Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Failing Well


So I engaged in Target-Behavior yesterday. I thought this would be a good post on how failing well, responsibility, purpose & chain analysis can be. 

What I wanted to talk about first is responsibility. Part of living a life that is worth living is making a commitment to affect change in your life. This commitment should not be taken lightly. However, once you have made that commitment you then move into having a purpose and obligation. Why is it that you want to change? What does a life worth living look like to you? 
These are points you will really want to meditate on. Take a long hard look at what is going on in your life, where you are and where do you want to be? What people are in your life that you would consider loved ones, support people, toxic people or people that are indifferent to your plight. Perhaps an indifferent person would be your boss, or your mail-person. Don't worry if you can't put a clear picture of the people in your life, but it is a good idea to start formulating a sense of the people in your world, because when you start to take responsibility it won't only be for yourself but also for your loved ones and your support persons. You will eventually want to know who you are working with and who only bring down more pain and suffering and be able to clearly distinguish the between the two, without guilt. 

Just for a refresher, what is Target Behavior? To get some of the past post on this subject just type in "Target Behavior" in the "search this blog" search engine towards the bottom of the home page on the left side. The short and fast of what this is, is this: Target Behavior is any behavior that is preventing you from living a life worth living. You "target" it and record when it happens and then take it to a chain analysis worksheet to get a feel for why you engaged.

After working long and hard to identify what triggers your Target Behavior, you will find that when you do engage it gets more and more tiring and can feel really horrible inside. This is where Failing Well comes into play. It is vital that you do not let your failures over-shadow your successes, because you will have both. However it is your successes that will push your forward and get you through your failures. But like it or not, both will happen through this journey. 

I did say I wanted to talk about responsibility first, didn't I? How do you like that, I sure do go off on the wrong road don't I? No worries, the idea here is this, you have the obligation and responsibility to yourself and your loved/support persons. This is an unavoidable truism. It simply is that, you cannot escape it. Nor should you want to. It may feel really odd to accept that understanding, and even difficult at times, but it can also be a motivator. In my case, I didn't want to think about my engaging at all. But, when I started to think of how I was letting myself down and pushing aside all those years of hard work I started to want to chain the events to understand them better. I realized how proud my husband would be of me to after all of this time, I still can take responsibility for my actions. Honestly, with some of the struggles we face with mental illness our choices may still be our choices, but they don't always come from our consciousness and we may have little "control" over them and the only way we can really "DO" something about it or make amends for the consequences they bring to others is by taking that responsibility and doing the skills that we have learned, in this case I am responsible for and obligated to, performing a chain analysis of the experience. 

I am careful to not make a HUGE deal about it, because let's be honest, engaging in Target Behavior one time in over a year is not a gigantic failure and I wouldn't want to bury this experience in the negative feelings and ignore the obvious success... that I haven't engaged in over a year! That year doesn't go down the tube because of this once incident. Taking responsibility helps you keep the experience in perspective. 

So, I intend to give comfort to my loved/support persons and to show love and care for myself by taking responsibility and chaining the events leading up to the target behavior. Then I will be able to consider this experience a success, because my tool box is full and my skills are working! My efforts over the past years have been worth it! With this attitude I am decreasing the likelihood of spiraling and increasing the likelihood of more success. Not to mention that with this attitude I am bound to learn something from my chain and understand what went wrong and when, so that I can determine if it can be avoidable in the future. Knowledge and understanding is power. I intend to empower myself and look forward to what I will learn.

Yay me! Don't forget to celebrate successes!!

~MJ~
  

For more info on Purpose & Chain Analysis: Check-it-out here
For more info on Failing Well: Check-it-out here