Overcoming the Illusion of Failure

Stress and frustrationAt the beginning of the year most people set at least one New Year’s Resolution and by the time February hits many people have dumped their freshly minted resolution.  Of the many reasons for this trend one of the most frequent is because people mess up on their resolution early on.  Once the trip up occurs it becomes harder to get back up on the horse and so the whole mission is aborted.  I call it the “F-It” Moment. Once the moment hits the reasons why it will be impossible to complete start to pile up… “It’s too hard”, “I are too weak”, or “There is no help”.  All of the reasons work to build a wall that blocks us both from the inspiration that started us on the path in the first place and the goal that is waiting at the finish line.

Out of sight out of mind is the truth!  Because of this one of the most important factors in overcoming the illusion of failure is keeping the goal within our sight.  We all learn things differently, some through sight some through sound, but once the reminders cease so can the motivation to finish, especially once you have stumbled.  Having a constant reminder of the overall goal is a great way to not be deterred by the stumbling block.  Write down what you want and why you want it and put it some place where you can see it and say it when you need a reminder.  These reminders may seem small but they are a great way to trigger your memory that you are in a war, not just one battle.  When I am having a day where I feel defeated I just grab a pen and jot my goal on my arm as reminder that I can still accomplish what I set out to do, despite the roadblocks.

Another critical component that breaks down the wall of defeat is learning the lessons each pitfall can teach.  If you are in a battle for success sometimes defeats are just what you need to teach you lessons previously unseen.  When driving if you hit a pot hole you can’t erase the bump but you can remember where to swerve next time.  Beating yourself up because things did not go as smoothly as planned is worthless if you don’t walk away with some ways to make your plan bigger and better.  In some ways it can be a blessing in disguise as you may fall some minor battles but are better prepared when the major one approaches.

At the end of the day ultimate failure is not seen when we mess up, but when we give up.  As long as you keep trying you still have the possibility of success.  By keeping your goal around you and learning as you go you can prevent the failures along the way from resulting in abandoning the mission altogether.

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