Monday, December 26, 2011

There Is No Wagon!

We’ve all heard the expression, maybe even said it a few times ourselves: “I’ve fallen off the wagon.” My question is “Just what is this wagon? And, for goodness sake, why can’t we just hop back on it?”
It seems that if we find ourselves shy of the goal, we tell ourselves that’s it -- our story has been written, our destiny has already been determined. But why? Why is it that we can succeed in so many areas of our life, and fail time and time again in others? Why is it that we expect a learning curve with some tasks but immediate perfection with the rest? And why do we tell ourselves that if it didn’t work the last time, it probably never will?
I have a friend with diabetes. She’s an overeater and has always struggled with her weight and her love for food. When suggesting to her a different approach to her quest, the silence on the other end of the line was evidence of her pain and crying soon followed.  Then she said, “I am so afraid.  I’ve tried so many times and I always end up failing and falling off the wagon.”  We talked some more and she opted for trying a new approach.
What she, and so many others, failed to realize was that by viewing her goal as a wagon she could fall off, or a train that once it jumped the track had no hope of ever returning, she was basically saying there was no room for second chances (so forget about the third or fourth try!). This was a very successful woman who had reached so many of the goals she set for herself. I asked her how she’d done it. She said it had taken time, trials, errors and lots of hard work.  In short, her success was an evolution – she just failed to see how the test she took each time she stepped on the scale was as well.
After all, could you cross a lake without knowing how to swim?  Would you give up the first time you swallowed some water? Would you panic then quit at the first sign of an endless bottom? Think about when you learned to ride a bike. Did you quit the first time you skinned your knee? Or even worse, stop loving the first time your heart was broken? (‘cause that hurts!)  Why is it because it didn’t work the first time, or even the fifth, we assume it never will? Think about it!!! Just because there is traffic, doesn’t mean you get off the road -- you just take another path. 

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