As we head into the holiday season I like to use this as a time of reflection. As the year draws to a close I think about my goals, what I've accomplished and where I thought I would be.
There are a few goals that I did reach this year, both business and personal. And many, many, many more that I didn't. A few a came so close to and didn't quite reach and a few where I failed miserably.
Let me tell you. The ones where I fell just a little short were the ones that hurt way, way worse. Like I didn't quite measure up. Like I wasn't quite good enough. Like I was the girl who could never keep up with the pack, instead of the woman running ahead. Whew. It's been a doozy.
But then I remembered some advice I got a few years ago from a sweet lady I worked with (I have been blessed to work with awesome women who have cheered me on in life). I remember she told me "don't focus on all the stuff you haven't accomplished yet, instead look where you are and count backward." Then she had me list off everything great I had checked off my list up until that point.
Instead of focusing on the twelve million rejections I've gotten this year, focus on the 72 yeses. When I've gotten discouraged this year, whether it be in business or financial goals, I remind myself that yes, I still have a lot of work to do, but man I've done so much.
In the past five years, we've had two babies, paid off $36,000 in debt, bought a house, paid cash for a and six major appliances. We've launched a business that is profitable, gotten a promotion, seen the geysers of Yellowstone, made a ton of new friends, found church home we love, gained confidence as parents and realized our marriage was way, way stronger than we ever realized.
Instead of focusing on all the things that have gone wrong, I am reminding myself of the 1,000 things that have gone right. And I am learning from the failures. The hundreds and hundreds of failures.
A couple weeks ago I got to go see Dave Ramsey speak at Christy Wright's Business Boutique in Nashville. It's an awesome women's business conference and I highly recommend going if you are a small business owner.
Dave reminded me of something, failure isn't the worst thing that can happen. He shared about his own goals when he was first starting his business as a financial advisor, author and radio host. He talked about all the ideas he had for himself, the markets he wanted to be in and the books he wanted to sell. He said that year after year he didn't quite reach the goals he set, but he kept trying. He kept reevaluating what was NOT working and eventually exceeded those goals.
As he reminded us Thomas Edison once said, while inventing the light bulb, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
So whatever it is you're working toward, don't get so bogged down in the times you haven't gotten it right, take a minute to remember how far you've come and then keep moving forward.