Setbacks- How do you react?
As some of you already know I am about 6 months into getting back in shape. Each day brings a new success and sometimes a crashing failure.
My biggest problem over the process has been an ankle that has been a problem since high school. I used to sprain it all the time. Over the years I have sprained it all over the world. If I have been to a city I can guarantee that at some point
I have been on my back staring at the sky following the thump of my body hitting the sidewalk.
Over the last year I have worked really hard to rehab that ankle. We got special braces. I worked on nutrition. I rebuilt my strength. Finally It got to the point where there was no pain when I was walking. What a great feeling! Simple things like walking down a set of stairs without having to hold onto the railing was a wonderful thing
All that changed 2 days ago. I was not watching where I was going and down I went… thump…. sky… pain. My first thought was that all the work I did was just undone by one moment of carelessness. I was pissed at myself. As I limped back to my house I hoped it was not going to be as bad as it felt.
The next morning my questions were all answers with my first step out of bed. I couldn’t walk. It was time to work out but no way. I could barely make it to the coffee maker much less work out. This is a major set back.
There are 2 paths to choose from at this point. I could beat myself up and crawl into a hole or I can do something different.
One of the things we teach is to look for what is possible instead of what gets in the way. Yes I would not be running any marathons in the near future. What I needed to do now if find out what I can do. The first thing I tried was getting back on my stationary bike. Did 20 minutes and the pain was bearable. Tried the treadmill… no way. Elliptical machine… Maybe. Just walking… Nope. Now I knew what I could do and that is okay. I am not completely sidelined.
I still can lift weights but what I haven’t tried yet is a leg workout. I am not sure if I can do a leg press. I will be giving that a try today. What I need to know is the limits of what I can do. That gives me a direction. If I focus on what I can’t do I will become paralyzed.
This is where those who want to succeed but aren’t able to tend to fall apart. All they see is what the problem is. All they focus on are what they can’t get or do. The result is that they build a habit of failure. That habit becomes so much a part of their reality that they become comfortable with failing. Even worse, they avoid success because it gives them uncomfortable hope. The think that if they begin to hope they will get crushed by disappointment. It is easier to keep failing because it is predictable.
Last night I received an email from a guy who has this exact problem. He just finished a course that would allow him to have a new career. All he has to do is take the test. he has not even started to study and now he has NEW ideas for a different career. These new ideas allow him to quit what he is doing and still feel good about quitting. He is so stuck and practiced at failing that it feels better to walk away than to take the last step.
Success and failure are habits. If you learn the habit of success then you get into the habit of succeeding. If you learn the habit of failure then you get really good at failing. The trick is to notice your habits.
I have a guy who has been trying to open a business for over a year. Each time he is ready to start he comes up with reasons not to do one simple thing. Put his business on the market. There is always one more skill he needs to learn. One more gimmick he needs to hone. One more strategy he needs to put in place. All of this allows him to avoid feeling like a failure.
If he never tries .. he never fails. If he never fails he can still feel like he is succeeding. If he never launches the business he will never find where it needs improvement.
The real problem is that no matter how many times I tell the guy what to do he still does the same thing. He has a habit.
My habit is to see what I can accomplish. Most of the time that works out great. Sometimes is all goes horribly wrong. The horribly wrong teaches valuable lessons. You have to embrace and acknowledge the setbacks you have. You have to charge ahead even if you are uncertain of the outcome. You need to understand that losing is part of the game.
If you stay stuck in your bubble of comfort you will never fully experience life.
This is where personal development is essential. You need a few things.
1 You need to find someone you trust to guide you
2 You need to let them guide you
3 You need to follow that guidance with taking action
If you want to be in charge of where you are going don’t waste your time finding a guide. It will be a useless exercise in frustration. I am constantly amazed by those who come to us for change and training that want to also tell us what they need to learn in order to be successful. If you could figure it out.. you would not need a guide.
Life is so simple if you just follow directions.
Today I am going to work out and see where the edge of my ability is. I will do the same tomorrow and the next day. Each day with each thing I know I press the edge of my abilities. Some days it is just my ability to relax
Learn the Skills… Live the Life