Monday Motivation: Learn From Your Missteps
I 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?