Making Failure An Option

“Humans are fallible.

Everyone is human.

Therefore everyone is fallible.” –  Joel Comm, New York Times Best Selling Author

Failure is part of success

The picture says it all.

I read this quote on Joel’s blog today and it really rang true in my own life… really where I stand right now. Coming off an NPC figure contest that, in my own personal book of personal secrecy, was an epic fail.

Failure is radioactive. It can be rather useful and lifesaving at times. But, in it’s volatile state it can nearly kill you. Or your sense of self, anyway.

So, like overcoming anything else, the first step to recovering from failure is admitting you had a problem in the first place. Say it loud and say it proud. I FAILED!

It doesn’t matter if you failed on your diet, if you failed to workout, if you failed to show up to your office meeting on time, or if you failed your driver’s test. YOU FAILED!

And that’s 100% okay. In fact, that’s 1000% okay because no one every achieves success without first failing.

How many times do you see a story about someone that says, “I made $51,346.98 online in one month doing suchandsuch program”? Or “I lost 10 dress sizes in one month using suchandsuch program” ?

You know what? Those people likely failed a million times over before they reached that level of success. And they will likely fail again many times over because that’s simply how achievement works.

If you want t0 achieve a goal, you have to be willing to risk failure. Plan your life around that possibility. My husband is famous for his “worst case scenario” theories. It used to drive me nuts until I realized that he is always prepared for anything and is never disappointed. He anticipates failure, so success is just the icing on the cake.

Now, let’s talk about the difference between planning for failure and being a total Debbie Downer.

If you go through life a total optimist, then you will feel totally let down when something doesn’t go your way. In turn, if you are overly pessimistic, then you will like miss out on great opportunities because you won’t ever have your eyes on the prize.

So, you need to find a good balance of expectations. If you are trying a new gym routine or new diet, don’t expect to see instant results. Realize that you should really track that first month to gauge how your body will respond.

Once you have a good gauge on how your body is responding to your new program, you can the think about expectations. You must also think about other determining factors that may affect your results. This could be an event or vacation you plan to attend, an illness, or some other disruption in your life that will throw you off track.

The important thing is to always have a plan B. Do you think Einstein or Edison only had plan A in tact? If so, then why do you have the theory of relativity and working lights?

In fact, don’t just have a plan B, but also a plan C, D, E, and beyond. Expect the unexpected and know how you will face it in the end. This doesn’t mean you should have all the answers ahead of time, but you should know that not everything will always go according to plan.

So, if you fall off your diet because you went out for dinner with a friend and your forks mingles with some chocolate cake, then chalk it up to a good experience because you had some girl time. Get back on track the next day or even that night. Don’t dwell on that piece of dessert you shared, or what you think it’s doing to your hips.

Don’t live in your past and wallow in your failures!

This will only lead to more failures. And soon you will forget what success smells like. And, baby, it’s sweet and delicious.

Okay, so we all fail. We know that. We admit it, dust off our britches, and get right back on that horse so we can ride into the sunset of success.


How do you handle failure? Do you handle it differently in everyday life versus dieting and exercise? Do you beat yourself up about it, or just move forward?



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  • […] a daily or weekly inventory of all of your successesñas well as your failuresñcan reveal a balanced picture of your fitness. For me, keeping a diary of my daily activity has […]

  • Good insight! I would say that people feel the same way about me. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, so perhaps that aching going on inside isn’t so apparent. Yes, so true about failure and avoiding the same mistakes. If you don’t learn from them, then why even try again, right?

    Thanks again, Rebecca. You always having something fresh and relevant to add to the conversation.

  • Hey, 2nd blog in a row where I get to comment 1st :D

    Right, failure…most people around me say I handle failure well. I am a ‘half full’ kind of person. I tend to reflect quite a lot on failure. Why did it happen? What part did I play in the failure? What part did others play? How about chance/luck: what degree was it down to that? I try and learn from my failures and avoid making the same mistakes twice. That usually means that the next time I fail it’s because of other factors, but hey, if I repeat the reflective cycle then at least I will keep on learning. Watch out…if I get to 100 I will be a wise old girl! ;)

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