Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Am Not Defined by My Failures

Big mommy-fails today.

Today is not the day I would want you to be able to take a peek at my life.

For various reasons, none big or important, we are all out of sorts and a bit cranky today. It has been a very difficult morning. The boys are acting up and I have not responded in a proper or helpful way. My responses did not bring me or the boys to a better place. Instead, they took as into more conflict and bad tempers. I have allowed my emotions to take over and I have behaved in ways of which I am not proud.

As I continued to roll over the events of the morning in my mind again and again, I was berating myself for how I had failed. Of course I felt miserable and was making myself feel worse and worse, the dialog toward myself becoming more and more negative.

Then I had a thought. Instead of beating myself up and criticizing myself for how I had failed (and I definitely did), I needed to use this as an opportunity to learn how to do things differently next time. Instead of agonizing over how I had failed and telling myself how horrible I am, I needed to replay what had happened over the morning, but this time change the events. I needed to re-create the situations in my mind the way I wish I would have responded. I needed to picture the way I should have acted. In this way, I can prepare myself for the next time. Because there is always a next time. Now that I know how not to behave, I need to fill my mind with the way I ought to behave.

Now I know how to respond better when these types of situations happen again. When I feel my temper rising and my frustration is mounting, I have some strategies that I can employ before losing my temper. I have a plan for how to respond to the different situations we had going on this morning.

Mammas, we need to stop playing the negative tracks in our heads. We all do it. Yours might be a little different than mine, but we all have them. We need to replace these negative statements with positive ones. Give ourselves grace to learn from our mistakes so that we can do it differently next time. When we dwell on our failures, we are more apt to repeat them. When we fill our minds with what we ought to do and how we ought to behave, we are more likely to act in these ways the next time a situation arises.

I know I tend to berate myself for my failures. But that helps no one. If anything, it only makes it worse. I want to move forward and see the times I fail as opportunities to learn how to do better. I want to stop using my failures as ammunition against myself and start using them as tools to improve. Not that I want to fail. Obviously, learning to do things better without failing would be ideal. But it is inevitable that I will fail and when I do I want to see it as an opportunity for good to come of it, not an opportunity to put myself down.

Does anyone want to join me? Are you ready to replace the negative statements in your head with positive statements that will lead to positive change?

I know I will not do this perfectly. I am going to mess up. A lot. I will respond badly and then I will play my failures over again in my head. Yet, I want to consciously put that behind me. I want to change how I think about my failures so that I can change how I behave.

This morning was very difficult. The boys are napping now and I have a little time to think over the morning and consider how to handle the situations that may arise this afternoon. I hope that this morning's failures were not a waste, but that I can use them (as much as I regret having had them happen at all) to help us have a better afternoon. And better days moving forward.

Please be encouraged! Our failures do not define us. We can allow them to bring us down or we can use them to build up a better future. We can choose which one it will be.

1 comment:

Linda Hartranft said...

Words of wisdom, we'll-stated!