Saturday, August 23, 2014

What Am I Doing Wrong?

What am I doing wrong?

I found myself asking myself this question the other day- out loud.

How many times have you found yourself asking the same question?

My kids went back to school this week- I wondered where the summer had gone and how we never made it to the water park or to the amusement park.

What did I do wrong- nothing.  We spend a month in Massachusetts- we had football and band practices that couldn't be missed and did not allow time for day trips- We did other things.

My kids went back to school this week and I made lots and lots of lists of things I would get done with all my "free time".

What did I do wrong- the lists didn't get emptied, things didn't get done.  I spent my days filling out questionnaires, doing dishes, laundry, shopping, getting physicals, cooking healthy meals- I wasn't doing anything wrong, there were just other things to do.

My kids came home grouchy and irritable from school almost every day this week.  I found myself asking more than ever "what am I doing wrong".  I had special snacks ready, I had a smile on my face and an extra amount of patience.  I didn't do anything wrong, people get tired, people get irritable, it doesn't mean it was because of something I did wrong.

My neighbor made these cookies that were amazing.  I wondered why my cookies never came out so good- I questioned "what am I doing wrong".  I made over 12 different cookie recipes before he gave me a simple tip- let the butter and eggs come to room temperature.  In many of the recipes, there was oftentimes a comma and then the words "room temperature", but in my hurry to get the cookies made, I was often too impatient to follow this step.  Sometimes we aren't doing things wrong, but we do take shortcuts, which most often change the results we are looking for.

I did a crossfit competition last weekend.  I attempted to bring a weight up to my shoulders that I had never attempted to do before.  Before I started, I told myself I would try, but I had a lot of doubt.  I rushed through and ended up falling down before securing the weight on my shoulders.  I wasn't mad, but I found myself wondering "what am I doing wrong".

My friend sat on the sidelines video taping the lift- after watching the video, I was able to say "wow, that actually looked pretty good, if I hadn't rushed it, I would have had it."  Instead of asking myself, "what am I doing wrong", I found myself using my mistake to make myself better.

There are two ways you can look at "what am I doing wrong"- 1) as a means to better yourself or 2) as a means to wallow in your own self pity.

I'm choosing 1.  Many times we know things we are doing wrong, but we don't want to change them because it means admitting things, changing things, doing things, or having to work harder.

Stop defeating yourself with what you are "doing wrong" and start looking at it as a victory.  If you are doing something wrong, at least you are doing something.  Do it differently next time.  Keep working.  Every mistake you make is one step closer to what you want.

We're going to have bad days, the kids are going to be kids, some meals will be epic fails, it may take you over two years to get a pull-up, your garden may not have grown for the third year straight, but there's always next time, tomorrow, or even next year.  Don't give up and don't beat yourself up.

If you are asking yourself, "what am I doing wrong"- try changing it up and asking "what am I doing right"?

As a constant reminder to myself, I have this hung on the wall behind my computer:

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