Setting goals has never been my forte, and neither has reaching them. I don't know if it's something I didn't learn because I'm thickheaded or because nobody ever knew how to teach it to me, but regardless of the why the fact is that it's just not something I do well. Yesterday, I came to a realization: There's not much I do well.
Somewhere along the lines I developed a quitting habit. When things got hard, when I wasn't the best, when I got my feelings hurt, I just quit. I taught myself that avoidance was better than facing your problems, challenges, fears, and uncertainties head-on and letting the process make you better.
I was listening to a lecture CD by Greg and Laurie Duncan, two of my heroes. I admire Laurie especially, because while all the other Diamond ladies are thin and pretty good at the balance thing, Laurie is about my size. She talks like I do, sometimes stumbling over words and sometimes getting more zealous than some people can handle. She talks about the things that inspire me, about travelling around the world with her kids, about planning her daughter's wedding and unofficially adopting her kids' friends. She talks about the food from around the world and the life she leads, and it sounds exactly like what I want.
Okay, maybe not exactly, but pretty darn close. Despite the fact that she's probably old enough to be a young grandmother to me, I really feel like I connect to her. I think, once we're at the Diamond level, she and I will be great friends.
But what catches me in this CD, every time I listen to it, is something that Greg says about his wife. As he's introducing her, he talks about how she handles the things she doesn't know. She goes at it, and she keeps going and going and learning and learning until she's mastered it. She doesn't shrink from her challenges or allow herself to feel inadequate when she doesn't know something. And that woman radiates confidence.
Today I realized that I spend way too much time distracting myself from just how much of a failure I feel I am. I spend hours upon hours accomplishing nothing just because I don't feel like I can do anything perfectly. I obsess over things I want with the assumption that I'll never have them because I'm afraid of the work it will take.
After taking a good, hard, honest look at myself...I really don't like what I see. And I'm the only one to blame for it. My dad tried to teach me to work hard and earn what I wanted, my mom tried to teach me that calm perseverance is the best way, but I've instead elected to spend my entire adult life thus far (all three-ish years of it) running from my problems and hiding behind people who I thought would let me be a kid forever.
I know I can't do that anymore. It's...a disturbing realization to say the least.
So I feel a change coming on. I've decided to start taking responsibility for my own self, for my own part in our success, and for my own decisions. I know it's going to be hard, and that scares me, but I have to stop running.
As Jeff Olson points out in the Slight Edge, a decision is only a decision until you put action to it. If three frogs are sitting on a log and one decides to jump off, there are still three frogs there until one of them actually does something.
In the words of Paul Tsika: "Why sit we here 'till we die?"