Short, sweet, and timely.
The feeling of failure is common in people who believe they have accomplished little in fulfilling their goals or living their destiny. This feeling is magnified at certain milestone ages; 30s, 40s and 50s. The focus is the number of incomplete projects left on the table: an unfinished book, an ignored exercise plan, a foregone college degree, or unattempted business venture. Since it is more within human nature to focus on the negative than positive, the result of life inventory is usually a sense of failure for many.
It would be unrealistic to say you will not think these thoughts or even linger on the emotions, but at some point there has to be a moving forward. Moving forward is important because in the emotions of failure everything is exaggerated.
We will list some of the mistruths we face during introspection:
- I’m too old: When you get to 80 years of age and happen to look at a picture of yourself at 30, 40 or 50, you will realize how young and able you currently are.
- It’s too late for me: KFC founder became a professional chef at 40, and didn’t have his first franchise until he was 62. Enough said. Source.
- I can’t put in the long hours like before: It’s now time to focus on quality, not quantity. Also, kill comparisons.
- I have more responsibilities: Time management is your top priority.
- Times have changed: Maybe. But that means you must be smarter and more strategic in accomplishing your goals. Some smart strategies are partnering with someone who has a pulse on your industry of interest, getting supplementary education (never too late to learn), or pivoting from an original plan.
- I’m not good enough: Very few people start a project “good enough.” Many have simply stayed the course long enough to sharpen their intuition, gain experience, and increase their knowledge base.
What’s important is that it’s time to stop feeling like a failure because that feeling sucks. Here are a few tips to get that accomplished.
- Focus on micro goals:. An example. We want to write an adult novel or memoir. Typically a healthy sized adult novel is between 75,000 to 95,000 words. That number is enough to get overwhelmed and either never start, or stop all together after commencement. With micro goals all the writer focuses on is what can be written daily. If an hour is all they can spare within a day, the focus becomes what can be accomplished in that hour (whether 50 or 250 or 300 words) vs the 90,000 left. The benefit of micro goals is personal validation from small moments, which empowers continuation. Micro goals works with any aspiration you have in mind.
- Laziness: This calls for honesty. Laziness is defined as disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so. The reality is accomplishing anything takes time, energy, and focus. One of the ways to break laziness is accountability. This could mean joining a group in your area of interest that has expectations of its members.
- Procrastination: This means doing tomorrow what you can do today. The only way to fight this is to immediately act on a thought before that part of your brain that limits you kicks in.
You don’t have to feel like a failure. Start something everyday towards your goals. The only time we are allowed to quit is on our death bed. We are routing for the new and happier you.