Unlimited Mulligans

According to Wikipedia, “A Mulligan is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke (though this is against the formal rules of golf).” Contrarian that I am, my favorite form of golf—the one through which I’ve learned the most and had the most fun—is what I call “Unlimited Mulligans.”

We schedule ourselves for the last tee time, late in the day with no golfers behind us (so we won’t delay play for others). Then we play nine holes with permission to try any shot over and over from any spot we wish. Removing the need to rush and the fear of “failure” relieves all of the pressure, allowing my game to blossom and thrive. With every stroke, I laugh, I learn, I move forward—whether I end up in the fairway, the rough, the sand trap or the green.

Unlimited Mulligans

Babies appreciate the joy and power of endless do-overs instinctively. Ever watched one learn to walk? They struggle slowly to their feet, take a step or two, start wobbling and, BOOM, before you know it they’re down on all fours again. If babies were wired like many adults, after that first fall, they would just accept that they are no good at walking (or anything else) and resign themselves to a life limited to whatever they can access on all fours.

Fortunately, babies don’t recognize that first (or fiftieth) fall as failure. They assess what they learned about balance and speed and try again. With each new attempt, they get a little wiser until one day, they don’t fall at all. They make a plan, try it out, determine what worked, identify what didn’t, refine the plan and try again. We were born knowing how to do that instinctively. But somewhere along the way, as adults, a wire got crossed and we started erroneously concluding that if we fail at something, WE ARE FAILURES doomed to mess up everything we attempt.

No matter how bright and experienced you are, sometimes things just won’t go your way. The next time you respond by calling yourself a screw-up and a failure, follow these simple steps to realign your energy and get back in the game.

Watch your language.

Instead of using words like “failure” or mistake,” adjust your perspective. You didn’t make a mistake or fail. You tried something that didn’t turn out as you expected or hoped. Give yourself the grace of unlimited mulligans.

Celebrate what worked.

When things don’t go as you planned, don’t focus on the perceived failure and beat yourself up. Instead, start by celebrating what went well and look for the silver lining.

Celebrate what didn’t.

You didn’t fail. You succeeded in ruling out yet another path that doesn’t get you where you want to go. Good news: there’s fresh insight buried within that path that didn’t lead where you had planned.

Get curious about what happened.

Review your steps one at a time and figure out where you veered off track. Maybe the environment changed between the time you made your plan and the time you began execution. No detail is too small to consider. Be a relentless scavenger on a treasure hunt—what you seek is still out there, just not where you expected.

Adjust your plan and START AGAIN.

Now that you know more about what works for you and what doesn’t, refine your approach and go for it with GUSTO!

In life, setbacks and unexpected outcomes are inevitable. But when you embrace them as golden opportunities for personal growth, greater insight and deeper wisdom, those setbacks light the way to stepping into your greatness.

How will YOU adjust your course and persevere TODAY?

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© Copyright 2015 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
This entry was posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Force, Flow & Baby Steps, Joy & Vitality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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