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    MOTIVATION

    How to deal with failure

    How to deal with failure is frankly the one topic I would rather not talk about, however, failure is something everybody has gone through at one time or another. Unfortunately, it is such a part of life sometimes, and it will show up when you don’t expect it. Other times it will seem like you might do everything you can to prepare yourself to win, only to fall flat on your face with nothing working out like you had planned. And while some falls hurt more than others, every single one of them certainly has an effect and kind of makes you feel like some one’s knocked wind out of your sails.

    I know this is a sailing idiom that is used a lot but it might not carry that much meaning for someone who’s never sailed at all. I am a novice sailor and let me tell you, having no wind in your sails is every sailor’s nightmare (especially when they are trying to get somewhere).  I remember this one time we were taking part in a sailing race. The journey we were meant to cover was approximately 4 1/2 hrs on a good sailing day, and on this particular day, we started off so well only to get half way and lose all wind. The sea was the most calm it had ever been and we were in one spot for hours and hours just making no progress. We ended up taking over 7 hrs to complete the race and yes you’ve guessed it, we lost!

    Back to the topic, the way to look at failure is that you can use it as a learning experience. In fact, you should use it as a learning experience, otherwise, it will be a wasted opportunity. You have to assess it strategically and capture the lesson so that you know where things went wrong so you can do better next time, and use it as a stepping stone to make progress.

    I’ve heard Kelly Roach (of kellyroachcoaching.com) say that “the ability to withstand failure helps you to build your bounce-back muscle”. Most times when I have failed, I have had meltdowns, cried and just had all the emotional reactions you can think of. The fact is, failure stings, and its ugly and it hurts. but the harder you fail and get back up, the stronger your bounce-back muscle. 

    A little while ago, I attended a leadership course where I failed a few of my tasks/ tests. It seemed like all the preparation I had made to make myself into a star student was just not helping me. In the grand scheme of things, these tests were not the biggest failures some leaders in my position have ever made but for me, I wasn’t having it. I wanted to excel (and that’s a good thing), so I was so hard on myself every time I didn’t do well which made me even more tense and meant that I kept spiraling down a black hole.

    At the end of the whole thing, after it was all over and I could look back as a third part and think rationally, I asked myself, does it make me a bad leader just because I failed a few tests? I deliberated on the answer but at the end, I decided that you know what, NO! Having failed and made a few mistakes does not make me a bad leader. In fact, it makes me a good leader if I learn from my mistakes and think about them strategically. It made me think about some of the best leaders this world has ever seen and how some of them failed big time, at times publicly but those who learned from their mistakes and used them as stepping stones, it helped them improve their leadership.

    One of these leaders that I looked at is King Solomon, believed to be one of the wisest kings, but also a man who made quite a lot of mistakes so he knew something about failure as recorded in 

    Proverbs 24:16 For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again.

    One of the most important things, when you fail, is to not let your confidence shake. Your identity is never in what you do but who you are, but the sad thing is that when we fail, that tends to knock our identity right down.However, ”your identity determines how you show up in life” Fabienne Fredrickson. 

    So every time failure tries to knock you down, be mentally determined to get back up even before you hit the floor, in other words, don’t ever quit. Don’t quit on yourself, your dreams and the vision that God has give you for your life, and don’t let fear convince you that it’s over when you fail; it’s not over until you win.

    Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. 

     

    MOTIVATION

    Finish your race

    Hi Friends,

    A few months ago, I attempted my first marathon of the year. From the very beginning, I felt good and strong, may be I was a bit under pressure to beat my previous time but that’s normal for any athlete. As much as I had a few pains and niggles at the beginning of the year and when I started training, they had all disappeared by the time marathon day came around.  The weather was perfect, not too cold, warm enough for October to be honest, there was no wind, the sun was shining softly and  I was at the right place at the start line for my number. I had done my warm up, had a good breakfast and enough fluid to keep me hydrated, in fact, I think I was over prepared.

