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Failing Forwardish in Style

It can be discouraging when you set personal goals only for it to be completely flipped upside down by things outside of your control. This is a repeating pattern for me. More often than not I end up beating myself up over it. Here is what I did about it!

The failed goal

Towards the end of the year I laid a personal challenge for myself to complete Advent of Code while learning Rust while streaming it all live. That’s how I started. I was doing really well. I was excited. I did some really rapid learning and it stirred up that excitement I had as a young person learning to code for the first time. I thouroughly enjoyed the experience. I wanted it to last. I was pumped!

Unfortunately, a matter arose in my work that required a shift in priorities. This posed new challenges not set by me, but still exciting! This meant I had to abandon what I set out to do. I did not complete AoC. I did not get to stream it and I feel I didn’t get to give Rust the attention I wanted to. It sucked especially since I was very public about this goal.

I started to feel myself withdrawing and hiding. I ended up in a bit of a funk having everyday feel like ground hog day. This really stiffles motivation and my outlook for the days ahead. However, rather than letting it keep me down, here are some things I did the get “unfunked”.

Small actions

1. Talk about it

I shard this with a community of people that I know care about the mental wellbeing of all its members.

I think I was looking for a pat on the back. You know, the kind a mum gives you — “Its ok dear. Its not you its them!”

Instead what I found was the encouragement that it is okay to not be polished. Its okay to not have it all under control. Its okay to figure things out as you go; as long as you are going.

And as you are coming to terms with things, someone drops a gem like this:

2. Seek out positivity

I needed to get rid of the things that stir the negative emotions I’ve been feeling and instead feed myself with some positivity. This can take a number of different shapes. I don’t yet have my morning rituals (or any for that matter), but there are things I can do immediately to expel the negative.

First step is to stop watching things on Netflix that make me feel like rubbish or only provides temporary escape (which really is procrastination). Rather, I did a Google search for help I am stuck in a rut.

To my surprise I ended up with this epic list of TED talks that has been feeding me the last few days: Talks to watch when you’re stuck in a rut

Still a few things to get through, but this one has sparked a bit of inspiration for me (enough to write this post):

3. Drop the polish — perfection is an excuse

This one is the most difficult for me. Having been a teacher, a speaker, a instructional designer… and being a developer. This is a hard pill to swallow.

I wan’t people to perceive me as an expert in insert any topic here. I have hero syndrome badly! So to tell me that I am allowed to make mistakes and that its even better if I do them publicly is huge. I just don’t like it!

SO, here is what I am doing with this post. I won’t do it for all my posts, but this one in particular will not be pasted in Grammarly. This one will not be proofread by anyone. It is likely to be convoluted, filled with spelling errors and bad grammar (English is my second language is my usual excuse).

It is my first step to embrace imperfection; to allow myself to make mistakes; to allow myself to slowly build momentum and to fail forward in style!

— Rheinard

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