The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time

Recovery

Two steps forward and, ouch! one step back. 

What do we do next? 

One option is to give up.  Quit our diet, start complaining about how we got screwed out of our promotion, put our manuscript on the shelf and go back to what we were doing before.   We then complete the picture by labeling ourselves a failure and looking for a place to hide. 

Another option is to simply start again.  To make the special low calorie vegetable soup we love, figure out what job skills we still need to sharpen, find a writing group and work on our writing style.  We don’t label ourselves anything, because we’ve already moved on. 

I know, all this is easier said than done.  Once we’ve stumbled it can be difficult to get up and try again.  Our emotions get triggered, our failures feel huge, we get sidetracked in an effort to save face.  But learning to recover, to keep blunders in perspective, refocus quickly, and move on gracefully are skills like any others and the more we use them the better we get. 

The trick is to fail without becoming a failure, to catch ourselves backsliding before we slide to the bottom, to refocus when we get distracted.  Because, really, there’s nothing wrong with failing unless it’s the last thing you do.

***

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3 responses to “Recovery

  1. Marcia February 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Love your final paragraph — something to really ponder, thanks!

  2. Helen M. February 26, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Melinda, what a great way of reframing setbacks. There is something vitally important about giveing oneself permission to fail without becoming a failure. Even though we tend to “know” this in our heads, it’s not necessarily how we tend to believe. Thank you for the thoughtful insights.

  3. Dawnika February 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Beautiful article. This is one of those important messages that I need to remember to keep in the back of my head always. We often forget that big success is a progression from many “failures.”

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