    I had covered all the bases and was as ready as you can imagine. Carly and I even took pre-race selfies, generally, I was in good spirits…..and then off we went. I took it easy from the beginning and stayed at my pace, pushing only a little bit. 

    Everything was going so well, I was right on track to beat my previous time, I took gels at the time they advise to take them, took enough refreshments and was coasting along easily. Then as I got to the 27K point, out of nowhere and without warning, I started feeling muscle spasms, cramps, and twitches. The first one only lasted a few seconds and I just ignored it and kept pushing. By the time I got to the 30K point, they had become more regular, I was limping at this point, I was forced to sit on the side of the road as a family that was spectating rushed to me to see if I was ok and offered me water (I think it was from their toddler’s water bottle 🙂 talk about embarrassing moments!)

    I had never experienced muscle cramps, or spasms while running before so I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with it. By now, fear had come over me like a blanket, broadcasting on the screen of my mind an image of me being carried off the course in an ambulance and that’s when the actual battle started. The battle and determination that I was going to cross that finish line on my two feet, the battle to now drag my painful and nearly numb legs for an extra 12 kilometers. They seemed like the longest and hardest 12 Km I have ever run in my life because I was fighting more than one battle; mental, emotional and physical and every other way.

    I watched as one by one, the pacers who were far behind me passed by, and with everyone went the dream of me getting my personal best or at least a decent time.  My mind was fighting the pain to keep going, in the meantime, the cramps wouldn’t stop and with no warning whatsoever, my calfs would lose their strength, it was all like a bad daydream! Here’s me who’s done all this training and preparation and have been feeling strong, and now I’m in a situation I’ve never been in, I can’t even describe to you the pain or disappointment and the thoughts of anger and frustration that were going on in my mind! All the while I was still praying and asking God that he would help me to finish, and to still get a decent time, but I knew I needed to change my thoughts and the images that were on my mind. Instead of seeing myself in an ambulance, I started playing one of me crossing the finish line, over and over until that was all I could see in my mind’s eye.

    In this life, I have found you can’t be wishy-washy about everything and expect to be a winner. Let’s face it, there are times when life will throw curve balls that you either didn’t see coming or didn’t even know could come at you. When you go through a hard time, when everything seems to oppose you, when you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!

    1. Know your why. Understanding your why is something that’s essential if you are to finish your race. This is what will keep you pushing and give you the tenacity that’s needed to hang in there.
    2. Understand that not every day will be easy. I think knowing and dealing with this is a sign of maturity. You cant throw a tantrum and give up just because some days are harder than others.
    3. Accept help. when we experience hard times, it can hurt our ego and make us feel like we don’t need help from anyone because we don’t want to look like a failure. Accepting help never makes anyone a failure, though in my case may be drinking the toddler’s water makes me just embarrassed 🙂 lol.
    4. Never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, ever feel pity for yourself. This one of the best advice I ever received.  Joyce Meyer always says ”you cant be pitiful and powerful at the same time”. Pity does not serve any good purpose, so if you have to drag yourself and walk through that pain, even if its the smallest steps you have to take, keep going. And you know what, if it’s a situation that you have to face every day, this will be hard, but you have to keep fighting.
    5. Keep your hopes up. Even though the fear, pain and uncertainity, dont lose your hope, let it anchor you.

