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Have you had times in your life when you have felt like a failure? If you lean towards being a perfectionist as I do, you may feel this rather often – I know I do!
There is nothing more discouraging than feeling like a failure whether by our own assessment or the assessment of others. Oftentimes I am my own worst critic, and in talking with others, I know that I’m not alone on this one.
Here we are on day seven of the Living Well and Spending Zero Challenge, and I loved the opportunity to reflect today. I will admit that I initially had reflections that were more at a surface level, but as the day went on, I realized just how deeply this challenge has impacted me thus far – and in completely unexpected ways.
In fact, I didn’t really even realize that walking into this challenge I was in fact feeling like a failure. However, experiencing the success of the first six days has brought this amazing realization to the surface.
As I look back, I can see that on September 30th, the day before the challenge started, I was feeling like a failure. My do-to list for the day was never completely done, many of my more long-term projects were incomplete, or not even started in the first place, and I was continually procrastinating huge projects that needed to get done.
Until I reflected on my experience in the spending zero challenge thus far, I didn’t realize how tired, beaten down, and like a failure I had been feeling. It is amazing how this challenge came at the right time in my life for this very reason.
So, how does this challenge relate to me feeling like a failure? What has this challenge taught me about what to do when you feel like a failure?
This challenge has taught me that at these times, at these times when we feel like a failure, we need to take a giant leap. We need to take on a task that seems impossible to meet. We need to jump into something that seems to be ridiculous according to logic. We need to set a goal.
I don’t mean any goal. I mean the kind of goal that you don’t think you can complete. A kind of goal that is going to really challenge you. A kind of goal that is going to change your life for the better when you get to the other side.
Through completing the fist six days of this challenge, I have taken baby steps toward reaching my overall goal…my overall goal that seemed to be unattainable in my own mind, and the result has been amazing.
Through successfully making these forward steps toward the overall goal, I have been reminded of just how strong I am. I have proven that I can accomplish something just because I put my mind to it. I have seen the value in taking steps forward and celebrating each stride.
Therefore, this tells us that the thing we need to do when we feel like a failure is to aim high, to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and to dig deep. Rather than surrender to feeling like a failure, we need to pull ourselves out of that place.
Ruth is right on the money when she says, “Freeze your spending, change your life,” but the exciting thing, is that through this challenge we have the opportunity to change our lives in ways that go well beyond budgets, the way spend or save money, and the choices we make in what we do or don’t buy.
When you feel like a failure, coming back at it with something with both guns blazing is the very best thing you, and I, can do.
There is certainly something to be said for learning new habits, trying new things, and pursuing the impossible. It can be just the thing you need for those time when you feel like a failure.