Have you ever experienced the feeling of defeat?
Have you ever set yourself a goal, or a target, only at some point to be told by yourself that it’s pointless, and that you will fail, only to then fail and consequently left feeling deflated and without strength to continue trying?
Our mind is a battleground of all sorts.
Day in day out, we fight with the aim of us overcoming the enemy of defeat, in order to reach the heights we set out for ourselves to reach, or the heights others set out for us. This is a regular occurrence in our lives. Each of us has heard or seen the stories of those who’ve overcome the shackles of defeat, to then acquire their goals, or desired outcomes. These people present themselves to us in many forms:
- As a family who together acquired the education and other resources to fight their way out of poverty.
- Or as a man or woman who defied the most unfavorable odds to birth & grow their business or NGO or charity.
- Or as the person who braved his/her way through inhospitable environments, consequently fostering astonishing physical transformations (weight change) or achieving promotions (management positions or rank across various organizations).
But how many of us see the chapters of these same people being overcome by the resolute opposition of defeat in the mind?
How many of us get to see the evidence of of these same successful people displaying evidence of lost battles through the display of behaviors contrary to their success:
- Over Eating/Under Eating
- Substance Abuse
- Withdrawal from Social Groups
If you were to see this side of these same people, would you still admire them and look up to them as a source of inspiration?
Or would you shun them into the pit of shame, stripping them of their emblems, and leaving them bare, as mere shadows of who they were in their glory days?
Sure we all may have come to accept setbacks as a part of life. But not all of us has accepted the many forms setbacks have presented themselves to us in our personal battles, nor in the way they’re communicated to us as we look from the outside, into the life of another. Similarly, not all of us can handle the relatively overwhelming setback(s) from time to time, especially if we’re on the quest of achieving a goal, maintaining an image, or both.
The attainment & maintenance of goals is not a straight journey with a smooth road between the start point & destination; it is a road with many peaks & valleys between the start point & ultimate destination. Navigating your way through will have you use up loads of energy. Throughout, you can expect the many low periods of defeat(valleys), as well as high periods of success (peaks). However, you must also understand, that at your ultimate destination, you can fall back into a valley; and depending on the depth & steepness of the valley, climbing your way back to your initial destination, or desired outcome, can prove harder to come by second time around.
From my personal experience, an important place to start, is to accept that to some degree, regression or relapse is normal. We can never function at our best, to remain at the ultimate peak, no matter our best efforts, throughout our lifetime. Even the greatest minds such as the late Steve Jobs and the greatest athletes such as the legendary Usain Bolt cannot perform, nor function at the pinnacle they’ve reached throughout the life of their careers, or life in general. This is just the truth of success. We constantly will find ourselves regressing in performance and moving away from the heights of our success, only to be fighting our way back to the peak, or settling at another peak midway. So don’t be discouraged if you find yourself in a valley. just give yourself time, and remain consistent with strong effort to overcome the resistance, and climb your way back out. And if you find yourself unable to reach the peak you were at before, don’t consider it as a defeat, but as a success, for you climbed your way out of the valley to your current peak. Perspective goes a far way in aiding you, as you battle with the thoughts of defeat, and failure, in the mind.
Accept that the road towards goal(s) attainment isn’t straight.
Accept that attaining & maintaining your goal(s) doesn’t mean you will always be at the highest peak throughout your life, or the life of your career–you may have to adjust your goals and acclimatize yourself to the lower peak of success.
With acceptance, you better position yourself to manage the stressors that will inevitably present themselves to you along your journey of goals attainment & maintenance.
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