phone calls.