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Challenges, Setbacks, and Failures

Sunday, March 04, 2018

My one piece of advice to myself has been to learn from setbacks. This applies to parenting, budgeting, relationships, professional risks, and healthy habits. As a human, we all fall short of perfection. We are inherently limited. Human thinking has many cognitive biases that keep us from fully understanding ourselves or others.

Because we do not have perfect knowledge or perfectly understand risk, we often make decisions in the moment that later haunt us. I've been out with friends and decided that I really should have that 4th cocktail and then wake up the next morning with the telltale headache and sour stomach of overindulgence, full of regret.

I'm challenging myself to blog this journey to keep myself accountable and better understand why I have such a hard time with certain situations.

One thing I struggle with is moderation. I want to do everything perfectly, which, of course, isn't possible. It sets up a lot of internal struggle until I decide that if I cannot be perfectly healthy, I will instead be perfectly UNhealthy. Bring on the binge of alcohol, onion rings, cheesy-bread, and burgers! I will indulge until I am sick. Then, feeling bad about my poor decisions, I feel like I do not deserve to make good decisions. Every bad option reinforces my poor self-image which makes taking care of myself, mind, body, and soul, very hard. I actually read a great article here on SparkPeople last week that helped me uncover this pattern. www.sparkpeople.

I know I need to look and see progress over time to help defeat my perfectionist tendencies. Daily check-ins do that. Remembering that it is about progress is important and my trackers show me that I am moving in the right direction.

When I do have set backs, I can look to see what need is getting met by the poor behavior and make changes to ensure I am taking good care of myself.

If that doesn't work, I remind myself that setbacks are only failures if there is nothing learned. Every day is a new day and a new beginning.
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