sad

2016 is here and gone. And before I move on to goals, visions, and strategies for another year, I wanted to reflect back on how once again, despite what I teach and preach, and another year of wisdom under my belt…I still failed.

2016 was an exciting year for me personally and professionally, as well as for our family. Here are some of the highlights I would like to express gratitude for:

  • We moved back into the home we love for the first time in nearly 7 years
  • Hollister and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary
  • I published my first book as an eBook, audio book, and paperback book
  • I recorded at least one “Weekly Yes, And” podcast a week for the whole year
  • Our kids played sports, participated in numerous activities, had amazing camp experiences, and were super healthy and safe the entire year
  • I gained and maintained wonderful friendships with people all over the world
  • I improved my health and can’t remember one sick day the entire year
  • I delivered training sessions to the Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, UGA Football, NCAA, and UCLA medical students
  • I delivered numerous corporate training workshops and spoke at awesome conferences
  • I gave the keynote address at my college alma mater for alumni weekend
  • I was able to spend most days at home with my wife and kids to help with homeschooling and just being around as dad
  • I continued into my 2nd year working with an amazing youth soccer club
  • Our family spent a good portion of our summer in northern Michigan with family and friends
  • Work took me to speaking gigs in California, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, Georgia, and all over Florida
  • We have a puppy that prefers me to the rest of the family (sorry Hollister)

Even as I type this list it only reinforces for me what a failure I am.

Why?

Because to type that list and read through all of the amazing things from 2016, here I sit, with days left in the year, feeling frustrated, discouraged, jealous, and afraid.

Frustrated that despite my work and efforts more work hasn’t come my way. Discouraged with myself for not possessing the intelligence for being a better entrepreneur. Jealous of others doing similar work and appearing to have much more success. Afraid of not being able to pay bills and ultimately provide for my family.

In short, feeling like a failure.

Again.

This is not new. It is pretty common for me. It’s a story I have been dragging around for a while, and I am ready to let it go. I could get into all the possible reasons of why this may be my story, but that is really not the reason for writing this.

Honestly, I don’t know the real reason for writing this. You caught me in a vulnerable moment. I am not afraid to be open and transparent, but it’s probably not the best business practice for a performance coach/motivational speaker to share their insecurities…

or is it?

I don’t really care (although I probably do). I believe I have some pretty awesome ideas, but I don’t pretend to know it all. So, to say “I don’t know” doesn’t really scare me, but I would like to think of myself as someone who can provide insight and inspiration.

The fear sucks.

The fear, frustration, jealousy, discouragement all suck. I preach living with authenticity and purpose. I wrote a book about it. My book is about getting unstuck, yet I still get stuck. And yes, I can intellectually answer most of my own questions, and if I were coaching myself I would know what to say…

but I still struggle.

And because I still struggle, and because I “know better,” and because I need to “practice what I preach,” I end up feeling like a failure.

In reality, the failure is two fold. The first failure as I stated is a sense of inadequacy professionally. The second failure is because I know I have fallen into the trap of looking at outcomes as the cause of my value and success. Fail and fail.

I encourage others not to play the “if only” or “when I” game, but I still get caught playing it myself. I know that the only place I need to be is in this moment, happy, grateful, and content – yet I still jump ahead to “but what’s next?” Every human need of mine has been taken care of in every possible way for over 43 years in abundance, yet I still catch myself doubting the next year.

So yes. Despite a year of more blessings and breakthroughs, I still worry. It drives my wife crazy, which drives me crazy for driving her crazy. And I know it is ultimately not the example I want to set for my kids, or anyone I work with.

So what’s the moral of the story? I didn’t have one in mind when I started this rant. If anything, I just wanted to put out an honest and unfiltered thought spill of what I am feeling right now, and how that makes me feel like a failure. (And no, this is not alcohol induced)

The man who preaches to live Yes, And still gets caught up with a whole lot of “no” thoughts.

Can you relate?

I get it. I see your fear. I understand your frustration. I feel your pain. And here is the kicker, I don’t know how to do anything else. I have no plan B. No safety net. What you see is what you get.

And despite the frustration, discouragement, jealousy, and fear…I’ll keep moving forward. I’ll work to unlearn my stories, release the baggage, and practice what I preach.

So, even if I get booked for countless talks, trainings, and workshops…and work with awesome teams…and end up on the best seller list (why not), I don’t want to look back on 2017 and see those outcomes as the basis of my happiness.

And because since I did it for yet another year…

I failed.

So…

Hello 2017. I still have a lot to (un)learn.

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One comment on “I Failed in 2016…Again!

  • Yes, I’m the sane way. Constantly reflecting on what could be despite the external progress I’ve seemingly made. I’m happy for the unrest and desire to never quite feel fulfilled.

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