Friday, 30 November 2012

Something New Days 48-60: The F Word

Well, it finally happened. I reached that point where I wasn't doing something new every day. I don't know... I was busy, tired, distracted, and it just didn't happen. But instead of beating myself up about it, lamenting about how I ought to be a good role model for you guys, I've chosen to look at the positive side of it.

It wasn't easy at first, oh no. As I went to write this entry, that little voice (you know the one) started to say it... You've failed. Who will respect you as a life coach now?

It's all too easy to listen to that little voice - and to use that dirty word: fail. We hear it everywhere - as an exam result, on amusing internet memes about people slipping up - but mostly, we tell it to ourselves. I failed at my New Year's resolution, I failed to plan ahead, I tried to start my own business but I failed...

What is our obsession with this word? It's clear that the idea of failure is drilled into us from an early age, but what do we really mean when we tell ourselves that we failed? If you remember back to your days at school, what really happened if you failed something? I'm pretty sure that you were always given the chance to try again, perhaps with extra guidance and support. It might have turned out that you were looking at the problem the wrong way. And hey, even if you never quite passed that exam, you survived - you're still here now, aren't you?


So, I didn't fail the "Something New" challenge - and if you haven't done something new every day, then you haven't failed, either. Let's look at it this way - you took a break. Anyone who's tried a new exercise regime, a diet or stopping a habit will know that going cold turkey is hard - sometimes you'll slip up, have that sneaky slice of pizza, a day off, or a quick cigarette when nobody's looking. We can't be perfect every day. The harder you push yourself, the more you'll push back - but giving yourself permission to slack off sometimes might actually help you to be more productive in the long run. Have you ever studied for so long that your eyes stopped focusing properly and you couldn't think straight? Taking a break wouldn't mean that you had failed to study - it might actually help you to do better later on.

Anyway, while this might seem like desperate justification seeking, my point is - I am not perfect, and neither is any life coach. I get lazy, I make mistakes, and I slack off just like you - and that's OK! I'm not going to stop Something New just because I slipped up for a few days... I'm getting back to it. So if you "gave up" or "failed" at first, this is me letting you know that you can pick it up again and try harder - even if it's just for a few days!

I did do some new things in the last two weeks, although the exact days are a bit of a blur... I visited some popular tourist spots in North Wales with Jeff, places I hadn't been to for years (Caernarfon Castle and Portmeirion), I tried Chinese food from a new take-away, and I wrote a blog post (at http://thepraguething.wordpress.com) that got 14,000+ views in just a day!

1 comment:

  1. Very good points! I used to be obsessed with the F word. I failed an A level exam due to anxiety and I decided to see a counsellor. She helped me see that I was blowing the whole incident massively out of proportion, and helped me identify the negative thinking patterns and how to stop them as soon as they start. It is difficult to step away from the way your mind has been drilled to behave, but definitely worth it.

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