As the old saying goes, “When you fall of your horse, dust yourself off and get back on”. This is something that we must do frequently. You’ll never fully master every aspect of your life. There is always something that we are struggling to come to terms with, perfecting, or just attempting to keep in line. You may know very well what you need to do or what your goal is in achieving a certain objective or state of mind, but maintaining that objective is challenging. We have days and even just moments when we’re on and things are working out. We recognize what we need to do and we feel like we’re making strides toward our goals. Sometimes if we’re lucky we experience long stretches of this. But it is inevitable that eventually we lose our ground and we fall back to old ways, old habits or behavior patterns from the past. When this happens, don’t let it consume you and make you feel like you’ve failed. Just dust yourself off and get back on.
The key to success in anything is consistency and persistence. Success is not determined by the end goal, but by the process. We are ever evolving and changing beings that are affected by a multitude of external factors beyond our control. Sometimes an unexpected, unplanned occurrence sends us into a different state than the one we’ve been trying so hard to cultivate. It can be a person’s words or behavior, an event, or simply an unknown source that feels like a wave of mood change come over you. We are dynamic and not static. Therefore you can’t expect for things to always work out how you wish or plan. The key is to be prepared for these shifts and thus be better able to roll with them when they occur. Don’t let them take you by surprise by being caught up in a naive notion that you’ve got it all figured out and everything’s in control. You may be or may have been, but that can change. If you leave the possibility open for those hiccups to happen and be prepared for them, then they won’t seem like such a big blow and you’ll be better equipped to keep moving forward and get back into the flow.
Too often we let ourselves get so disappointed by things not working out and we let it color our whole attitude about our situation. It may not be in reality as devastating an occurrence as you are making it seem. Perhaps there is something good in it, or perhaps it’s just a bump in the road and with patience and focus you can get right back on track. The important thing is to continue putting forth the effort toward your goal and not letting the set back make you feel hopeless or give up. Remind yourself that these things happen, it’s all part of life and it happens to everyone. If you focus too much on the fact that you’re on the ground and not on the horse, you will exacerbate the situation and feed into it. If instead you recognize that you’re on the ground, accept it and then refocus your energy toward what you need to do to get back on the horse, you’ll start to feel more positive and motivated just by enacting your will in the process of moving toward your goal. So much of the rewarding feelings and sense of accomplishment in achieving our goals actually comes from the effort that we put forth toward those goals and not necessarily in the achievement of the goal itself.
Here are some things you can do while you’re sitting in the cloud of dust
and looking up at the saddle from which you fell:
· First, notice where you are and try to accept it. This means that you should try to move beyond cursing the situation and wishing it didn’t happen and quickly move into acceptance of the reality that it happened. This puts yourself in the right attitude that will facilitate you’re getting out of the situation and moving beyond it.
· Second, Take account of what happened and how it happened. This way you can understand what went wrong and how you can either fix it or try to avoid it next time.
· Third, If you start to feel sorry for yourself try to remember your previous success. Take account of where you’ve come from and notice your successes. This will help build your confidence and see that you are not a failure.
Reconnect with the motivation and the reasons that fueled those successes in order to rebuild that force in you and to reconnect with that direction. It is also a good opportunity to embrace humility and to realize that you learn and grow from mistakes and from being humble, so this could be a very important opportunity that will actually catapult you further towards your goal. You want to mentally walk yourself through these steps and try to be present with yourself in this moment without living in the past or the future , either wishing things were as they were before or hoping they will change on their own. Be here now. There is likely something useful hidden in that cloud of dust that you will miss if you are stuck in regret and disappointment. So the saying might be better stated; when you fall of your horse, accept it, let the dust settle a bit, refocus on your goal and then brush it off and get back to trotting on down the path ahead of you.