Think of a moment in your life, when you felt discouraged, because it seemed like you’re right back at Square One. It feels unfair, doesn’t it? Because you’ve worked hard to:
- Break a pattern in your behaviour,
- Be a better listener, or
- Build stronger team relationships.
But here you are again:
- Not doing what you said you’d start doing,
- Still doing what you vowed to stop doing,
- Told off for not listening, or
- Unclear how this conflict in your team could build up again right under your nose.
It’s disheartening. But you’re not alone.
It’s part of being human.
Life is a cycle. And we all circle back to the life lessons we need to learn:
- Saying no in a friendly but clear manner,
- Asking for what you want,
- Not freaking out when you don’t get it, or
- Setting clear boundaries around your work and private time – and sticking to them.
What’s the same for everyone is that we keep meeting the people and situations that trigger us. We keep circling back to the same topics. We keep making the old mistakes, as we keep falling back on our old reactive patterns.
And this is where it’s up to you and your willingness to stay in the game: As long as you work on yourself and your interactions with others, you’ll keep circling back, BUT to a deeper place each time. What will slowly and steadily help you grow is a mixture of:
- Goal setting
- Establishing habits that help you reach your goals
- Generating feedback loops through small experiments.
Because what seems like failure is really an opportunity to deepen your learning and to grow by putting your learning into action.
So as you keep circling back to your life’s big topics, getting the same lessons over and over again, do take a closer look:
- Are you really the same person as last time? Have you really done exactly the same thing? Probably not.
- What’s a tiny little thing that has evolved?
- What do you see more clearly about yourself now?
- Do you recognise the first signs of the slippery slope that leads you towards disaster?
- Are you better able to own up to your own part this time?
- Are you more willing to have an open conversation with someone now?
- What are the signs that you’ve grown?
Success is not linear. It never is. That’s just the lie of self-marketing.
Winston Churchill said it best:
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”