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A New Perspective on Failure

November 9, 2016

 

Last week I experienced a moment of failure- it was very humbling, honest and kind of shitty, to be frank. I failed at something. I set a goal, got the right things in place to help me accomplish this goal and despite all my efforts I failed. Real, honest, no excuse failure. At first, I was feeling embarrassed, angry, disappointed and frustrated- as most would.

 

As the day went on I took some time to reflect, reassess and see what went wrong. The feeling of disappointment and failure stuck with me the whole day like cloud hanging over my head. I wasn’t taking this well. Towards the end of the day I finally hit the gym- working out is where I can decompress and think clearly. By the end of the 60-minute workout I had a whole new perspective, a positive one.

 

 

I became excited, motivated, refocused and even proud of the fact that I failed at something. To me it meant I was starting to reach my fullest potential. I’ve always been one to set big goals and push myself hard to reach them- as most of us tend to do. I would keep adding more and more to my plate, to my life, increasing my responsibility, expanding my knowledge, until finally I reached a tipping point. I finally took on so much that something had to give. Not accomplishing this goal was not a sign of failure at all, in fact it was a sign of success. It was a sign that I successfully pushed myself out of my comfort zone reaching for a goal that challenged me. For that reason, I have a new perspective on failure. We should not fear failure; in fact, we should aim to fail occasionally. Our goal should be to push ourselves so hard that we can’t help but to fall short from time to time. This failure gave me an opportunity to take a step back, reassess, re-prioritize and make some changes. These moments couldn’t be more critical to our long-term success.

 

How many quotes have you heard about failure? How many stories have you listened to about wildly famous and successful icons failing early on? I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion but since I recently experienced this I wanted to share my thoughts because it’s an important lesson. I see so many of my own clients fearing failure, and part of my job is building up their confidence to support them through changes. We are all fearful of failure, and that’s okay we are human after all. The clients I work with typically experience a fear of failing to lose weight, or stick with a healthy routine. Many times they’ll have experienced these failures in the past. Some of my clients become so fearful of failure that they give up on trying all together because let's face it, failing at something is embarrassing, disappointing and feels kind of shitty. Since we're all bound to fail occasionally I encourage my clients (and you) to take a new perspective and learn to embrace failure. In fact, I tell all my clients in the beginning that at some point expect to set a goal that we might not hit. I know this sounds harsh but it true and I’m all about setting accurate expectations. I tell them it’s simply part of the process. These failures along the way are SO critical to their long-term success because it’s at these moments they make the most progress. Failing forces a opportunity that you can take a step back, reassess, re-prioritize and make some changes. Over time my clients learn to embrace little failures and immediately pick themselves back up, learn from what went wrong and take a different approach. When you fail, you learn and you grow and only good things come from learning and growing.

 

So with that said, next time you fail at something, be proud, reassess, make some changes and keep charging forward.

 

 

 

If weight loss or changing your eating/exercise habits are your goals and feel like you want to give it another go- please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to talking through a few things and getting you on the right track.

 

 

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