Small things can disrupt big dreams if you let them. I was getting ready to run the 100 meters in the original Ultimate Runner Competition years ago (the Ultimate Runner consisted of running a 10k, 400 meters, 100 meters, a mile, and a marathon all ran on the same day) when a problem erupted.
The issue had the potential to impact the outcome of my performance that day. It was raining somewhat hard, and it was cold. Therefore, I decided to keep my sweats on until the last minute—a bad idea.
My sweats were the old-fashioned kind made of cotton, and they were very thick. When it rained, the sweats soaked up the water. Unfortunately, when the starter said, "runners take off your sweats," my sweats would not untie. Also, the sweats were soaked with water and were much heavier than usual.
My mind went into panic mode for a couple of seconds. I had a swift pity party as the thought crossed my mind that this one small mistake could cost me the overall race--a race I had spent one year preparing for very diligently. However, as that negative thoughts came into my mind, I remember quickly praying and changing my thinking to something like, "Oh Well," there is nothing I can do about it now. I am going to have to run in these sweats. I better go for it".
I knew my time would be slower than usual, but I decided to give it my all anyway. I did not want to look back and use this one minor setback to excuse poor performance.
My time in the 100 meters was much slower than usual that day. However, I still finished second overall in the 100-meter race. Had I not pushed through this small mental challenge, I would not have won the overall competition. I scored just enough points in the 100 meters to help me win the Ultimate Runner's overall title.
Always expect the unexpected. Nothing ever goes as planned in life. Create a plan for your goals and activities but be ready to improvise as necessary. Don't let minor setbacks stand in the way of your dreams. You don't have to do all things correctly to win the race.
Not one of us gets it right all the time. One key to success in life is acknowledging our mistakes quickly, figuring out how to correct our errors without beating ourselves up, and changing our direction and approach thoughtfully. We all make mistakes. However, we can still win the race of life.
In summary, be resilient when the unexpected happens —glance under the hood, make necessary mid-course corrections as necessary, and get back into the race of running after your goals and dreams. Don't beat yourself when you make a mistake. Find a way to turn an error into your most significant victory.