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How to Focus on Progress When Stumbling on a Setback

Hello, my friend!

In the previous blog post, I shared how to create the 2020 best year ever. (If you haven’t read it yet, go here & read it)

I assume you followed the four simple steps I shared with you (if not read them now), and you came up with a remarkable goal or two for 2020.

You are pumped up.

You can’t wait for 01/01/2020 to start working on your goal.

You are excited.

You already told everyone about your 2020 new year resolution.


But wait! Here comes the scary and conscious part of you asking you some questions:

What if I fail?

What if I make a mistake?

What if I don’t have what it takes?

Don’t worry.

Here are two uber-simple steps that will help you focus on PROGRESS when stumbling on a setback.



1. Focus on Progress, not Perfection, to skyrocket your success

Hello, my fellow perfectionist. We’ve finally met.


Does a thought about making a mistake make you freeze? Me too. 


Therefore, I’ll share the thought process behind Progress vs. Perfection that helped me define the fine line between striving for excellence and getting down the rabbit hole of perfectionism.


I want to say that I’d come up with this helpful checklist, but I didn’t. You can find it in the Everything Is Figureoutable book by Marie Forleo.



Perfection Progress
If I fail/lose/get rejected, it means I suck, and I should quit. I’ll take as many shots as I can. I’ll learn from my failures and setbacks.
It’s either ALL or NOTHING. If I can’t get everything I want now, what’s the point? I’ll start small and straightforward now, then evolve over time.
Failure is unacceptable. Failure is inevitable.
I’m a failure. My attempt may fail, but I’m not a failure.
Why is she so much more successful than me? She’s so inspiring. If she can do it, I can do it.
This has to happen immediately. ASAP! I’m in this for the long term.
Give me a shortcut/hack/formula. All great things take time.
Instant gratification. Delayed gratification.
I feel discouraged and unsure. That means I’m a LOSER. I feel discouraged and unsure. That means I’m making PROGRESS.
Nothing is ever good enough. Done is better than perfect.
What will they think of me? What can I learn from it?
What will everyone say about me? How can I improve?



PROGRESS list makes me feel at ease and good enough.


PERFECTION list makes me feel tense and overwhelmed.


Make sure you put the Progress vs. Perfection list on your wall next to your computer so that you can remind yourself how awesome you are when you slip back to the Perfectionist thinking.




2. Ease the pain of setback with self-compassion

Criticism and judgment are plagues. For example, you are probably judged for what you eat, how you laugh, how you spend your money, etc.

You probably judge others about the same things too.

And I’m pretty sure you harshly judge yourself too. So pay attention to how you talk to yourself, and you’ll see it.

In the future, I might write a post about the mind-blowing and eye-opening lesson I learned about judgment.

Judgment and criticism are nasty, sticky energies that you don’t want to surround yourself with. 

They close your heart.

They prevent you from creating loving and trusting relationships with others and yourself.

They’re not a good motivator when facing failure or a setback.

They make you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and less than.

You don’t need that.


The solution? Self-compassion


How do you do it?

Take a few deep breaths and put one hand or both over your heart when you feel complex emotions.

Say something very gentle and affirming to yourself like, “It’s tough feeling the shame, anger, sadness, frustration, etc. right now. It’s excruciating. I know I’m not the only one who is experiencing these emotions. It’s very human to feel that way. I love myself even though I made a mistake.”



Important to remember!

  1. Acknowledge your feelings and FEEL them

Feelings dissolve in 30-90 sec; the story in your head remains.

  1. Affirm that this is shared human experience

Knowing that you are not alone in your struggle makes you feel less alone in it.

  1. Soothe yourself

Say to yourself something very loving, soothing, and comforting.


It takes time to transform criticism into compassion, but I promise you that it’s so worth it. Your life will be much more joyful and less painful.


I would love to hear from you.

What do you criticize or judge yourself about the most? 

Leave your answer in the comments.


Want to banish overwhelm and frustration in just five days? Click here, and I’ll show you how to achieve your goals quickly.


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How to focus on progres


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