Have you ever had a disappointment or setback that fueled later success?
Yes. Several times. I wouldn’t go as far as to say countless, but I feel like I’ve had my fair share of heartwrenching moments where I was faced with the feeling of “not being good enough” be it self-inflicted, work related, school related, or relationship related. I also feel like those moments in my life were defining moments for me. I had the choice to allow myself to feel defeated, to let something think it was better than me, or I could accept the blow to my ego and use it to improve myself.
Maybe it’s unhealthy but there’s usually anger involved. I’m angry that I didn’t reach my goal, or that I fell short of expectations. I’m angry that I didn’t get what I wanted essentially. Sort of childish when you think of it that way… but in my case at least, that’s the truth of it.
I have a choice of being sad or being angry and almost always I will choose anger and use that heat to drive my self-improvement.
Right Brained Me: Oh? You think I’m not good enough? I’ll show you. I’ll stomp you into the ground with my awesomeness.
Most of the time it’s myself who I disappoint. Rarely do I fall short of other people’s expectations. It’s my own expectations I feel I don’t reach. I’ve gotten a lot better about setting realistic expectations of myself, and even as I type that I’m reminded that I’m trying to do jujitsu every day in the mornings and then Muay Thai and belly dancing alternating in the evenings along with doing condition running for a 5k mud obstacle race in February and biking somewhere in there as well since I finally have a bike again…
Maybe I need to reevaluate how much I think I’ve improved on setting realistic expectations…
How common do you think it is to respond to failure not with discouragement but a renewed “I’ll show ’em” spirit?
Honestly, I don’t think it’s very common. I think a lot of people find it easier to give up and to move on to something else. Not many people know how to take critique. Doesn’t matter if it’s in regards to their work, a personal project, their life… No one likes to feel like they’re “not right” because in our society “not right” is automatically categorized as, “wrong” and, “wrong” is a bad thing.
Everyone, everything, can be improved. If I don’t reach a goal I was hoping for that’s because I need to improve. It doesn’t mean I’m bad. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at life and that I’ll never reach whatever it is I want.
It most likely means I’ll have to adjust my timetable, which as a type-a personality will drive me bat-shit insane, but I don’t think a lot of people see it that way. It’s not a minor inconvenience. I think a lot of people see setbacks and such as personal insults or criticisms and so we become afraid to strive and reach. New things are scary and should be avoided. Stick to what you know so you don’t look foolish and run the risk of failure.
It disheartens me to hear of people giving up on something because it gets “hard”. If it’s hard that means it’s challenging you to be better. Stick with it. Nothing worth having is going to be inside your comfort zone.
What personality traits do you think help someone transform a negative experience to a powerful motivator?
Persistence, which may look a lot like stubbornness on the outside.
And at some point confidence. Confidence in yourself and your ability to eventually, at some point, get to where you want to be, and confidence that whatever you are hoping to achieve is worth it.
Like I said, anything worth having is going to be a struggle. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take planning and dedication and often times sacrifice. You have to KNOW it’s worth it or you’ll falter.
You have to know that if you mess up that it’s ok. You have to put more weight in the act of trying rather than the act of succeeding.
I think a lot of people lack confidence, including myself. I think a lot of us let the evil voice of Self Doubt talk us out of a lot of the things we want in life.
Evil Voice: It’s too hard. It wouldn’t work out. What if we don’t make it? Then everyone will laugh at us and will never be able to show our face ever again.
If the words you’re listening to inside of your head cause you to hurt or make you feel bad, then it’s most likely not your true voice. It’s the evil voice trying to keep you down.
Fight it. Prove it wrong. Show yourself that you’re awesome. So what if it takes longer? So what if you’re not the best? You don’t have to be the best. It’s not about other people. It’s about you. As long as you’re better than you were then you’re improving, and if you’re improving then it’s just a matter of time before you get to where you want to be.
“Don’t give up and believe in yourself,” is pretty much what it comes down to.
Super simple sounding, right? It’s most likely something we’ve been told all throughout our childhood. I think we lose sight things like that, the simplicity of things, through all of the noise and chaos of life.
Let’s not forget that today. Let’s not give up and believe in ourselves. Deal? : 3