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I Screwed Up

Well, we're four days into the new year, a fresh start and a brand-new slate of resolutions still hot off the presses, and right away I've already made so many mistakes I couldn't even count them. Mistakes in my business, mistakes in my personal life, and mistakes in working toward my new goals.

So, okay. Life isn't over, I haven't truly hurt anyone, and time marches on. Yet the lingering feelings of disappointment, embarrassment, regret, and anger at myself hang over me like a wet blanket.

What can we do when become inured to these unpleasant feelings?

    1. Breathe.

    2. Breathe again.

    3. Pause, take a step back, and reflect.

    Sometimes when things go south we just want to immediately take action to correct course, and of course, sometimes that makes sense. But when one domino is knocking over another and things keep getting worse, sometimes the best thing to do is simply stop. Stop trying to do, do, do. Take a step back, breathe, and reflect on why things are out of control. This moment of repose can help direct the best course of action.

    4. Pick up where we left off.

    Once we've gathered ourselves and know what steps need to be taken to fix a bad situation, it's time to pick up where we left off.

    5. No matter how we feel, do the thing that needs to be done.

    Feeling down is not a reason to skip what needs to be done. We must do what we must do. Feel the pain and march forward anyway.

    6. Be okay with not giving 100% right now.

    A workout half complete is better than no workout. A half-page written is better than no page written. When things are tough, it's fine to not give 100% because we may not have 100% to give. But we CAN make progress. We can do something. We should what we can and not worry about doing it perfectly.

    7. Kindness matters.

    Kindness to others and kindness to ourselves. The moment we start beating ourselves up, and the moment when we start beating up on others (never do this), we set ourselves much further back than when we started.

    8. Act in ways our grandmothers would be proud of.

    Feeling down is not an excuse to start doing things for which we will later feel embarrassed and ashamed. Think of what you're saying and doing right now. If your grandmother was watching, would she be proud?

    9. Get near something big in nature.

    When I went for my morning run today, I was greeted with a spectacular view of Four Peaks, part of a mountain range in Arizona that rarely has a snow-capped peak. And I witnessed it as the sun was rising. You better believe my perspective instantly changed! There is something about being near something big and beautiful in nature - a mountain, lake, river, or even a walk in a local park can make a positive difference in attitude.

    Not the exact view I saw this morning, but close. Image credit.


    10. Change what we can change and simply accept the rest.

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