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What I Learned From Failing my Personal Vocal 2022 Challenge

Consistency, Realism, and Resilience

By S. A. CrawfordPublished about a year ago 3 min read

At the start of 2022, I was in a rut; I was broke, fat, and depressed, and I was worried that my writing would never go anywhere. So I set myself a challenge to write 3 Vocal Media posts a week and join as many Vocal+ challenges as I could.

I failed, of course, because 150 vocal posts in a year is a lot if you intend to put out quality - I did enter many challenges, however, and even came as a runner-up in the "From Across the Room" poetry challenge with a short love poem entitled "#1" ( the title was a nod to Pablo Neruda).

Failing to meet the goals I set is a pretty common occurrence for me, and I've learned to cope with that in ways that let me keep up with my responsibilities. This personal Vocal challenge helped me to understand why I fail to meet my own goals, however, and it's taught me alot.

What I learned about myself is that I overpromise...

You see, I'm a chronic people-pleaser and that extends to myself. I want to make everyone happy and proud of me, and I want to be proud of my own life. Like most people, however, I've had a rough go of it over the last three or four years. Despite managing to lose a few pounds (thanks to stress) I'm as depressed and broke as ever.

What I realized in trying to meet this goal is that I've been setting myself ever more impossible goals in the hope that something, anything will trigger the kind of overnight success we all dream about. I just want to be happy, I just want to be comfortable; I don't want to feel like a failure or worry about bills anymore - and I know I'm not alone.

So I promise to do impossible amounts of work in short periods, to myself, to my clients, to my family and friends, in the hopes that it will give me a break or bank karma, or, hell, even just distract me.

The problem is that failing, again and again, takes a toll on one's self-esteem. I've lost sight of who I really am and what makes me happy. There's no Eureka moment on this front; it is what it is, and I need to work through it.

...I also learned that I have a loose concept of time

Maybe it's the ADHD, maybe it's the depression, (maybe is Maybelline) but I can't seem to marry the concepts of effort and time. My mind wanders, I'm optimistic, and I underestimate how much time individual tasks will take.

This contributed directly to my inability to meet so many of the goals that I set this year.

I know it's a somewhat geriatric thing to say, but I swear I blinked and the year was simply gone. I can remember how I felt fighting with my best friend in primary school, but not what I did three months ago.

It is possible to write simply because you have to...

Habit, consistency, and downright forcing yourself to do it can actually work (though I know many will disagree). The problem is that when you hate what you're doing, it does show.

...But inspiration has an important part to play

Inspiration, motivation, passion, whatever you like to call that 'Je ne se quoi' that makes writing sparkle for you... it's important. It won't write a book all on its own or fuel your career, but it does matter. When you write without it the results can be dry and unappealing.

What I haven't learned yet is how to succeed consistently

That's my goal for this year, and I think setting the goal of learning how to succeed consistently (rather than actually doing it) is much more achievable. Being honest about what is possible is probably the first step in finding the success we're all after.

So maybe no more huge goals, and maybe I'll try to focus on what I like doing rather than what I think I should be doing. If all that happens is I'm happier this time next year, I'll consider that a win.

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About the Creator

S. A. Crawford

Writer, reader, life-long student - being brave and finally taking the plunge by publishing some articles and fiction pieces.

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Comments (1)

  • KJ Aartilaabout a year ago

    "setting the goal of learning how to succeed consistently (rather than actually doing it) is much more achievable. Being honest about what is possible is probably the first step in finding the success we're all after. So maybe no more huge goals, and maybe I'll try to focus on what I like doing rather than what I think I should be doing. If all that happens is I'm happier this time next year, I'll consider that a win." Yes! That's exactly lit! Love the term to "consistently succeed." 😁

S. A. CrawfordWritten by S. A. Crawford

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