Monday Motivation: Learn From Your Missteps

trailrunI had an interesting insight while running this weekend.  I have a few courses that I run pretty regularly near my house and can point out most of the spots where I have either stumbled, tripped, or rolled my ankle in the past.  The combination of running in the dark, on trails, or new terrain is a recipe for the occasional fall.

As I was running, a thought occurred to me.  I never hurt myself in the same place twice.  Instinctively, I know where to swerve, where to shorten my stride and what places to avoid altogether.  Clearly this is a self-preservation response to ensure that I don’t get hurt again.  I have a favorite trail that I haven’t run on in over a year since spraining my ankle.  Is there a point where I should forgive that trail or is that just a recipe for another sprained ankle?

My thoughts then went to times in life where I’ve been hurt.  I can easily rattle off a list of relationships where someone hurt me or perhaps I hurt them, and in an effort not to be hurt again, I either made certain topics off limits or avoided that person entirely.  Clearly this is natural but is it healthy?  Here are the things I am contemplating as I examine this in my own life.

1. Is this a defense mechanism I have set up that prevents me from growth and improvement?

2. Is this defense mechanism completely healthy or could I potentially grow by tackling a difficult issue?

3. Is there anything to be gained by letting down this defense?

4. Is this something I can potentially work through with another person who can see my blind spots?

5. What can I learn from my missteps and turn it into a positive experience?

Does this resonate with you?  My fear is that my natural self-preservation instinct would keep me from reaching my full potential as a father, husband, boss, employee, among a number of other roles I fill.

Are you missing out on some beautiful paths in life because your first venture resulted in injury?

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

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