How often are do keep yourself from celebrating success when it wasn’t perfect?
Sports fans are willing to forgive almost any transgression, if their team has won. There can be a tonne of bad decisions and plays – they might get talked about, but immediately after the game, every fan just celebrates.
Yet, we don’t do this with life. How about the project at work that was completed successfully, that the customer was happy with, but it didn’t meet our scheduling targets? Or it didn’t earn as much revenue as had been expected. It was still successful – it was cash positive, and was well received, and served the customer, but we immediately jump on the fault. Sure, there’s value in digging into mistakes, learning from them, and using a missed target as an opportunity to learn and grow – but that comes after the emotions have quieted down, after the time for celebration is over and it’s time to move on.
Talking with my coach today, I realized how I was refusing to celebrate what is going on in my life.
My wife and I have been trying to buy an apple orchard for almost two years now. We actually got a “yes” from the bank, and we have a tentative agreement with the owners of the orchard. We’ve been working closely with them, and are working through a transition plan. I’ve put in my notice at work, and will be quitting shortly. From almost every angle, I should be jumping for joy. But, I’m not.
There’s still uncertainty. Our house hasn’t sold.
We’ve ended up with some bad luck, in that the Ottawa housing market has become completely unpredictable this year. There are no reasons, or at least most of them are pretty weak. Even though we haven’t sold, there is nothing I am doing wrong. Quite the opposite – I’m doing everything right, but the market is unpredictable. So rather than feeling excited for what has gone well, I’m holding on to my fears, uncertainty, and judging everything negatively.
I’m keeping myself from enjoying what is good in my life. What I am doing is reacting to the fear, and holding onto it. I need to explore what the fears are saying, and then decide how to respond. Most of the fear is around the uncertainty, and there is nothing that I can do to create certainty. And really, if there was, this wouldn’t be an exciting story for my life.
I need to stop judging this moment as a failure, simply because there is still uncertainty.
I want to be present, and excited about the possibilities I am creating in my life, and live in the truth of that.
I am not denying the possibility of failure, but why should I live as if I’ve already failed?
What has gone well for you, that you aren’t celebrating? What can you do to create a small moment to enjoy what is good?