Accept responsibility for your own success

shutterstock_142580041Over the Christmas and January holiday period, when people have more time to reflect on the year just gone, they will often write down their goals for the coming year.

A list of new things they are going to take on such as a fitness program, a diet to lose weight or course of study for fun or to gather new skills. Do you do this too?

Initially things go well because you follow the directions of those trying to teach you. Then something crops up to rock the boat.

Maybe you miss a day or a week of training. Or someone comes over and brings your favourite cake or dessert which you can’t resist. Suddenly everything you had planned to do turns to custard. Does this sound familiar?

 Understanding failure and how to conquer it

Like learning to sail the reasons for failure are many and varied:

  • The goal you set was too high…you tried to sail across Cook Strait instead of around the bay
  • You didn’t plan to succeed, by remembering to take the oars incase the rigging failed.
  • You were too proud to ask for support or help, when your teacher offered to show you a short cut.
  • You simply missed a step..You didn’t follow the instructions when setting the sails
  • You became distracted by other craft nearby and didn’t see the rogue wave until it crossed your bow.
  • You hadn’t had enough practice learning how to alter the sails to suit the change in wind or weather conditions.
  • Negativity set in, you started doubting yourself and whether sailing was really for you or that you would be ever as good at sailing as your friend. Maybe you felt depressed.
  • You were afraid to succeed, because then you might question other things you hadn’t done because “you thought they were too hard”
  • You gave up too soon, it takes time to learn a craft
  • You blamed others, “the crew let go of the paynter too soon, I wasn’t ready”

All these are legitimate reasons for difficulties arising. However when we place blame for failure onto other people, processes or things, we give away our power to change, to try something new or different.

When questioned by a journalist about why inventing the light bulb had taken so long, it is said that Edison replied “ I did fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.

Take action

Take comfort in the fact that with every invention there was a point in time when even the inventor didn’t have a clue about what to do next. Try instead to:

  • Concentrate instead on the big picture how good it will feel to achieve what ever you are trying to learn, do or change.
  • Look back at something else in life that you found hard initially, yet achieved, to remind yourself that you are capable of stepping outside your present comfort zone to achieve new things
  • Break the mission down into manageable steps
  • Seek advice
  • Plan your time and use of resources well
  • Take back the power by having “a go”
  •  Accept responsibility for your own success and happiness.

If you would like to find more energy to power your day and your dreams. To feel more confident; to get fitter or take on a sports program this year; to learn how to cook or shop in a healthier way, then contact us for a nutritional assessment and action plan. We would love to help you.

For more information on motivation read Lea’s articles

About the author View all

Lea Stening

Lea is one of New Zealand’s leading paediatric dietitians and also specialises in Sports Nutrition. She has specialised in Paediatric Nutrition for 31 years and in 1985 was the first paediatric dietitian to enter private practice in New Zealand. Lea helps families through her private consultations, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles as well as television and radio interviews. Read more »

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