Having goals can be highly motivating. It gives you a point to aim for, a target to hit, a focus point to hone in on. But what do you do when you miss your mark?
Personally, I beat myself up. I belittle myself. I aim a sledgehammer at my self esteem. My self talk is reduced to “I told you so, what were you thinking?” I keep reminding myself that I haven’t done what I set out to do in the time-frame I assigned myself to do it in.
The disappointment hurts. My ego has kept me away from this blog because this is the scene of the crime – the place where I committed to achieving something which seemed reachable – albeit at a stretch. It’s embarrassing. And who to blame? Me. And my bodgy knee. But mostly just me.
But this blame is a problem. A big problem. And it only exists in my mind. Nobody else is blaming me for anything. There isn’t a crowd of people muttering their disappointment in me. No-one is shaking their head and whispering that I have confirmed all their doubts. No one is using the word failure. Only me. I am the problem. And even saying this condemns me, as though I ought to be punished.
What I should actually do is stop being so damned hard on myself. Instead of looking at how far I still have to go, I should take a beat to consider how far I have come.
I should gently reassess the goals I set for myself and make some new ones – sharpening the focus of the list and taking my harsh schedule out of the plan altogether.
I need to consider the constraints my recovering knee places on the training I can do. I need to consider the time I can really spare to train. When I set the bar too high I am only setting myself up for a fall. I should remember how motivating it is to actually achieve a goal so I should include some smaller ones along the way. None of this is rocket science. In my quest to achieve everything I managed to achieve nothing. Not one thing on my list.
But last night, while visiting family, I overheard my son telling my sister-in-law how strong his mama is. And it made me think about how very wrong I have been in the way I measure success.
And that first pull-up is going to be mighty sweet when I finally get there.