I had a great talk with my client the other day where she was feeling super positive. She had a great day, got her workout done early, was eating healthy and had the positive mindset looking towards the weekend. Everything was rainbows and butterfly’s.
But as the incredibly talented Adam Levine says: It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.
A little way through our chat I asked her if she could write down a review of her first month. The ups and downs, what she learned and what she didn’t expect. Things like that. I was surprised when I realized this got her upset. Even though things were going great at this moment, she was upset just thinking about it.
She realized that she felt she would only see the negative. That even if there was good, she tends to focus on the bad and the failure. She was upset that her outlook was that way.
This conversation got me thinking. Why do we focus so much on failure and why do we consider it such a bad thing?
We start a new workout routine and if we miss a day – failure!
We start a new diet and if we eat a cookie – failure!
We start a new positive lifestyle and if I think a negative thought about ourselves – failure!
It’s like we have to be fucking perfect all the time or – FAILURE!
But how do we get to this point? Why do we do this? Why do we make it so hard for ourselves? I wrote about this last week, but the point I want to make today is that if we really look closely, the journey is always filled with failure.
Anyone who has seen great success in their lives has gotten there through great failure. Even Michael Jordan:
And it makes sense right? At least in the moment. Shit, how many things like this have you seen on the internet and been like “ya, totally, I just need to fail more”.
Like any motivation it feels good right now, but then you try and you fail and it sucks. It hurts, it’s uncomfortable and it’s not fun. We lost the good feeling and now we don’t want to continue. We might as well just give up.
But truth is, that’s the only real failure. True failure is giving up. Failing in the process, in the journey, is just figuring shit out. It’s learning lessons and adapting.
When you see it like that, failure is actually progress. It’s shitty, uncomfortable and maybe even embarrassing sometimes progress, but it’s still progress.
Unfortunately, I don’t have some magical way to get you to love, like or even mildly enjoy failing. But I can tell you that it might be one of the most important things you do if you really want to reach your goals. I can also guarantee that you cannot reach your goals WITHOUT experiencing some failure along the way.
The journey is mostly failure and that is unavoidable. EVERYONE who has succeeded at something has first had to fail. They aren’t special and you aren’t alone. The sooner you can accept that, the sooner you can see your own results.
Or you can guarantee no result and just quit.
The choice is yours.