By the way, this isn’t going to be a guilt-trip kind of blog. If you’re braced for a verbal/written tongue-lashing, you might be disappointed. It isn’t that we don’t need a kick in the pants sometimes, but that’s not my job here – that’s your job. But you have another job too, and that’s what I want to talk about today.
We all have this script in our heads of ‘how things should be’. In running races from 5k’s all the way up to ultras, we have this undefined image of how the race ‘should’ go. Of course, things never quite turn out the way we plan though, do they? We go out too fast, the weather is awful, our knee is bothering us on race day, we trip somewhere along the way or take a wrong turn, we can’t quite seem to dig ourselves out of a recursive negativity. All these things and more can happen in races, they can happen to our plans, and they can happen in life.
Not only can they happen.. we all know, they will happen.
So something happens and our plans get wrecked. We can’t make it to a meeting we wanted to go to, we can’t find the will to leave an aid station and continue on our journey or race, we can’t figure out how to write a proposal or create a strong elevator pitch for an idea that’s been knocking around forever. But at that point, it stops being about that thing, whatever it is, and starts being about you. Who you are. How will you handle this setback, defeat or failure. What will you DO, now?
And the funny thing is, it was ALWAYS about you, the whole time.
When those curveballs come, you need to find the original script – “So those plans got smashed.. what gives me the best chances of moving forward?”. That’s how you show up, even when you couldn’t “show up”. You brush yourself off, you take on this new challenge of forgiving yourself, accepting it for what it is and nothing more, and you let go of that self-abusive, useless and even damaging thought process.
Letting failure tear you down is the worst two-for-one deal you could ever take – but you don’t have to!