Today I stuffed up big time.
I’ve spent the last five years becoming disciplined and learning every self-improvement hack I could.
I’ve tried very hard not to drink too much alcohol, minimise my sugar intake, reframe from swearing, treat people better, give more to those in need and be an all round good human being.
But today I F*#ked that up. Can you believe it?
Well, you better.
As hard as I try to be successful, there are going to be times when I mess up. Today was the day I was put to the test.
So today we had a function for work, and we went to a secluded island to sit back, relax, and let our hair down. We had to board a ferry to the island and there was a long line of people. Our group was at the front because we had waited for the longest.
When we finally got to the front, a young lady attempted to push in. Without thinking, my friend and I prevented the cue-cutting attempt. What happened next shocked me. This lady then began dishing out all sorts of insults.
She made fun of the way I looked, accused me of being such a low life that I must be single, had a crack at my financial position and everything under the sun. I managed to reframe from overreacting until I let one insult slip.
That insult is what surprised me. I’ve tried so much to be well behaved and then in the heat of the moment I broke the promise to myself.
It’s normal to mess up.
Okay, so I’ve been well-behaved for quite a while and you probably have to. It’s not the end of the world when you fall back into your old ways for a brief moment. The key is to acknowledge when you’ve returned to an old pattern and stop yourself.
The moment I let out that inappropriate insult, I knew I’d stepped over the line. It didn’t feel good. I felt guilty. I wanted to take it back but couldn’t because the young woman had left.
“If you try and cruise through life, and never break your commitments, you’ll fail and hate yourself”
There needs to be some room for stuff ups. You have to be okay with being imperfect once in a while.
The idea is to outweigh the bad.
What I mean by this is that you need to aim for 51% or more of quality habits, conversations, gestures, etc. The more you tip the scales over to the good side, the less you’ll be tempted to fall back to your old ways.
Shooting your mouth off like I did is only a temporary blemish.
You can come back from it and it all starts with taking ownership. Being in denial or acting like you did nothing is not okay. Being a leader and admitting the error in your ways takes guts and that will lead you towards success in the long run.
“Don’t let a brief moment of madness ruin all the progress you’ve made”
Make your temporary mishaps parts of the self-improvement process and use them as a lesson. Experience the regret that comes with being out of alignment with your true self.
This personal incongruency is the motivation you need to stand true to your commitments.
Sometimes we all need a reminder.
Otherwise, we forget the life we’ve left behind and it becomes far to easy to lose the plot and rack up a scorecard of negative activities. That slap in the face that you get when you go back to the past and reunite with your addictions and temptations is exactly what you need.
Reconnecting with the past gives you perspective. It also shows you how far you’ve come. The moment your personal progress is under threat, you’ll be surprised how quickly your mind puts you back on the path you were on.
It always starts with trying to be right.
Falling back to your old ways always starts with trying to be right. It’s because we all secretly hold rules of how life is supposed to be and when someone violates that rule, we risk going back to our former self. You can’t always be right so stop pretending you can be.
Don’t let trying to be right all the time stand in the way of all the progress you have made. I know it sucks when someone does something that violates what you believe but think before you take action. There are times when you should stand up and there are other times (like my recent encounter) when you should just reframe from going down the rabbit hole of rules you wished people would live by.
The truth is we all stuff up.
Even your favorite pop star Katy Perry loses her mind once in a while. That’s right I saw when she was interviewed by a therapist and she had a brief moment of huge failure, embarrassment, and dirty laundry aired on TV. It’s okay.
Once you understand that there are times you are going to do the opposite of what your goals say, and that’s cool, you’ll live a much more relaxed life.
This is what I tried after the mishap on the ferry. I permitted myself to mess up. I told myself I was sorry and committed to making up for what I’d done. The most difficult person to forgive is yourself a lot of the time and that’s who needs it the most.
Don’t just try and be kind to others; be kind to yourself too. If you forgive yourself more often when things go wrong, you’ll discover what it’s like to take failure and disappointment by the curly ones and own your life.
Life is about owning your successes and your mishaps.
The mishaps lead to your success, eventually.
Never forget that. I’m not successful 24/7 and neither are you.
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