Everyone loves getting something right the first time. Like cruising through a series of green lights all in a row, a steady momentum built on repeated success is an intoxicating sensation. There’s also a different–but just as satisfying–feeling that comes from accomplishing something that took significant time and effort to achieve. Both of these emotions are incredibly addicting.
But what about when things don’t work out? You try something, and it falls apart in front of you. Sometimes we can chalk this up to our own inexperience or bad luck. But it’s those times when everything looked like it should have worked perfectly that we experience debilitating frustration when it blows up in our faces.
So what do we do? If you’re anything like me, you may see yourself run through a fairly consistent cycle. First, you decide that the entire universe is against you and that you’ll be a failure no matter what you do. Second, you realize that you were being irrational, and settle in for a nice, relaxed period of resigned despondency. Third, you try to analyze why things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to. Fourth, you come up with a plan that you convince yourself will work so amazingly that not only will it solve this problem, but all other problems that you currently have or will conceivably have in the future. Fifth, you try the new plan, which either works and you experience momentary, heart-racing euphoria, or it doesn’t work and you start the cycle over again.
So, how do we break this cycle?
Well, one obvious solution is to not try anymore, but I suspect that if you’re this far into the article, that doesn’t describe you. A friend of mine once told me that it’s just as hard to do nothing as it is to try, and I agree with him. Laziness, indecision, depression… they each have their own costs whether you indulge them or combat them. And remember, if you need help, get help.
Recently, I did something that was almost harder than completely giving up on something. I swallowed my pride. I went to someone who had succeeded where I had failed, and asked for help. I even took notes on what I did wrong. Like rubbing alcohol on an abrasion, the process was painful, but cleansing. I learned what my mistakes had been. I saw that it could be done, and that I could be the one to do it.
I’m still waiting to see the results of my latest endeavors. It’s a good effort, and I’m proud of the good work that I’ve done. Will it succeed? I really, really hope so. And if it doesn’t? Maybe I can skip to stage three of my sequence of reactions.
As always, a big shout-out to the fantastic members of my Fan Community:
Randall Hodgson, Matthew Paxman, Yoshiyuki Nishikawa, Wil Sisney, Jarred Walton, and Joel Stanger.
If you’d like to learn more about my Fan Community, check out the following link: