Personally, it has been a rough week. I can feel that this is the time in the creation cycle that I have given up on projects in the past. And in others, this is when I have forged forward and soon found success.
And I am not alone. Any great success has numerous set-backs along the way. On a graph, success often looks like a gradually ascending series of peaks and troughs.
Sometimes a series of set-backs happen back-to-back. This is a time many of us give up.
In his timeless book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells the classic story of a young man who had his vein of gold in his newly excavated mine disappear. After searching for a short while, he quit and sold his equipment to a junk man. The junk man consulted a mining engineer and soon found the lost vein of gold three feet from where the previous miner stopped. He extracted millions of dollars of ore from the mine.
Further reflection reveals this tendency to give up just before success to have an internal basis. The set-backs are often more of a distorted perception than reality. Many times there is nothing unnatural going on.
Rather, we are tired and discouraged. Success often requires us to swim upstream for an extended period of time. People may be telling us that we are crazy for following our dream and should come back to reality. We are exhausted- both physically and emotionally. We have been investing our energy and resources with little return for a long time.
And then one morning we wake up and say to ourselves, "This is never going to work. I need to get back to reality." And we quit- often, just 3 feet from striking gold.
Navigating through this is the greatest value from counseling and mentoring. An experienced mentor can give you an accurate assessment of your situation. When it applies, she can say, "Keep going, these set-backs are natural."
So please consider keeping going. I know I am. Or at the very least, before you throw in the towel, consult with someone with experience (like the mentor or mining engineer) to get an objective view of your situation.
'Cause there's gold in them thar hills...
About the Author
I, Michael Hoffman, am a licensed psychotherapist, teacher, and author with 25 years experience in counseling and teaching experiential workshops. I have maintained this blog since 2009, and my second book Natural Way of Being will published in 2019.
I offer in-person and video-conferencing counseling, intensive workshops, and online courses to allow participants to directly experience their natural way of being and the life they would have for themselves.