I task myself with designing my day; I cede control of designing the outcome
At times I allow myself to become wildly confused. I find myself digging deep into mistakes of my past, aimlessly trying to find answers. I never find these things that I am looking for, rather I find only more confusion and struggle. When I exhaust myself with this task I find myself worn out emotionally, after all what I am really doing is beating myself up over and over. There is never a clear point in this action, it is an exercise in futility.
What I have learned is how to successfully get myself out of this mess. I have been asked many times how I forgive myself and move on – how do I continue growing after enduring failure? There is a close behavioral association with failure followed by apathy, laziness and self-pity. This does not have to be the case; failure is something that we all experience but it is in how we react to failure that actually matters.
When I explain to those that ask how I get past failure and resist the temptation to sit in self-pity the reaction is often one of feeling let down by my method. My answer to this seemingly insurmountable issue is simple, and I suppose somewhat anti-climactic:
The only way I have learned to get past my own personal failures is in taking action. The most harmful thing I can do when I feel defeated is to allow myself to behave as if I am defeated. When I have made a mistake there is no solace found in self-pity. I find no hope in worry or in entertaining my racing thoughts. I replace worry with reflection in an attempt to learn from my mistakes and nothing more. I gain nothing by punishing myself – in fact nobody does.
The way I choose to handle failure is not unique, magical or groundbreaking. I have never found, in my 30 plus years of searching, a shortcut that actually works. What I have found is that when I continually move forward, taking whatever action is needed, I continue to grow. I have found that the absolute worst thing I can do for myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically is sitting with worry and searching my past for other reasons to beat myself up.
At times I can string along a few days where I don’t feel accomplished, where I find that I haven’t taken advantage of the day the way I ought to. In this situation I find the same method of action to work. As opposed to ruminating about what I have not been doing I take it upon myself to go into action. I find that the only way to relieve myself of frustration, anger, self-pity and worry is by literally doing anything that requires me to give of myself. I find any way to get out of my own way – often times all I need is a little break from myself to get back on track.
This is where I find the solution, where I find my answer. It doesn’t come without work and effort. It comes from reflection and action. It comes from the knowledge buried deep within all of us that relief is born out of action. When I give of myself, when I can be of service and make a meaningful impact on someone else’s day I am given relief from worry. I find fulfillment in reaching out to others and satisfaction in improving myself.