The real lesson of Confidence – what I learned this year about total failure

I had a great idea for my theme this year. Confidence.  And what better way to celebrate this theme than to set challenging goals and crush them.  Except, failure alert.  I was crushed by many of my goals, and trying to achieve unrealistic goals made me lose much more than I thought.

year description pages 2015

I sacrificed my health, my personal time and my sanity to try to make everything work this year.  And it didn’t work.

What I learned in my year of confidence is that you build more confidence when things don’t go right and you learn how to work through it.  You learn to be unshakable. Here’s what I learned:

Set Realistic Goals.

I’ve run about 800 miles each year for the last 4 years.  And then this year, I saw a challenge to run 100 miles per month.  I’d done it a few times, so I thought that it would be no problem to do this every month this year. Wrong.  I like to run, but the challenge made it feel like a chore that was grinding away at my soul.  And in September, I was done.  Except I couldn’t give up – I was too far in to the challenge!

I should have stuck with just tracking my mileage.  I like to see the accomplishment and there is no unrealistic expectation that I can’t achieve.  If you have a goal like this – learn from my mistakes – set realistic goals.

Don’t give up what you love.

This year, my goal was to write on this site three times a week.  That would have been about 150 posts.  How many did I do? 27. No where close to what I wanted to do.  Other things seemed to keep coming up – work, stuff, life.  And I kept putting off writing. Each day, I’d think, “I’ll do it tomorrow” and every day, I had something else come up.

I really love writing and I’m disappointed that I didn’t put more time and attention to make this passion happen. You deserve to spend time on what you love.  When you make it a priority, (and schedule time to do it today!) you’re more likely to make it happen.

Refocus to your priorities.

During this crazy year, I realized that I was over it.  And it helped me make some decisions that I probably needed to make a while ago.  For the class I taught, I reduced and refocused the assignments.  For the cards I wanted to send, I recruited helpers and refocused my plan (add important dates in your calendar with scheduled alerts – you won’t miss it!).  When I had to restart my healthy eating plan to lose the weight I’d gained this year, I set a realistic goal and refocused my mindset to make it easier to accomplish.

Being too busy made me make tough decisions.  But, it helped me adjust my life to make decisions I needed to anyway.  If you’re having trouble with everything, start cutting out the unnecessary things – refocus on your priorities.

I thought this year would be so much different and I’m glad it’s over, but I learned more about confidence and myself and I’m better for it.

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