Failure is an acceptable option!

A failure is not a loss. It’s a gain. You learn. You change. You grow.  – Michael Barata

Last week, I wrote about my challenges with moving on the goals and dreams I have for my life. As one would expect, that challenge still remains true for me today, but I’ve taken some real action steps over the past week to overcome this weakness. At the top of my list of accomplishments for the week…I reached out to a small circle of friends and colleagues about starting a Mastermind group. I wasn’t sure how the response would be, but a few folks expressed an interest in being involved. What a relief…I would’ve felt a little sorry for myself if no one had been interested. Then, in a very unexpected conversation with some buddies from church on Sunday, I heard some awesome stories of people wanting to connect with others to share their dreams and goals and stories of people wanting to take a major jump in their personal and professional lives. There were talks of writing books, producing music, opening group homes, pursuing new career opportunities, and seeking insight about the next steps in life. I thought I was alone in feeling hesitation about putting action to my dreams, but this confirmed that others share my feelings and my desire to start a Mastermind group might not be some outlandish thought that just happened to enter my mind…no, I think God placed this notion on my mind to help me and others in reaching our full potential.

Fast forward to today…I woke up feeling a little blue…life will do that to you sometimes! I was feeling a bit discouraged about the future of my career. I felt like the door on an opportunity that I’ve been very interested in for months was closed on me…it turns out that is likely not the case, but I was thinking the worst. I have a tendency to do this, I’m really hard on myself…it’s definitely not one of my better traits. Anyway, a co-worker stops in to express some concern about me and my mood, and we start talking about the beauty and value of failure! This is significant because for me failure has always been accompanied by a great degree of shame and embarrassment. Failure has never been good in my eyes, but I’m beginning to understand that the act of failing in some things is an acceptable option in life. Failing in a task does not mean I’m a failure in life, it actually means I was willing to get out of the boat and try a new thing or two! If I’m honest, in that moment where I’m sinking, it rarely feels good, but I’m starting to view my failures along life’s journey as real learning moments. If I can manage to avoid drowning while I’m sinking, it’s quite likely that the next time I risk walking on water, I’ll do a little better (or I’ll at least think about carrying a life jacket with me!). So, taking intentional risks will be among my list of goals for 2017, because even if I encounter some failures along the way, I will have tried, and that’s better than always playing it safe.

I’m looking for more in 2017!

Keep Going!

People_Who_Move_Change_The_World.fwOver the years, I mastered the art of coming up with new ideas. I can always think of new creative things to do, I can discuss big ideas with friends, I can dream of what my life will look like in the future, but I tend to get stuck in the process of moving from thinking to doing…PLANNING and EXECUTING mess me up too many times! I’m great at thinking and talking, and not so great at moving! Yep, it’s definitely not my strong suit, so I’ve decided that this will be the challenge I conquer in 2017! I’m going to put my all in to the idea of pressing beyond my thoughts and making my dreams a reality!  That’s tough stuff for me, so I’m getting an early start on the process this month! I stumbled upon the 2017 Volt Planner by Ink and Volt. It’s a planning system that allows one to go beyond planning daily tasks and allows one to think creatively while tackling weekly and monthly goals. Yes, it is ridiculously overpriced and perhaps filled with a bit of hype, but I need help with focus in my life right now!  That being said, over these past few weeks, I’ve been intentional in thinking on my habits and goals for 2017 and beyond.  There are things that I want to accomplish in 2017 and I will not be successful unless I move from thinking to doing!  People who MOVE, CHANGE the world! Working with a life coach seems a bit ridiculous for me at this stage in my life, but slowing down a bit so I can be intentional in planning out some key elements in my life seems very reasonable.  So, how am I getting on the move in my life…

  1. Intentional Prayer: I’m pretty sure most people have heard of the movie, War Room.  I really enjoyed it and have watched it several times because I’ve needed to be encouraged a lot over this past year about the faithfulness of God and His ability to work miracles in my life story! From the day I first watched the movie until now, it has been clear to me that I need to develop a prayer strategy for my life…for some time I’ve needed to shake up my prayer life in a major way and truly petition God for those things where I need him to work on me or my situation the most! Despite knowing this, I’ve done a great job of getting stuck at the idea of slowing down to develop a prayer strategy. No more! Last week I moved from thinking about my prayer strategy to activating it! I now have my prayers up on my prayer board because I need God to do some amazing things in my life!
  2. Intentional Meditation: Not only am I circling specific things in prayer, I’ve made the decision to set aside quiet time daily for meditation and reflection. For way too long, I’ve been living life way too fast! I’m always going from here to there or meeting with this person or that person. I’ve always got something to do or somewhere to go, I rarely just sit still and have quiet time! That’s not good, but busyness is apparently my coping strategy for dealing with stress or it’s the thing that makes me feel important…I’m not sure. Despite this, I am clear that it’s an unhealthy habit that I’ve adopted, and it’s one that I’m choosing to break! I’ve been focused on reading my Once Daily Bible and a book a coworker gave me, Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership during my quiet time.
  3. Intentional Eating: While I love cooking, here lately, I’ve been a bum in the kitchen. It’s been so much easier to stop and pick up fast food on my way in from work, so that’s what I’ve done. It’s resulted in many pounds joining me on my life journey and it’s not good at all! Do you know how frustrating it is to not be able to fit into last winter’s clothes!!!! I’m highly upset with myself for my slip-ups in this area of my life, so I’m making a change. Sugar and flour are no longer active parts of my life! It’s not that I don’t love holiday baking (Lord knows I do!!!), but my love of sweets has gotten me into a place I don’t want to be, so I’ve got to part ways with them.
  4. Intentional Exercise: Taking care of my physical body is just as important as taking care of my soul and spirit, so I’ve gone back to the gym and am planning to register for some spring 5K races. I’ve got a goal in mind and the only way to get there is by incorporating a regular exercise regimen into my weekly agenda. Sometimes you gotta just do it!

So I am hopeful that these intentional steps yield fruitful results in my life! I’ve not even gotten to writing out all of my goals and dreams for 2017 and beyond…I know some of them (and I’m a little intimidated because I could fail miserably!!!), but I am in full-fledged preparation mode! I’ve got work to do…I’ve got moving to do…I’ve got challenges to overcome…I’ve got success to find!

Until next time…