Best Laid Plans …

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Ever hear the one about the best laid plans of mice and men? I imagine the group of us who have had our plans go awry isn’t limited to just myself and Robert Burns. (Extra Credit this week – the original credit of the phrase “The best laid schemes of mice and men” goes to the poem “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns.)

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and then you have to decide how to deal with the aftermath. My failed plans occurred when last weekend I was on a camping trip with my daughters many miles away from internet and cell service. I thought (mistakenly, I might add) that I had my post written and scheduled. I am still not sure if I failed to schedule it properly, or if I just failed to save the post properly – I’m leaning toward a little of column A and a little of column B.

So this week I’ve been thinking about what happens when we fail to get things set up properly. What that can impact, and how to feel about not following through. Everywhere I turn on the internet there are people talking about the importance of consistency and regular content updates.

Yes, I feel that this is important too.

No, I don’t think that we should go into a tailspin or self destruct because we fail to meet that most important rule.

I do, however, think it is necessary that we acknowledge what went wrong and what we can do better for the future.

Were you in a hurry? Did you not verify all the settings before crossing your fingers and hoping for the best? Whatever it was, can you identify a correction to future efforts?

If not, why not? Really think about it. Feel it. Turn it over and over in your hands and really see what you could have done differently, and seriously, don’t just focus on what Janet on site bippityboomagicalcreating.com (no it’s not real, but I really feel like it needs to be now) says you should have done – her inputs are helpful, but doesn’t cover all possibilities. Really consider how you feel you could do things next time, and what it would take for you to make it happen.

So instead of kicking yourself while you are down bemoaning failed plans look at what you learn from that moment. Maybe you can do things differently next time, and maybe not, but you’ll definitely be more likely to check if things worked at the first available moment (first available, by the way, does not mean anything other than when You are available).

 

You’re Doing Great!

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Some days we wake up, and put on our faces for the day – maybe that face is happy, or maybe sad, maybe contemplative, or anxious – and we greet whatever is headed our way. We hope that we are prepared, perhaps even believe that we are prepared for whatever obstacles we come across. Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, we find that we aren’t at all prepared.

In fact, we’re just winging it. Faking it ’til we make it. Hoping that no one else figures out the fact that we are just as helpless at avoiding the coming tide as they are. The only difference? We hide it better (or at least we convinced ourselves we hide it better).

Funny story, though. We don’t actually hide it better. We really don’t hide it at all. Secretly, in our heart of hearts, we want someone to know we are winging it. Because at the end of the day we want that person to take us by the shoulders, look us in the eye, and say “You’re doing great anyway.”

So ……

Take a moment to look in the mirror and really make eye contact with that reflection and repeat after me –

“You’re doing great!”

The only person who needs to believe in you is you. Once you believe in you there is no more need to hide that you can’t because it will be clear to anyone with eyes (or ears, or a sense of smell, well you get the idea) that you CAN.

If you’re finding that belief in yourself a little hard to come by know that you are not alone. We all have our faith in ourselves shaken. Because the alarm clock didn’t go off and now you’re late to a big meeting, or you overcooked the scrambled eggs. Maybe you missed your turn and spend a few extra minutes getting to an appointment. There are any number of things that can shake our confidence.

There are also any number of things that can build our confidence. In fact the things that should build our confidence in many ways should outweigh what shakes our belief in ourselves. Because we bring success to the table everyday. Waking up on time 99.9% of the time, or making bomb omelets that keeps everyone’s belly full until lunch (I haven’t mastered the omelet yet, so if you have, that in itself is A-MAY-ZING).

So every day make eye contact with your reflection and remind yourself that you are doing great – repeat twice daily for maximum success.

Sometimes We Start Over – Again

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Here’s a funny story. I had a completely different blog post in mind this week. As a matter of fact my blog was completely different until about 30 seconds ago when I deleted all of the words and decided to start over. Because sometimes that’s the point – we have to know when it’s not right and it’s time to start over.

There are lots of moments in life when starting over becomes the only real option. Terrible homework assignments when we’re young, bad relationships or failed careers as we get older. Some people are really great at starting over. So great they’ve made a career out of it. Some people maybe are less great and cling to what came before because uncertainty tells them that they might fail that too.

Failure isn’t giving up and starting over. Failure is continuing to work at something that has no potential and telling yourself you can make it so because you’re just too stubborn to admit you can’t. Failure is knowing things are over but you selfishly cling to an ideal of what you want things to be versus what they actually are.

Success, on the other hand, is when you know that you’ve done what your skill set is capable of and stepping back and taking stock of the big picture. Maybe you have to tear the page up and start back at “Once upon a time”, and just rewrite the whole darn thing. Maybe it just needs to go in the barrel with the leaves and be set aflame while you sip a cup of cocoa and ponder what comes next. Success is accepting that, doing what needs to be done and continuing on to new projects.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Sometimes we want to give up, but are afraid that in doing so we’re quitting too soon, that if we just keep working it will eventually line up. Sometimes stepping away provides the clarity to see the right path. And sometimes we have to try, and hope for the best. Just know that there isn’t failure in trying. The only real failure is knowing that fear made the decision for you.

If you feel like you’re running into the same brick wall over and over again, take a moment and think – Would this work better if I cleared the slate and started over?