I’ve done this before, and aced it. So why am I struggling with it now? Have you ever felt like you just don’t have the luxury of failing? If you’ve made the basket, goal, or hit a home run once, you should be able do it, again, at any point in time, thereafter, right?
The pressure always seems to be increased, the second time around. The feeling of failure can feel greater, when you’ve already succeeded in the same area of focus. Have you ever seen an interview with a recording artist, regarding their sophomore album?
They usually say that the pressure to release a follow up to their premiere album can be stressful, because the expectation to exceed its success is so great.
Another example, might be a sequel to movie which happens to be sub par or even worse, be a total flop! Well, that is how I often feel about so many different things in life. I’m sure, at some point, you’ve felt the same.
You learn something new. You make a sincere attempt at it. You succeed! You feel great and everyone is cheering you on. Then, BAM! You’re asked to do it, again. Not only to do it again, but to do it bigger and better, than the first time.
It’s possible, right? If you did it, before, you most definitely should be able do it, again. However, things don’t always turn out that way. In Paulo Cuehlo’s bestselling novel, “The Alchemist” (one of my all time favorite books), the author calls success on the first attempt beginner’s luck.
I’ve heard that term, my whole life, but never really put much thought into it. He, basically, describes it as a way that certain circumstances can build someone’s belief in themselves. Once you’ve succeeded, you know for a fact that you are capable of achieving your goal. This knowledge gives you strength to make another attempt.
However, your second attempt doesn’t always equal success. For instance, when I first started writing, my work was well received and highly encouraged. I thought I was perfect, when it came to writing. I’m a natural. I aced it on the first try.
Then came the follow up. Not such a great success. Not so widely received. My ego was hurt. I experienced what I call a Second Round Knockout. One left hook to the ego, which I was not expecting, left me winded and ready to tap out.
I thought I was good! But, that second round knockout humbled me and taught me that good could always use some improvement. Now, this moment right here is what separates the winners from the losers.
While your ego is face down with little stars and birdies rotating around its head, and the ref is counting down to its demise, what do you do? Do you throw in the towel for good or do you get back up, dust yourself off and retrain for a rematch?
Every winner has lost, at some point. It’s the rebuilding of the self esteem that will get you to your goal and beyond. Often times the ego may need a knockout, or two…or three. (It depends on how stubborn you can be.)
You may need to strengthen yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally or, in my case, creatively. With this strengthening comes stability, because you are building a character, not just being someone that is trying something out and ending up lucky.
I’m a creative writer. Poems and stories are a breeze to me. It comes naturally. However, I’ve been challenged to write blogs, because someone special believed in my ability to diversify my literary talent. My first blog was well received, but writing this second one really threw me for a loop.
I’ve done so many drafts on a totally different subject, but was completely unsatisfied. I was downright frustrated and discouraged. I wanted to be received the same way that I was the first time.
However, there is only one first time. Now, I have to truly study my art and learn as much as possible, so I can execute time and time, again. Maybe this post won’t be received in the same way, the first one was. But, that is ok.
I am open to learning and growing during this process. I cannot be so hard on myself that I don’t make a move at all and just continue to hold on to, and cherish, my one success (which, believe me, I’ve thought about).
Here are some tips for dealing with the second round knockout:
It’s important to know that your perceived failure can be a blessing to you, in the long run or a blessing to someone else. It may be something that you couldn’t foresee. Learn to forgive yourself. Failure is part of the process.
Embrace it! Understand that there are different lessons to be learned in the same challenges. Have you ever read a book or watched a movie more than once and each time you noticed/learned something new?
You have to go through the process, repeatedly, to truly become a master at it. Be open to different outcomes. Success has many faces. It can look like one thing, and when you get there become something totally different!
Success is a bumpy road. If you experience it in the beginning, consider yourself lucky, but just know that those with the championship belt has experienced more or harsher knockouts, than the average.
Thank you, for allowing me to share my soul with you. Some recommended books are:
The Alchemist by Paulo Cuehlo
The Compound Effect by Daren Hardy
The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle
Tamika Lindsay is a small business owner, born and raised in New York City, currently residing in South Florida. She has been writing creatively since the age of seven. Her collection stems from short stories to poetry. She is currently writing a book of fiction for teens and has completed two children’s books that are currently in the publishing process. Tamika credits her main poetic influences to Langston Hughes and Edgar Allan Poe. She has recently begun venturing into the lyrical world of spoken word, song writing, and motivational speaking. Tamika hopes to combine her love of writing with her ability to motivate and inspire others on a global scale. Her dream is to have her words affect people that she will never meet, personally, in the most positive of ways.