On Tuesday, December 27, 2022, two days after the joys of Christmas and four days shy of embracing the New Year with glowing enthusiasm, I wrote, “Ok, you’re feeling low this morning, feeling less power because you feel like you’ve worked so hard and yet, nothing has worked out.” 

Do you ever get utterly frustrated by your perceived progress or lack thereof?

Words can’t describe what I felt at that moment.  Only that, the thought felt utterly true, completely real and painful to my heart.

I continued,  “You’ve labored your tail off from midmorning till ten, eleven at night, sometimes past midnight.  What do you have to show for any of it but the same old routine: trying to round up podcast guests, working on newsletters and social media content, and not having enough speaking engagements to sustain it all?   And now what do you have?  Just the same old sense of frustration and failure and like you’re not good enough, or smart enough, or working hard enough, to succeed.”

Even though I’ve discovered over time that my perception is skewed at moments like this and that my present imaginings don’t reflect my whole reality, it’s still darn tempting to indulge the feeling and have a good old Freeman Pity Party. 

However, I’ve learned through much painful experience that indulging my Freeman Pity Party feelings simply doesn’t lead me where I want to go.  I’ve also learned that there’s a great difference between noticing and honoring the feeling, and indulging and actively searching for ways to add fuel to the fire.

Oh yes, doubt is natural
AND YET our doubts don’t have to dictate
the direction we go.

While it’s true that things often seem bleakest before they begin to seem better, in my view that’s not the whole story.  Things begin to feel better because we find a way to orient ourselves and begin in the direction we want to go.  Yes, miracles and magic and the aid of others definitely can help us get reoriented and start heading in the feeling-better-direction.  At the same time, each of us is at the center of our own lives, so our participation is very necessary.

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JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment.  He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.

He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “Doing your Imperfect Best ™”.

His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.