Have you ever been is a situation where you were asked to perform and despite your best efforts you failed miserably? Maybe you had to get up in front of a crowd and give details about a project you were working on or you were asked to play golf with the CEO of your company and you were embarrassed by your performance. We can all relate to these moments on one level or another. Failing, in front of an audience, is no fun.
So…here is my question…in your failure, did you promise yourself to never place yourself in a position where you might fail again or did you take that failure and learn from it?
Too many times we see successful people as having some sort of crazy talent. However, we never see how many times they actually fail before they succeed. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying:
"I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." –Thomas Edison
Photo Credit: Krissy Venosdale
The reality is that successful people don’t see their failures as lack of talent, but as insufficient effort or a lack of skills that can be obtained with time and greater effort.
If you are ever going to realize your potential, when it comes to your health & wellness you need to begin to think of failure differently, otherwise you will quickly become frustrated and give up on your wellness journey.
In addition to changing your perspective on failure, t’s important to be able to maximize the belief that you have what it takes to initiate, reach and sustain your desired goals. “The more you believe you can do something, the more likely you will do it; the more you do something successfully, the more you believe that you will be able to do it again.”(Coaching Psychology Manual,Moore & Tschannen) As the saying goes “Success breeds success”.
The big question is how do you develop this elusive belief in one’s ability to achieve a desired outcome or vision? Behavioral psychologist Albert Bandura identified 4 sources that will help us to maximize our belief in our capabilities which can lead us to sustained transformational wellness.
1.) Mastery Experiences
2.) Social Models
3.) Social Persuasion
4.) Reduction of Stress Reactions
I recall several years ago I was asked to speak on the topic of nutrition. Although I knew my subject well, I was not use to conveying my knowledge and ideas to a group of people in a well thought out and articulate way. I assumed I could just create some content and talk about it. Let’s just say my presentation was far from smashing. I remember thinking, as I was driving home from my talk,”that was terrible…oh well…I’m just not good a public speaking”.
This thinking could not have been further from the truth. The reality was that I had not mastered the skill set it takes to be a good public speaker. If I had devoted more time to studying the art of public speaking and practiced my delivery, I would have given a smashing presentation.
Photo Credit: Dean McCoy
Once you identify the skills you need to master to be successful on your wellness journey, it's time to create a challenging learning environment. The key is to make your learning challenge fit into what I call the “Goldilocks Principle”. Not too hot…not too cold…just right.
The key in mastering a skill set is finding one that is challenging enough to keep you fully engaged in the process. If it’s too easy you will put less effort into mastering the skills needed for success. On top of it, without some level of challenge in the process, you never really learn from your mistakes and develop the ability to overcome obstacles. Perseverance is key to long term success in all areas of life.
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." –John Quincy Adams
Ask yourself this question: “What are 3 skills I need to master in order to reach my fullest potential?” Once you have identified these skills next ask yourself: “What will it take to become a master of these skills?”
For example, due to the proliferation of social media and streaming video, I came to realized that I need to learn how to communicate my ideas better on video. To be honest with you…I hate the camera and this form of communication is so out of my comfort zone. I would rather write or talk in front of a real person. Despite my fears, my goal of being able to reach more people with my vision must include the use of video. Therefore, I am beginning to master the art of speaking in front of a video camera by studying those who it well and practicing my newly acquired skills whenever I get the chance. It’s funny how, as I practice my skills, my confidence is increasing and my fears are slowly fading away.
I hope this post helps you as you look for ways to master the skills it takes to leave the quick fixes behind and finally experience lasting transformation.