Mini-Goals, Perceived Failures, And Running Away

It’s not often that I just come on here and discuss what I did over the course of a day without attempting to link it to some sort of profound realization or inspiring statement. Today, though, I just want to describe what I went out and did. Everybody cool with that? Okay, good.

10676177_935674526444151_1416051604518562695_nI had to attend a lunch gathering for my job today. Well, “had to” probably isn’t entirely accurate. I was invited to it, and there really wasn’t any good reason for me not to attend would be more accurate … unless a massive fear of mingling in crowds of people you’ve never met before qualifies as a “good reason.” Somehow, though, I worked up my courage enough to attend this event despite my brain working overtime to come up with every reason possible for me to not go.

As you may have noticed, I have been really into mini-goals lately. These are smaller goals I feel are more attainable than overall bigger things I want to achieve. For example, when my family and I went to Disney World last year, I set a goal for myself to start up a conversation with one random person while I was there. I could have aimed much higher than that and set a goal of saying something to every stranger I came into contact with, but that seemed too tall an order for someone who sometimes has trouble speaking to people he actually does know. I figured one person was more realistic, and I felt pretty good once I checked that goal off my list.

For today, then, I decided if I could just manage to speak to the people at my table I would be doing well. I was feeling pretty good about myself when I reached this goal after about five minutes of being there. Once the event was over, however, my slightly loftier goal of mingling around the room totally crashed and burned. The other guests started getting up and moving around, and I almost immediately bolted for the door. By the time I reached my truck, I felt that familiar feeling of shame washing over me. I had let the anxiety get the best of me again.

This event was held not too far from a local mall, so I decided that maybe if I walked around, drank some (decaf) coffee, and browsed a few stores that I might be able to forget that feeling. This actually used to work for me. I liked having the time to myself, to be alone, to look at whatever I wanted to. Today, though, the whole experience just felt hollow, mainly because I realized I was only there because I was trying to run away from something. No amount of shopping or coffee was going to replace that feeling of disappointment in myself today, so I didn’t stay too long.

In light of all this, I am trying to focus on the two smaller goals I met – attending the lunch in the first place and then talking to a couple of people while I was there – rather than the one larger one I failed miserably at. You can probably guess how well that’s going. People all the time are telling me how I’m too hard on myself, but at the same time I feel incredibly lazy and unmotivated sometimes. Or maybe feeling that way is part of being too hard on myself. I don’t know. This is making me dizzy.

So that was my day, from a psychological standpoint. How was yours?

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