    So, what happened in the end you might ask? did the ambulance come for me? NO! I crossed the finish line with my 2 legs. With a time of 4hr 10 minutes, I was 8 minutes slower than my previous finish time. By now my legs were so numb, I literally felt like I was running on sticks – Insert visual of Pinocchio :-). While I carried emotional pain and dissapointment that things hadn’t worked out as well as I had wanted, I was also super grateful, grateful that God carried me, to have kept pushing despite the pain. What seemed like a horrible race and horrible day shaped me and helped me run another marathon just 4 weeks later, and saw me get my Personal best 🙂 

    Some races are not whether you win, or whether you finish strong, they are about whether you finish at all. Never give up on your dreams friends, you are capable of amazing things.

    xoxo

    Sharon

     

    LIFE, TRAVEL

    10 Random facts about me: Thank you for the Liebster award

    A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to some fantastic news, I had been nominated for my first ever blogging award!! Thank you so much to Kula and Christian a couple on a budget. They are a wonderful travel couple who’ve been to some swoon-worthy destinations, their website is a wealth of information with travel tips, advice and the desire to be conscious travelers. Please check their website out for amazing ways to travel to cool places on a budget and also how you can do some amazing activities like hot air ballooning, all on a budget. Check them out to see more, and find them on YouTube to see amazing videos of some of the beautiful places they have visited.

     a couple on a budget have asked me 10 random facts about me, and here are my answers. 

    1. If you could only eat 1 cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
    It’s really got to be two, Mexican and Ugandan. Ugandan because I was raised on it, Mexican because who doesn’t?

    2. What was the most exhilarating thing you’ve ever done?
    Whitewater Rafting in Kenya.

    3. What inspired you to start blogging?
    I am a solo traveler and every time I went somewhere that left me in awe, I wished my friends and family could see it too.  

    4. What’s your favorite book you’ve read or movie you’ve seen so far this year and why?
    Favorite movie is wonder woman, (I’m all about girl power).  Favorite book is the biology of belief by Bruce Lipton, just because I enjoy biology and learning about how the body and cells work.

    5. Would you rather take a First Class flight or the rough scenic route?
    First class all the way. Then I can hike up and see the scenic route and take it all in calmly! 

    6. What’s your next destination going to be and why?
    Currently browsing and trying to decide, but looking for a relaxing holiday, I’m thinking Spa and yoga, just because I’ve been working too hard all year.

    7. What advice would you give to starting bloggers?
    Just do it. Don’t wait for things to be perfect. You will learn as you go, everyone does which is why change is a good thing. 

    8. Name one thing to avoid when traveling. 
    Rude and disrespectful behavior. No matter where you are as a traveler, you have to treat people as you wish to be treated.

    9. Name one thing to avoid when blogging.
    Fear of failure, and always wanting everything to be perfect before you take action. A masterpiece is not created in one go. The artists will keep working and failing, but all those times they look like they have failed, they are actually honing their craft and learning what works and what doesn’t work. 

    10. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world right now, who’s alive, who would it be?
    Very hard question, It would have to be a business/success coach as I’m dreaming of being self-employed in a few years time.

    Who I am nominating:

    1. Helena Grey of Grey dynasty Helena is a flight attendant who not just posts cute pics of places she visits but takes the time to tour the cities and curates the information with what to do and things to see. She writes about style and life too, which is a good balance.
    2. Yuri of With Love Yuri. Yuri is a nomad like myself, relatively new to blogging too but she’s so authentic in what she shares and the way she writes. She recently moved to Italy and who doesn’t love reading about/ seeing pictures of Italy!
    3. Abby of Abbys Atlas. Her travel posts are comprehensive and well detailed, with amazing pictures to go with everything!

    For those nominated, If you accept the nomination you have to answer the same 10 questions. Or see the rules for Liebster nomination

    1. If you could only eat 1 cuisine for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
    2. What was the most exhilarating thing you’ve ever done?
    3. What inspired you to start blogging?
    4. What’s your favorite book you’ve read or movie you’ve seen so far this year and why?
    5. Would you rather take a First Class flight or the rough scenic route?
    6. What’s your next destination going to be and why?
    7. What advice would you give to starting bloggers?
    8. Name one thing to avoid when traveling.
    9. Name one thing to avoid when blogging.
    10. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world right now, who’s alive, who would it be? 

    Thank you again so much to a couple on a budget for the nomination. Congratulations to those nominated and happy traveling and blogging everyone.