By: Jessica Manuel
“You are your worst enemy, Jessica!”
Many people say this when they arrive to the conclusion that I’m hard on myself, I work long hours or I seem dissatisfied with my performance. Truth is, they are right. What they don’t see is me using it to my advantage – being “hard on myself” is one of the best things for me.
If you go through the day and feel dissatisfied don’t get down on yourself. Make sure you start with balance. Make and prioritize your to do list, using the fear of disappointment to drive you forward. Make a list of goals then break them into steps. If you know what you need to do, it’s time to commit.
Know that every choice you make in a day should be a step towards accomplishing a goal, not getting in your way. For example; if you want to get more energy, one choice you can make is to go to bed early not choosing to stay up late. If you want to grow in your career, make the choice to find a mentor and stretch yourself instead of just stressing about it.
If you run into feelings of disappointment because you aren’t attaining your goals, take time to analyze your choices. If you are making good choices then reevaluate your goals because they may not be attainable.
Disappointment is a good thing, regret is not. Regret is “feeling sad, repentant, or disappointed over something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity.”
Regrets happen when you’re not taking the opportunity or you’re not giving it your best. If you do not make an effort then you’ll miss your opportunity. There will be moments when you fail, and that is great because you tried when someone may not have tried in the first place.
Understand that the feeling of failure is foundational to being successful and how you respond to that feeling will determine your success. Everyone has doubts, mistakes and failures, it’s all a part of learning; don’t let that stop you from trying, or trying again. Instead of avoiding the weight of failure or chaining yourself with doubts, use the fear of failure to determine how hard you will work.
A child falls many times before learning to walk but eventually they run. Why don’t we look at our failures the same way? What are we missing in the learning process?
As a society we are pressured to attain a certain level of success and we add pressure by setting timelines and expectations on how happy we should feel or how great we look in the process.
When our children fall we take time to celebrate the opportunity for them to try again. We cheer them on, clapping and encouraging the next attempt. This frame of mind should never stop. Even though our parents don’t cheer for our every move we need to take a moment and cheer for ourselves.
The doubt, fear and disappointment you allow to dictate your actions (or inaction) takes away from the ability to attain and celebrate your success. Without celebrating the small successes along the way, you will not track your progress or rejoice in the process. Through losing vision you may choose to not continue progressing at all.
Realize today that YOU hold the key of opportunity. You create opportunity. It’s up to you to live it, be grateful for it, and eventually give opportunities to others.
Take the opportunity to beat yourself up in order to do better the next time, be your worst enemy— It’s a good thing.