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Allow Failure To Further Your Future

As I think of weight loss from weight loss surgery, we know that weight regain is possible.  Weight regain after losing weight from any weight loss efforts can occur.  I’ve done it myself a few years ago.  When I was working to relose my regained weight, I wish I’d seen this quote:

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher

Failure. Even the word sounds awful.  Since the time we were just young kids we were taught that failure was bad. But, is it?  Is failure truly bad? Hmm, let’s consider that line of thinking.

I like a baseball analogy. I use it with my sons.  Do you know what the record is for a season batting average?  Ted Williams, one of the baseball greats, batting average was .411 for one year. That means that out of 1000 times at bat he would get a hit 411 times. That is considered by baseball fans as one of the greatest records ever.  There are players making millions of dollars who hit .280!

But what does that statistic also tell us if we flip it around? It tells us that the best season any batter ever had in the major leagues was a FAILURE RATE of .589! Even the best fail on a regular basis!

What about the richest people on Wall Street? Do they fail? Of course they do!  Just look at the recent headlines and our economy right now.  They pick the bad stocks sometimes, but they cut their loses and learn from their failure.  It has played out many times over the history of our country and economy.

Did Michael Jordan miss shots? Over 50% of them!  Would you consider Michael Jordan a failure.  No way!

So what about all this? What does this mean for us? The fact is, I think we can learn a lot about failure that will actually make us a great success. So here are some thoughts to help you use failure to further your future!

Failure is inevitable if you are trying for greatness. If you are happy with the status quo and never strive for excellence, you don’t try so you don’t fail.  However, you also never succeed!  Failure is something we must accept as a part of the road we travel to success. This is a very important item and number one on the list because a lot of what stops people from pursuing success is their fear that they may fail and not reach their destination. When we embrace the fact that we will fail, and that is okay, then we have nothing to fear anymore. Instead, we keep our eyes open and pick ourselves up, adjust from the failure, and move on.

Failure is never failure unless you fail to learn something from it. That’s right, we ought to stop calling these bumps in the road “failures” and start calling them “Learning Experiences” or “Lessons.”  When you fail, the first thing you should think is “What can I learn from this?” If you can pull just one idea out of that question, then the experience was worth it.

Sometimes failure is a blessing in disguise. Just look at the history of Post-It Notes.  In the company looking for an “out of the box” adhesive they “failed” upon an adhesive that was a sticky paste thaqt held but not permanently.  As all of us know. that failure has turned out to be a must in the offices and homes of America.  What a failure! Hardly!  They spread some of this failed adhesive on the back of little sheets of yellow paper and called them “Post-It Notes.” The inventors of Post-It Notes have enjoyed millions for this failure.

People won’t think poorly of you if you fail. This is perhaps the biggest myth, and the one that causes us to never attempt our dreams. We don’t try because of what Aunt Mary may say about us at the family reunion. The truth is, however, that people will actually respect you for trying. The only thing I have found that people think poorly about you is if you handle yourself badly when you fail. Sore losers get the bad press, not people who attempt great things!

Failure isn’t the end but the beginning. One of our greatest fears is that our whole world will collapse if we fail. Or at least the project will. The truth is that that rarely happens! Most of the time we can pick back up again, make some adjustments and be on our way! This is a new beginning. Now there is no need to go down the road you have already taken, so there is one less option you have to try on your new journey.

Sometimes we miss out on success because we quit in the middle of a problem and it becomes a failure instead of an obstacle we could have persevered through. When people encounter trouble they have a tendency to quit. And then they see themselves as having failed. My question is this: What if they would have kept on going – persevered? Perhaps they would have struggled a bit and then broke free again. The failure happened only because they quit! So don’t give up – keep pushing – and perhaps you will see yourself through to victory!

The greatest thing to overcome is the fear of failure. Most of the battle is right between our ears. It has been said that “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” and that is true because in most of our “failures,” the end result is usually much less than we feared it would be. Yet in giving into fear and not trying, we suffer the ultimate consequence – no success! So begin to tell yourself the good stuff! Change the direction of your thinking and begin to see the possibilities of success, not failure.

Remember, in its appropriate perspective, failure can help you further your future!

Bonus: Questions to ask yourself when you “fail”:

What can I learn from this?
What did I do right in this?
Where did this go wrong?
How can I start again?
What do I need to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Then use the answers to these questions to plot your new course and begin!

Believe In Yourself,
Cathy, CLC
Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach
Certified Back On Track Facilitator

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