We are human. When something goes wrong, it isn’t long before a whole series of things starts going wrong. Why? Much of it has to do with our mindset. It is so easy to berate ourselves for doing something wrong, and when we focus on what we did wrong, we start to think we can do nothing right. Once we start down that path, more and more things go awry. We get in the habit of doing the same things and expecting to not get it right. Before we know it, we have set ourselves up for failure before even beginning something because we believe we can’t do anything right. Sometimes we fail because we take to heart other peoples’ criticism of us; we give more weight to someone else’s opinions than we do our own. Living your life by someone else’s expectations won’t work. It is only a matter of time before we become unhappy and angry because we are not living the life we are meant to live.
It isn’t easy to break this cycle, but it can be done. We have to tell ourselves that others can’t possibly know us as well as we know ourselves. We have to tell ourselves that we are capable of getting it right. We have to tell ourselves that we are strong, and intelligent, and capable of great things, if we will just allow ourselves to ignore the naysayers. Some people take great delight in smashing dreams; ignore them – they are usually unhappy people who can’t bear to see others succeed. Don’t listen to them; listen to your heart. Let your heart overrule your head; listen to that still, small voice that tells you what you are capable of accomplishing.
We may not always succeed, but failure just tells us to try another way. Giving in to failure tells us we are not worthy. That little voice, our intuition, is almost always right. I have learned this the hard way. Whenever I have listened to that voice, things work out well; whenever I have ignored it, things didn’t work out so well. Too often we make decisions out of fear; those kinds of decisions aren’t good for us. Fear can be conquered by doing that which we fear the most.
Trust your instincts.
I watched a football game yesterday. Not remarkable, really, but it started me thinking.
The game was the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. I have been a Saints fan almost from the beginning; the franchise started in 1967 and had their first winning season in 1987. During some of that first 20 years, Saints fans would attend games with paper bags over their heads and called the team the Aints. Yesterday, the Saints beat the Vikings and are going to the Super Bowl; for the first time; ever.
Life can be like that sometimes; we try and try and just can’t win. Then one day, we win. But it doesn’t just happen; it takes hard work, preparation, persistence, and belief that we can do it. I might have yelled at the TV a few times during a Saints game (OK, a lot of times!) but I never lost faith that some day they would make it to a Super Bowl. I just didn’t think it would take 43 years!
Isn’t that like our lives? Somehow, we pick ourselves up and keep going forward. We might get knocked down a time or two, yet we keep going. Sir Winston Churchill said it best:
“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
So have faith, in yourself, in your family members, in your friends, that success will come.
Have you made your Resolutions yet? Instead of resolving to do something you probably won’t continue, how about a New Year’s Revolution? By that I mean do something radical – just take care of yourself, whatever that means for you.
It is only by looking back and reflecting on our lives that we can truly see that we have been given precisely what we needed exactly when we needed it. At the time, we may have ranted and raved and played the ‘why me’ game, but rest assured it was what we needed at that moment to continue our spiritual growth. I know there were times in my own life when I felt deprived, depressed, deserted; but looking back on those times, I have grown and flourished because of those hardships.
Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, except for everyone else. But what we see in others isn’t necessarily true. How often have you admired someone who seemed ‘all together’ only to find out they, too, had times of blackness and despair and feet of clay?
Live your life the way you are meant to live it; don’t live your life according to someone else’s idea of what that life should be. Take time to refresh yourself every day; each day is ours for such a fleeting moment and will never come again – make it count. If today was a disaster, try again tomorrow. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, success is going from failure to failure but never giving up. Eventually, you win.
May 2010 bring you everything you need, exactly when you need it, even if you don’t realize it at the time.