Those Monsters in the Mirror

image by Ephemere Designs

As the year comes to an end it is time to set new goals for the new year, but I also start looking at what I have achieved this year. You know all those goals I set this time last year? The ones I mostly didn’t reach?

I didn’t get the library of patterns written, I didn’t develop a big wholesale business, and I didn’t even run a half marathon in under two hours.

I am a failure. 

But what happens when I look at it without all the drama? What can my failures tell me?

My biggest fail was time. I simply imagined I would have a lot more of it than I did. I had a newborn, a 2 year-old, and a kindergartener, and the combination was a huge time sink. I also didn’t manage my time very well. I procrastinated. I generally think that procrastination is a symptom, not the disease itself, so I ask what would have happened if I was very successful this year? I probably would have killed myself with work. I procrastinated instead of admitting to myself that I was not able to handle that kind of commitment. Wholesale is still a goal, and I did get a few accounts, I just need to be realistic about what I can really handle.

Why didn’t I get a fat catalog of patterns written? It was because writing patterns is hard. It twists my brain around in knots and leaves me mentally exhausted. I cannot write a pattern each week and take care of everything else. So instead I am making a more modest goal of releasing a new pattern every month, and promoting it better. Volume is not the goal, quality work and sales are.

And why didn’t I break two hours in the half marathon? All of the above.

I exhausted myself with all my faux working and didn’t take enough time to train.

Realising all of this — that I did not fail because I am a failure, but rather it was a combination of over ambitious goals and bad management — helps me see clearly what I can achieve, and start the new year with better goals and without those monsters in the rearview mirror.

m4s0n501

Author Description

Chantelle Brightbill is a modern quilt designer with a strong commitment to sustainable materials. She wants the art you put on your bed to be as beautiful as the art you hang on your walls.

2 Responses to “Those Monsters in the Mirror”

  1. December 19, 2012

    Nicole @theWardrobeCode Reply

    I think the possibility of disappointing oneself is a small price to pay for being overly-ambitious. Overly-ambitious people accomplish great things because they have the guts to dream big and the skills to make things happen. It’s a bummer when we don’t accomplish everything we set out to, but having a detailed plan of what we want to do and HOW it will be done helps tremendously!

  2. December 19, 2012

    CINDY PESTKA Reply

    I got some great advice about failure recently. Rather than say, “I’m a failure blah, blah, blah”, say “I failed to produce xyz result.” TOTALLY takes all of the juice of it for me (when I remember to do it)!

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