Every time I send out my weekly letter, I get about 50 responses from people who tell me something akin to this:
“You are incredible. I could never do what you have done”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely to hear, and my ego is growing uncontrollably – just ask Michael! ?
But there’s something about these particular statements that I’m not ok with.
This is my concern:
Sometimes, when someone with a story like mine gets portrayed in the media, there can be this comparison that people make.
They think “Oh well, she or he can do that because they’re naturally motivated, or have more willpower than me or they’re just born that way. I could never do what they have because I’m just not like that”.
Here’s the truth.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not “naturally motivated”. I’m not just “born this way”.
I fail, all the time. I’ve lost money on stupid business decisions, launched projects before they were ready, given up on training sessions and taken way longer to achieve some things than I intended. Some goals I’ve set and have just never completed.
In the last week alone, I’ve felt scared, I’ve binge eaten ice cream in my underwear, I’ve worried that I’m a terrible mother and a bad daughter.
But, I’ve also achieved so much:
I got through the fire, and recovery (an ongoing process), I’ve completed two Ironman comps, competed in ultra-marathons, raised stacks of money for charity, started and scaled a thriving business, been a good mother to my son (I mean, he is fed and clean! ?) and written books I’m really proud of.
The point is, we all feel like we can’t do things and that we’re not capable of achieving what we want because we’re not “born that way”.
But no one is!
The only difference comes from changing your mindset.
Why don’t you prove me right?
Next time you feel like you don’t stack up or like you’re “less than”, try this:
Make a list of all the things you’ve done that you’d consider a failure.
Then make a list of all the things that you’re proud of – things you’ve achieved, people you’ve helped, projects you’ve completed.
Now, this is HARD to do. And I bet you’ll find that the failures pop up more easily than the achievements.
But focus on that list of accomplishments. Write down EVERYTHING that you’re proud of. It might take five mins, or you might want to come back to it over a few days. If you can’t think of what to write – ask a supportive friend or family member to help you remember all the good things you’ve done.
Once you have your lists, look at them both. Sure, there is evidence that you’ve failed. But you’ve succeeded too.
Congratulations! You’re human. Welcome to the party.
Remember, we all have the same capacity to achieve the most extraordinary things. You’ve just gotta get your mind on board. – Tweet it!
Let me know how you found making these two lists, in the comments below.
PS – I’ve got stacks more mindset-shaping strategies like this inside my eBook Mindset Magic. Check it out here.
This is a very honest and empowering exercise. Thank you for sharing our failures with us. I think that’s what’s wrong with social media most of the times, people post only the positive. I think people should also post the negative or their failures because that’s real life and that’s what makes us human. I know it’s hard but it’s real and I appreciate real because I can relate to it.
Lately I have been struggling to see my accomplishments. I was laid off last year in May and I have been at home with my three kids and elderly mom (which I support). I am a single stay at home mom NOW (which that will change when I am blessed with a new job opportunity 🙂 For the past 20+ years (I am 42 yrs. old), I have worked at MOVIE/TV studies and now I am at home with the kids, cleaning, gardening, cooking, cleaning 😉
I find myself feeling bi polar sometimes because as much as I would love to stay at home all day, on the flip side I feel like I am doing nothing! Believe me, I am NOT doing nothing but my life was soooo busy and chaotic when I was working and sometimes I miss that. It was a different kind of busy. With your exercise I am forced to be honest about my failures as a mom and head of household. But on the right page (literally on my notebook) I see all of my accomplishments and those feel great. When I wrote them out, I realized that the most important ones were on my accomplishments side:
1) being home everyday when my son (7 yrs old) gets dropped off by his school bus.
2) having time and actually enjoying picking up my oldest son (22 yrs. old) from school or where ever.
3) picking up my third son (9 yrs old) from daycare everyday and taking him a little snack.
Those are all of the things I could never do because I was always working.
So thank you for recommending this exercise and helping us all see what we have accomplished…and also realize that we are human and we fail sometimes.
Maria Romo 🙂
I discovered the same thing in my life. My favorite spot was at the park with a lovely view of the mountains and forest. Took someone else to the same spot and they asked me why I liked a view of the dump and the free way. He was looking down while I was looking up.
thank you so much for this perspective, really needed to read this today!