Over the weekend, I watched a movie A Ring by Spring starring Rachel Boston (Caryn Briggs). Caryn, at the age of 13, while reading Romeo and Juliet, concluded that Juliet wasted a whole future ahead of her because of love. In essence, she felt that her career and other goals always had to take priority ahead of love. In the process, as she grew older and became a successful business consultant – a great one at that, another area of her life was unfulfilled – love matters. She wanted to outdo Juliet by achieving a lot in her career. As a 30-year-old, she was still single.
While at a charity event, an old friend dares her to let a fortune teller peek into her life. She finally obliges. Fortune teller’s prophecy? That Caryn will have an engagement ring by spring (less than 90 days away) or she will never marry. It raises hope for her since she has a steady boyfriend in Bryce only for the same boyfriend to call the relationship off. It’s a wakeup call for her.
She realises a certain pattern - somehow, all her past relationships, her boyfriends take the initiative to break up. She decides to call or meet all her past boyfriends to find out why they broke up with her even though they seemed in love for quite a while. They were honest enough to tell her how she never seemed to want them enough, didn’t fight to keep the relationship alive…in a different turn of events, she finally gets a ring on the eve of spring from her new boss Tom Halsey (Kirby Morrow).
What I loved the most about Caryn was her courage to face her recurrent failure to hold onto romantic relationships. She swallowed her pride and even had to get feedback from her ex-boyfriends. How many would do that with an ex? She emerged a better person.
Before you start looking for the phone number of your ex, please note that this article is about life in general. How can you apply this strategy?
Think of the different areas in your life where you are struggling. Where are you constantly hitting a wall? Ask people or colleagues who know you best to give you feed back in terms of what you could do differently. What patterns are emerging after a closer look? Be honest enough to know it’s all about you and no one else. Don’t be defensive. Be open about the comments you will receive.
Now, ask yourself how you can correct those particular patterns or behaviour where you are struggling. Figure out the most feasible action you can take immediately to better yourself. Instead of thinking of many areas, pick one, master it and then move to another area.
Your overall goal is to interrupt an annoying pattern that is limiting your personal or professional progress by being courageous enough to seek for feedback. It’s called facing your ‘failures’ head on. Now, go do it.
Ethan Musolini is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant