Stay Inspired! How to re-frame “failed” goals (part 1)

by Cheryl Brewster

What inspires you?  Inspiration is important!  It’s what comforts us in the most difficult circumstances, transforms lethargy into those great “I Did It!” moments, and also helps us deal with those disappointing “I Didn’t Do It!” moments. However, like anything else, the benefits of inspiration can’t do their work if we’re not open to its incredible power and potential.

Inspiration is food for the body and the soul – we’d starve without it.
Defined as a creative force that stimulates thought or action, inspiration is also defined as the drawing in of breath.  There is no lack of inspiration, but if we’re not deliberately incorporating it into breathing, we’re missing out on a whole lot of mental, emotional and physical fuel… we’re draining our resilience and access to our intuition and its super powers of calm, clear, accurate guidance.

What would happen if you brought more “inspired breathing” into your day? You’d not only feel better, you’d be opening up to more of your creativity, ingenuity, genius, imagination and originality. You’d be breathing new life into what appear to be “failed” goals and expanding into an even greater prosperity consciousness.

To do this, we need to acknowledge, feel and breathe into our feelings and question our assumptions.  Feelings like disappointment, regret and worry are natural and even expected. But are we overly self-criticizing with labels like failure, being lazy, weak or not good enough?  These labels can certainly feel justified given the work/achievement culture we live in. But we must ensure we are seeing clearly.  Often there are circumstances beyond our control or there’s a bigger picture we can only become aware of, after the fact. Further, the stress of unexpected events can cause repercussions we’re not even aware of, like post-traumatic stress and burn-out. These cause huge energy hits on our system…. and yet…we still actually blame ourselves for not achieving our goals!

So what to do? Finding ourselves in the doldrums of unexpected or disappointing results  is hard. Really hard. How do we stay inspired then?

Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz.

Ask questions rather than judging or making assumptions:
The brutal critical voice is something we all have. It can crush our spirit – don’t let it! Mindfully ask quality questions to shift perspective:
What would inspiration do now?
As an observer, watching myself, what can be learned from this?
What is a better feeling thought I can have?
Was this a reasonable goal or did I over/underestimate inner and outer environments or time required?
Did I leave wiggle room for adjustment?
Did I re-evaluate my goal to course correct?
In hindsight, what would I do differently?
What attitude serves me best in moving forward?

Use inspiration to see the bigger picture
It sounds weird; but sometimes “not” achieving our goals can benefit us (if we’ll let it):
1. If you’re way too hard on yourself or have some other ineffective habit, not achieving your goal this time round can be a good thing. It’s the opportunity to course correct any self-limiting attitudes so you are genuinely expanding your self-awareness to create a more grounded level of success.
2. The most inspiring among us are those who found a way through crippling adversity –  you can too. Take Your Stand! Decide to pick yourself up and invest in support and self-development; none of us does this work alone!
3. Find meaning in the pain…. what comfort and wisdom will you bring another who goes through something like this? Bring it to yourself first, right here, right now.

This is part one of how to re-frame your goals… If you enjoyed this blog, stay tuned for part two, and let us know what impacted you most and how you applied these tools. (And please share, we appreciate it)!

Cheryl Brewster helps people become aware of their strengths and the mindsets that impair them. She works with both organisations and individuals to help each person take responsibility and move forward in their roles for more empowered experiences and outcomes. Cheryl offers keynotes, coaching programs and private consultations.

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