It’s painful being transparent. My last blog post had a difficult history. A history where procrastination, stalling and pain were the overwhelming feelings as I wrote.
To be able to write that post, I had to face up to my stories and own up. And let’s be honest, it’s hard to admit that you’ve failed or even just not reached the targets or standards that you’ve set for yourself. We’d all rather hide our mistakes, faults and failures away from curious eyes in case they somehow come back to make fun of us or gloat at our misfortunes.
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Brene Brown
But let’s be honest here, how much harder would it have been to ignore the obvious and carry on towards the end of the year without acknowledging the changes that were going on around me? Running from my ‘real’ life, the one with the “warts n all” was never going to set me up for longer term success. Instead, it would have been the elephant in the room that would have become increasingly more difficult to get around.
I wonder how long it might have been before someone noticed that I had not in fact made it to New York or delivered on my goal of reading all 18 books that I had planned for 2015. You are kind, my readers, in turning a blind eye to these omissions, but, in the end, the truth will out!
So this was something that I was troubled about as I gave in to the necessary review. How would you, my readers, react to the changes…reductions…that I was making? Would you see me as a fraud? Someone who can’t deliver on their promises?
I pondered and worried about this as I wrote my review and new goals, but, the truth is that the responses I’ve received have been positive and supportive.
“But It’s Boring!” She Cried
I had to work really hard, emotionally, to accept that I needed to be realistic as I planned out the last few months of the year.
Ha! Realistic! Reality! Real!
These are words that I don’t easily accept when it comes to setting my goals, plans and aspirations. Now, imagine a whiny child “Whaaaa! I don’t want to be realistic!” who’s stamping their feet. You should now have a fairly clear vision of how I look as I try to reduce my goals to something that may actually be achievable in the three to four months remaining of the year.
And it’s not just the relatively short amount of time to consider, it’s also the other commitments I know are likely to surface. There are things that weren’t even on the horizon when I set my original goals way back in January that are now very likely to come into play. These cannot be ignored. (The bold italics are for my benefit, you understand, otherwise I’ll keep telling myself unrealistic stories 😉 .)
Consequently, it’s been really hard to admit that I had to let some things go.
Because, for me, my new goals just don’t seem particularly exciting for the next few months. At the beginning of the year, I wrote out my goals with enthusiasm and excitement, imaging how my life would look in December if all these things came to pass, and this really fired me up! I can even remember a conversation which included the words “Imagine how it would feel to achieve all this!” and indeed, even now, as I write these words, I can feel the excitement of the possibilities bubbling up inside of me!
But, life has a sneaky way of not going to plan and we must adapt, review and renew if we want to reach our destination.
Let It Go (At Least For Now)
It might seem strange, but it’s painful to let go of something you’ve never had. There are many things on my original goal list that I didn’t achieve and therefore didn’t experience. So how can it be true that I’m missing something I never had?
Well, in a lot of ways, I’d already experienced my goals. I’d lived their achievement through pictures, websites, forums, visualisations, conversations, progress updates and mostly, my aspirations and excitement at their fulfilment. So now, it feels like something of a wrench to let them go…at least for now.
Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day! Steve Maraboli
In some ways I guess I’m lamenting their passing. The things that meant so much to me at the beginning of the year, and, if I’m honest, still mean a lot to me now, are mentally passing through a process, loosely akin to mourning. The stages of
• shock/denial (this can’t be true, I’m sure I can fit it in somewhere),
• anger (where did the time go and why did I let those other things get in the way?),
• bargaining (if I give up showering, can I fit it in?!),
• sadness (yes, I’m still sad at letting go), and finally
• acceptance (I’m not quite there yet)
are to some extent recognisable, but, dwelling on what-might-have-beens isn’t going to get me to where I want to be. Only being present now and working towards my renewed goals will bring about the changes, experiences and achievements I seek.
So onward it is.
I can’t change the past but I can look forward to the future with renewed enthusiasm to match my renewed goals.
Just imagine how life will look in December when I’ve achieved all these wonderful things!