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.

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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:

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Everything is Nothing with a Twist

It’s all about perspective. In every situation, you have choice to see the bad or realize the good.  The difference between nothing and everything can often be how you look at it – and what you do with what you’ve been given. 

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When things don’t seem perfect, know when to get started. Have you ever walked into a hot mess? Something that was so bad that perfect was off the radar?  Most people shy away from these situations – but I kind of love them.  I like a little bit of a hot mess and sometimes a lot of a hot mess – it’s really a great chance for you to shine and show them what you’re made of.  I know you can do it, I’ve seen it before.  The conditions will never be perfect and that just makes it the perfect time to get started.

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When things seem bad, remember that it gets better. You can make a change to your present situation. Choose this day how you will live and make your small purposeful actions become a life you’re proud to live. When I was having trouble, my mom used to tell me, “You can survive anything for a year.” Sure, it sounds a little extreme, but it helped put things in perspective for me.  To make major change in your life, sometimes it takes a year for you to get your act together, to find the new job, to garner your courage to make the tough decision.  But when you focus on the possibilities, it makes your purposeful decisions worth it.

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When everything seems like it’s over, realize this could just be the beginning. I was really mad a few weeks ago.  Boiling hot frustrated and thought this was the end of it all.  I let my frustration fuel some pretty big changes in my life – and they ended up being changes I’d really needed to make for a while. And the more I worked through my changes, the more I realized I wasn’t angry anymore.  I’d started something really cool – a new site, an updated portfolio and more organized blog ideas – but it took me getting to the end of my rope to start at the beginning of my new perspective.  I’m not saying you need to get angry, but realize the end doesn’t always mean the end – sometimes it’s just the first step of the new you.

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When things don’t make sense, understand we are all the same.  Take time to really get to know others and their perspective.  You’ll probably learn something about yourself in the process. I’ve had a stressful few months. Loads of work and never enough time.  I realized I’d started to get frustrated with the people around me and I realized that I was starting to treat everyone like another task to be done instead of a person to be valued.  Once I slowed down, shifted my perspective and focused on what was important – I started to realize that I was surrounded by great people and I was glad that I realized it before it was too late.

Never let a problem to be solved (or a task to be done) become more important than a person to be loved. – Thomas S. Monson

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You’ve got a chance today to make this your best day yet.  Even if it’s messy, hard and frustrating – know today is made of a hundred tiny decisions that become the person you are.  The twist has always been what makes it interesting.