Lately I have found myself getting really frustrated by setbacks, or my lack of ability to do certain things. I understand the principles of marketing, but I can’t come up with or implement a successful marketing plan to save my life. I might as well throw my money at a fan and watch it fly away to never be seen again. I can write a thousand words that paint a beautiful picture, but I can’t draw a picture that speaks a thousand words. Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except for the fact that I write children’s books and I can write them one hell of a lot faster than anyone would be able to illustrate them. Which in the grand scheme of things, these are easy to overcome. Hire a marketing team. Hire a couple of illustrators. Easy.
Except for the fact that I can’t afford a marketing team, or a couple of illustrators. So I get frustrated and determined that I’m going to do it myself and wind up wasting a whole lot of time and money . . . because as previously stated, these things are outside of the realm of my abilities. That’s when the trouble comes in. I can’t do it, I can’t pay someone else to do it, so clearly there must be something lacking with me. I am deficient. Which logically makes absolutely no sense. We can’t all be good at everything, so why should it mean that something is wrong with us when we can’t do something? It shouldn’t and it doesn’t mean that. Yet, that is where my brain inevitably goes. Sometimes it goes so far, that my so-called short-comings over shadow the things that I do well . . . which leaves me in a depressed lump sitting on my couch surrounded my projects that need to get finished and no motivation to do anything other than marathon “Murder She Wrote” and play Yahtzee on my iPad. Theoretically speaking, I definitely haven’t actually done that . . . this past weekend . . . I might have played bowling on my iPad too . . .
Eventually I come to my senses – or the internet stops working and I can’t watch “Murder She Wrote” any more – get off my butt and start doing things. It is in the doing that I remember that setbacks are not deficiencies in myself. They are hurdles to be jumped over and left behind. Yes, I’m going to trip on some of them, but I’ll figure out why I tripped so that I won’t trip the next time that hurdle comes up. I used to tell employees that I trained, that I didn’t mind or get upset over questions or over someone not knowing how to do something. I got upset over people asking the same questions or making the same mistakes without ever learning from them. Setbacks are not deficiencies, they are opportunities for learning. Wow, how cornball is that? I feel like I need to make a motivational poster now.
At any rate, that is where my headspace has been lately. Then I had lunch with a friend and lo and behold, she is having the same issue with feeling inadequate over the things that she finds herself unable to do. Crazy! It’s not just me. Once more life provides me with a flashing-neon-lights example of how my problems are not special. They are not unique. People not only know my pain, they feel my pain because they have the same damn pain. I’m starting to feel like emotions are like stories. They’ve all been told a million times, we’re simply slapping new titles on them. That is a good thing though, because it means that whatever issue, whatever problem you are having, somebody, probably thousands of somebodies, have had the same thing and gotten through it. If they can get through it, so can you. There’s comfort in not being alone. So to me, and to everybody else dealing with the same issue – An inability to do one thing, does not make you deficient as a person, or detract from the things that you do well.
Now to say that a million times until I actually believe what I’m saying.