Things just did not turn out the way I had planned. I was disappointed and my confidence level plummeted. I could easily stay mired in procrastination (reading countless emails as if they were gifts from the universe; shifting endless stacks of paper piled high on my desk or starring intently out of my office window) but t none of these things will propel me to move from my self-imposed exile into inertia.
The stacks of papers piled on my desk have been rearranged at least ten times and still nothing had been filed or thrown out. I stop moving papers just long enough to get sidetracked into investigating what's in a seldom-opened drawer.
As I mindlessly flit from one distracting activity to another, Diana Krall, one of my favorite vocalists, is belting out "Pick Yourself Up and Start All Over Again" on the radio:
Nothings impossible I have found
For when my chin is on the ground
I pick myself up, dust myself off , start all over again
Do not lose your confidence if you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up,
Dust yourself off and start all over again
Bingo! That's the exact message I need to hear!
It's then that I realize how I've let one disappointing setback plunge me in this state of confusion, zapped my energy and stuck instead of productive and focused.
Has that ever happened to you?
You may be wondering how a coach / therapist can get to such a place. Well, I get there like everyone else by allowing it. I allowed it by dwelling on what "could / should" have been and letting one disappointment color my world with a smokescreen of procrastination.
As Dr. Wayne Dyer says, "No one can depress you. No one can make you anxious. No one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you anything other than what you ALLOW inside. '
I allowed negative chatter to zap my motivation and distract me from starting fresh. But the good news is I know how to move from inertia and get back on track.
Here's what I've learned from dealing with disappointments, procrastination, and setbacks:
Go with the flow – If I'm procrastinating, maybe my mind and body is telling me to just "be". And if that means I browse Facebook and other sites for hours, maybe that's just the down time I need to rejuvenate my body, mind and spirit. Down time is not a bad thing. And, when all is said and done, it's good to "chill out" and take a break from your normal routine as long as you're not using the time to delay moving forward.
Acknowledge setbacks but do not dwell on them – Do not beat yourself up if things do not turn out the way you expected. Dwelling on a disappointing setback only serves to erode your confidence and keep you from achieving your goals. The key is to learn from the lesson lurking in the setback and move on to things that give you a sense of accomplishment and success.
Reevaluate Your Expectations – Disappointment may mean that you've set an unrealistic expectation. When you encounter disappointment and find yourself procrastinating and stuck, use the time to reflect and re-focus on your expectations. The result just might be more clarity, relaxation and direction.
How do you pick yourself up when faced with setbacks, procrastination and disappointment?