Overcoming Chronic Failure

9:45:00 AM

Hello there!

It’s been a little over a year since I got in here to post. Busy.... hectic....etc, etc is what I have been in the last one year managing my now one year old son, family, work etc. After the A-Z challenge last year, to be frank I had become so lethargic to writing; I couldn’t even imagine bringing myself to write again. But it’s not easy to ditch something you love doing and although I often thought of writing every month, I would procrastinate and push it to next month. I want to thank all of you who sent me emails and texts asking me to write again. It definitely did prompt me to start writing! I have a guest blog which has been pending for over one year now and I will be getting it posted in the upcoming posts.

Have you ever experienced chronic failure in life? Are there mistakes that you keep repeating over and over again?

I am not talking about failing in life. We have all failed in life in certain things. Many of us have picked up the broken pieces and learnt to move on from there.

What I am talking about is failing constantly in certain areas of our lives. Say for example in areas like: 

    • Money- We keep losing money and find ourselves often plunging in debt.  
    • Jobs – We can’t seem to keep a job and find ourselves changing jobs frequently.
    • Relationships- We constantly keep getting into the wrong relationships.
    • Emotional decisions- We constantly keep making decisions out of our emotions without rationally thinking it through.

Let me tell you what happened to me recently.

I have mentioned many times about the staff that works with me in my clinic. She’s been working with me for over 8 years now. She’s good but gets a bit absent minded at times. I often have to remind her about her work. As I recall, it was over a month ago that I got really angry and frustrated with her because she had become very sloppy and absent minded in her work. It began on a Thursday, where I shouted at her for things she had forgotten. She repeated the same thing on Saturday and Monday. I was so furious that I didn’t bother asking her why she had forgotten but just kept yelling at her repeatedly. Yet, she wouldn’t say a word.

By Wednesday, I was really frustrated with her. I told my wife Anu about it and she asked me why I wasn’t considering firing her. It was hard to fire her as she was one of the most trustworthy people I had ever met. I remember sitting in the bus that morning on my way to work, wondering what had gone wrong with her. I began reflecting on the past 8 years that we had worked together. That’s when it hit me that this was not the first time I had become frustrated with her at work. I remembered all those other times the reason she became sloppy was because something would have been bothering her at home.

You see, she is a single mother, a widow who had been raising up her only son and also caring for her ailing parents. She normally got sloppy at work because there were bigger issues happening at home. I realized the reason for my frustration was not her but me. I knew the solution to this problem and yet kept repeating the same mistake again. Had I taken things in perspective and asked her if there was something wrong, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this frustration. I decided to apologize to her and ask how things were at home. 

That morning as soon as she came to work, I called her to my office and said, “I don’t know if you noticed, I have been shouting at you since the past three days, I want to say that I am sorry.” She said, “It’s alright. I thought you might have been having problems at home. That’s why you were shouting.” I said, “No, things are absolutely fine at home. How are things at your home?” It was like she had been waiting for this question for the past three days! When she started talking about all the problems at home, it was like a dam breaking and waters gushing! As soon as she finished describing her problems, it was like a huge load had been lifted off her. She was back to being active at work again! It wasn’t like I did anything to help her; there wasn’t much I could do really. All she needed was someone to listen to what she was going through and that made all the difference.

We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect and so we are prone to make them. The issue never was in making a mistake; it is when we make the same mistakes repeatedly and don’t learn from it.
The important thing is to learn from you failures. What caused that failure? What can I do so that I won’t fail again? You can be sure that there will always be a next time!

Elbert Hubbard once said, "A failure is a man who has blundered but is not capable of cashing in on the experience."

If this is true then the opposite of this statement is also true: "A success is a man who has blundered but is capable of cashing in on the experience." Take any successful person today and their lives will tell stories of the times they've not only failed but also how they saw and used that failure as a lesson to become successful.

So how do we learn from the mistakes we make?

  1. Stop and evaluate.
    If we’re doing something that seems to be failing repeatedly then we must stop doing it. We need to take time out and evaluate. The results are going to be the same if we keep doing it the same way. We need to stop and find out the reason why we are failing.
  2. Seek counsel.
    The best way around a repeated problem is to get outside help. Sometimes we get blinded by what seems the norm to us. It may be difficult to figure out what’s wrong. Seeking counsel is an excellent way to see things that seem invisible and find new ways of doing things that brings results.
  3. Do things differently.
    Author and Pastor Craig Groeschel puts it this way, “If we keep doing what we’ve always done, then we will keep getting what we have always got.”

The temptation often is to go back to doing things as in the past. Many times we become secure with the way things were done earlier even though it yields little or no results. 

We need to courageously break away from the status quo and do things differently.

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  1. Good to see you back here after quite awhile. And yes, these quotes and the anecdote truly resonates with me since I see a lot of what I was in there too. It is a learning curve, I guess...

    1. Thanks for the welcoming back Radha! Yeah, we are all on the learning curve, and we have to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes! :)


  2. Congratulations! Your blog post was selected for Tangy Tuesday Picks edition of 29-08-2015 at BlogAdda. Cheers :)
    You can check your post here: http://blog.blogadda.com/2015/09/01/tangy-tuesday-picks-august-31-2015

  3. Well I too have been too lazy to write after the A to Z challenge. And I am totally at loss of thoughts to get my blog going. Reading a lot to come across ideas!
    Nice post. It motivates me :)

    1. Hey! Yeah I know how you feel...but great to see you are trying a comeback!

  4. I was on a looong blog break too:-) Happy to re-discover your blog! remember I enjoy your atoz- and enjoyed reading this post as well. Happy writing:-)

    1. THank you Eli! Great to see you after such a long time too!


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