Happy Thursday, folks!
Some people are frightened of change. I’m related to a few people who fit the bill. I’m not necessarily talking about rearranging the furniture, (though, I’ve known people to flip out about that, too) nor am I talking about getting a new haircut (though, there are a lot of people who get anxious about that as well.
[Also: I am getting a new haircut and color tomorrow! Something that later in this post you’ll discover I shouldn’t care about…but I do.]
I’m talking about people who have been stuck in their ways or are so married to an idea, that even when the trajectory they’re on isn’t working, and hasn’t worked in some time…they’re still stuck there.
Stuck there, mired in their own muck.
Some people believe that admitting they need a change is admitting they’ve failed. To which I say…so? Bear with me here.
Recently, I posted that image to Instagram, and as most images with uplifting messages, a soothing color scheme, and a dreamy background, it started raking in the little hearts. (Granted, it’s nowhere near viral status, but hey–I’m a casual Instagrammer at best.) Anyway, I spent a little while staring at that image yesterday while thinking about my blog post for today.
Silly me, I’d been so busy with other things I hadn’t yet thought about what I wanted to write. Tah-dah!
It’s the absolute truth. Success does not mean there aren’t some bumps in the road, some losses, some downright depressing u-turns. My favorite analogy is WD-40. If you don’t know why that particular item applies here, google it, k?
My quarterly update post is fast approaching. I am…avoiding glancing over it. I know, inherently, that I am going to have some failures there. I am so far from perfect, the only reason I know it exists is because David Tennant is out there, somewhere.
What I meant to say is that I am only aware perfection exists because of my husband.
Totally what I meant to say.
My point is, I am looking at checking a lot of boxes incomplete. It’s not a good feeling. I’ve still got some time to finish a few things, to lessen the sting.
But [They] Never Quit
So if I’m going to right some of my blunders, I can’t rest on my laurels.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. Or two or three or four.
Hi, I’m Aila…and I have…problems.
I am easily distracted.
(Also: Oh-em-gee I spelled squirrel correctly on the first try! Hush! It’s a hard one for me!)
I am impossibly hard on myself.
I cannot pump out books as quickly as my friends.
I have a hard time saying no.
(What’s that? You need someone to give your cat a bath and make a gourmet dinner for your boss’s party? In three hours? Oh. Yeah. I’m your girl.)
These are just a few of my problems. And you know what? They’ll likely always be my problems. I’m not just one day going to wake up and realize that I no longer get lost on Pinterest when all I meant to do was look up a recipe for banana pudding.
I’m never going to be easy on myself. I am the daughter of a drill sergeant, after all. I will always look at something I’ve done and believe I could do better, and then try to do better. Which, if you’ve ever published a book, you’ll know what a PITA this trait is.
The no thing I can work on. I’m already a little better than I used to be. But I’ll still always want to help people. It’s just who I am.
So, if I fail horribly at my quarterly goals, then I’ll live with the public humiliation and carry on. No one will do the work for me. No one is invested in my success except me. If I am not the greatest source of my own motivation, no one else will believe in me.
If I don’t share my stories, they wither and die within me.
Winners and quitters have a few things in common.
They start something.
They attempt something.
They fail at something.
But that’s where their paths go in different trajectories. Winners pick themselves up and forge on, trying something else. Quitters, well, quit.
We’ve all quit something at some point in our lives and for various reasons. For me, I quit trying to learn crochet. I love the idea of crochet. I bought fancy hooks, fancy yarn, I watched videos, read tutorials, sought help…and I mastered making the most crooked, terribly designed, awful scarves you’ve ever seen—with the added bonus of unraveling at any given moment.
You do not want me making a baby blanket for your child, trust me.
So, yes. I quit.
People told me they’d teach me. People tried to teach me. But, despite their best efforts, I’d mentally checked out on the art. I’d given up in that special sort of way where there is very little that could bring someone back.
I am not a crocheter.
But [They] Never Win
Again, I am not a crocheter. I’ll likely never be a crocheter because I do not have the drive or ambition to ever pick up a crochet hook again. (Yarn is a different story, but also for another craft)
I’m a perma-failure at this particular endeavor.
Is that okay?
…I don’t really like being a failure. And I know I am one since I started, attempted, failed, and made the conscious decision not trudge on.
I’ll have to hire someone to make all my cute scarves and hats and boot-socks.
Crochet wasn’t something that woke me up in the mornings, though.
See, here’s the thing…
Needing a Change Isn’t A Failure
Changing gears and coming up with a new plan doesn’t mean you’re a hopeless failure. It means you’re adapting and working toward betterment and figuring out what will make you successful. That was never going to happen for me with crocheting. Crocheting, while something I desperately wanted to try was never a thing I had to do. Which is why I was able to give up. Why I’m okay with failing at it. I never woke up in the morning itching to pick up my yarn and a hook.
Writing is what wakes me up, gets me going, and where I get fired-up. Don’t ask me a question about writing if you don’t have the time for a conversation.
Find that thing that sets fire to your soul and failure won’t be an option, because giving up won’t be an option.
I’m going to insert a video below of a motivational speech I have on my phone. On the days I’ve been overly critical of myself and entertain the idea of walking away from this dream, I play this on my way home. (Bluetooth is wonderful.) To give you an idea of just how critical of myself I can be…I know every word of this speech and can recite it with near-perfect timing and inflection.
One More Word On Success and Change
There is more than one way to bake a cake. There’s more than one way to milk a cow. There’s hundreds of ways to say I love you. There’s more than one definition of, and road to, success. You must define yours and figure out your own map. [Check out this older blog post about defining success!]
Since I’m an indie author, I’m going to reference writing—but the sentiment rings true for many, many other fields.
There are authors who have written dozens of books that will never be read. There have been authors who, with one book, changed the world. There are authors who have mastered the art (yes, art) of YouTube and are wildly successful because of their author platform there. There are authors who find success via social media channels (though how, I do not know) and authors who are successful who have never written a single tweet. Don’t get so wrapped up in what one person says you must do in order to be successful. Let them do what works for them, and you figure out what works for you. Will it be the same? Maybe.
But if there were a tried and true, fool-proof, infallible plan for success…wouldn’t we all be there by now?
The only formula that I figure matters is never giving up. If something doesn’t work out, it isn’t an invitation to quit, it’s an opportunity to try something else. As long as your passion keeps waking you up, keep getting up and showing up. Tenacity will be the difference between you and those who quit.
I’d love to hear your thoughts below! ♥
I’d like to thank the swift response to my plea for guest-bloggers! 75% of the slots were filled within 15 minutes, and it was completely filled by the following morning. You all kick ass.
I do hope you found some sort of encouragement in my ramblings. I’ll see you lovely folks on Monday.