Today I have a personal story that sheds light on the experiences we all have with life, forward progress, and failure to thrive. We’ve likely all heard that it’s important to learn from failure. However, many times people think of failure as only being related to massive life events or serious mistakes.
Yet, failure is a part of daily life.
We make small mistakes and missteps each day that are opportunities for reflection and learning.
Unfortunately, too many people fail to see these small errors as gifts and opportunities for change and growth. Gifts that can even lead to a reduction in life’s larger failures.
When faced with these micro-failures, it’s common to get frustrated, but fail to do anything about them. Even worse, over time people begin to see these failures as “the norm”.
Their mood and attitude begin to reflect the fact that they aren’t succeeding, and that each day continues to be a struggle. This leads them to take fewer risks, be wary of additional failure, and close themselves off from potential pain or conflict.
People in this negative spiral see the world as a cruel, unrelenting place, rather than an amazing sphere of opportunity and success that’s waiting for them to capitalize on it. That choice faces us all every day, yet few people see that they have a choice.
Last week was the first time in well over a year that I’ve failed to send my email newsletters for the week. It was also a low productivity week with several dropped balls. Sure, there was a lot going on, but they’re always is. That’s no excuse.
I simply didn’t take the time to do the work I said I would get done, including the newsletters. I started to write a few times, but got distracted and struggled to collect my thoughts. Then the negative mindset started to kick in.
Thoughts like these started to creep into my head:
Nobody is going to read what you write anyway
You have nothing of value to say
What are you worrying about…It’s not a big deal to miss a few emails and deadlines
Nobody cares what you have to say
They heard this %*#@ before
For a few brief moments, I let these thoughts consume me. Several times throughout the week, they led me to scrap what I had written and break the promise I made to myself to write these newsletters consistently each week.
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I almost let this “mental funk” cloud my actions this week. But a few key strategies and tactics I’ve put in place allowed me to get back on track, and avoid failure to thrive:
Here are a few of the main ones:
Weekly review and recap of progress towards my goals
A great reality check and priority review
A coach and accountability group
Despite paying for a coach and accountability group, I’ve neglected them and haven’t “checked in” recently. Mostly because I am embarrassed by the lack of progress towards my stated goals.
Daily success routine
This includes reviewing my goals, objectives, passion, and purpose.
I skipped a few days last week…and noticed a significant decrease in my personal performance
One of the greatest definitions of stress I’ve ever found is “The gap between your perceived reality and your ideal state.”
The greater the gap, the greater the stress.
The strategies and tactics I mentioned above are simple checks and balances to keep that gap to a minimum. Over the past couple of weeks, I noticed that as I slowly dropped some of my “success routines”, my stress steadily grew.
It wasn’t until I reestablished my habits and reconnected with why I was doing these things in the first place, that my motivation, positivity, purpose increased, and my stress level decreased. I’ve mentioned this for a couple of reasons.
First, we ALL face these fears, frustrations, and failure to thrive in life.
People think that because I coach people on these things, I never face them myself. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s BECAUSE I’ve personally experienced these challenges that I’m able to help people more effectively.
Second, the more established our success habits are, the easier it is to get back on track. Perfection isn’t the goal, it’s the ability to create a connection with our performance behavior and identify quickly when “gaps” begin to form between that ideal and our daily actions.
Hopefully my musings today have been helpful to you. I would love to hear about the challenges and struggles you are facing. Often the act of writing it out can make a big difference on its own!
If you are struggling to make the progress you want towards your ideal personal performance, let me know. When you are ready to make a change, we at FRESH! are here to help.