If you’ve had an awesome year, hit all your goals and you’re resting on your laurels feeling like you nailed it this post isn’t for you.
If, on the other hand, when you reflect back on what you wanted to achieve this year, you feel a bit (or a lot) disappointed, then this is for you.
Us overachievers have a tendency to get in our own way, blame ourselves and have expectations of ourselves that no friend would ever hold us to.
So let’s take a look at what could be going on here, how to think about it and what to do from here.
(Read: You are going to feel a lot better in just a few minutes – hooray!)
First of all, let’s be honest – shit really does happen.
Not everything is under our control.
Sometimes illness, family crises, break ups, unexpected costs and all kinds of other, well just shit, just get in our way and turns our lives upside down.
If you’re someone who has big plans in the world it can be hard to separate what YOU personally didn’t achieve from the circumstances that are all around you. Don’t get me wrong this is not about allocating blame and looking externally for reasons why things didn’t happen, it’s about being realistic in your expectations of yourself in the place that you are in right now.
We all want to be the one who hits the big money figures in our first year, who is the runaway success, who just can’t seem to do anything wrong.
The thing to remember here is everyone who goes into business has a certain base level of confidence in their abilities, they have usually had success in some form in their life already regardless of how that success is measured.
So this means we are literally wired to expect results from ourselves.
And when we don’t get those results the tendency can be to blame ourselves.
Realistically, has major shit gotten in your way this year?
If so, IT’S OKAY. You are human and you’re allowed to be human.
We all have stuff going on that we have to deal with and if you didn’t get as far as you would have liked to, know that sometimes even when we try our hardest we can’t make everything go our way. At least in the present moment, in the present circumstances.
The important thing is that you are trying to move things in the right direction. And your persistence will pay off, as long as you are reflecting, learning and adjusting as you go. (More on that later).
Here’s another thing to think about:
Did you set yourself an overly hard target to begin with?
The online business world is full of crazy success stories and marketing often telling us things are easy. This makes us think we too can make a million dollars overnight or rise to the top of our industry with relative ease. The truth is crazy amazing progression is possible, but it’s going to usually take a bit longer than you might like.
Again, cue you beating yourself up.
So regardless of whatever didn’t happen this year – let’s look at what actually went well.
What did go well this year?
What did go well this year? What did you achieve? What did you learn? What steps forward did you take?
I’m betting there’s all kinds of good stuff in there that you’ve forgotten about!
When I did this exercise myself I was amazed. I had been sitting around moping about all the things that didn’t happen and forgot about all the awesome things that did.
Take some time on this and really remember all the details.
Did you start a program to build your business? Did you reconnect with old friends? What personal development work did you do? Did you start making plans to leave your 9-5? Have you been learning new skills? What about your personal life? What steps did you take in your business?
If you really go through and look at everything positive in there you start to see the whole picture, rather than a particular target that you didn’t hit.
When you look at THE WHOLE picture what can you learn from this?
Once you have the whole picture in front of you – what can you learn from this?
One insight may well be JUST HOW DARN HARD YOU ARE ON YOURSELF!
Hopefully you will have your own personal insights on how you want to handle situations in the future, what steps you’ll take to be gentle on yourself, stay on track and be the best version of yourself in the year to come.
The last question to ask yourself is:
What are you now ready to let go of and what are you keeping?
Are there negative patterns that you now recognize and want to let go of? How do you want to handle it when things don’t go your way? What can you do to make sure you don’t get in your own way in the future? What went well and what do you want to keep doing more of?
Doing this kind of ritual can really help you get perspective on your life and see the bigger picture.
The good, the bad and the particularly awesome.
This kind of mindset and reflective work has been really powerful for me this year and I hope it will be for you too.
I’d love to hear from you!
How has your year been?
Have you had to overcome challenges this year?
Have you realized you’ve been overly hard on yourself?
Share your insights in the comments below :-)