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To succeed you must first be willing to fail

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Monday, December 17, 2012

One thought that I have been mulling over for quite a while is that success comes when we embrace failure, both real and perceived, as part of the process. I have spent a lot of time pondering this element of our journey.

It's only when there is a willingness to experience the sting of failure that we will ever experience a breakthrough. I have observed during my journey that the only times I really made progress was when I was willing to step out and do what needed to be done in spite of my fear of being seen struggling or the inadequacy I felt if an attempt at a certain exercise ended rather ingloriously.

Let's face it, no one likes to be seen bumbling around at the gym or out running when everything is jiggling and is all disheveled but fear is what holds us back from our own greatness. If you are like me, it took a lot just to get you to go out and exercise or go to the gym in the first place. Once at the gym, we almost automatically run to the familiar, the safe, the things we are the most proficient at, or at least I do. It is far easier to hop on an elliptical and tune out the world than it is to learn a new routine, but conquering the unfamiliar is where our strength is made perfect both physically and mentally.

I have noticed in my own experience that I hesitated to commit to a healthy lifestyle simply because my heart could not tolerate yet another failure. It was so easy to stay in a safe place of inaction than to step out and face my fear of yet another false start in weight loss. This same irrational fear has manifested itself so many times in so many ways. Being afraid of jumping rope at the gym because someone would see my belly bouncing around, afraid of doing push ups because someone might see me struggle to push out 10 good ones. To sweat and struggle to bench press a couple of 30 pound dumbbells because the guy two benches down is cranking out presses with two 60 lb dumbbells. Heaven forbid anyone should ever see me run.

It is only when I broke away from my fear that I truly experienced liberty. The liberty to try. Once I embraced the willingness to fail, I began to succeed. The courage to begin begets the will to finish.

By the way, tonight, pressing those two 30 pound dumbbell turned into two 60's. Jumping rope? , I do it almost daily. I try to leave a trail of sweat where ever I go. It means I did something. Those that look pretty or cute after a workout really didn't do enough. The jogging at night so no one could see turned into running a marathon in front of everyone, struggles and all.

The willingness to step out and let the world see me struggle a few years ago has paid off handsomely. Every trip to the gym, every swing of the kettlebell, every drop of sweat is an investment that will pay interest for years to come.

Success is mine for the taking.

What about you? Are you willing to commit even if the scale doesn't agree with your expectations? Even if it doesn't move for months? Will you lay down your pride and press on no matter even if you feel foolish, feel like you failed, feel like you are going no where? We always want to appear to others to be totally in control and we always know what we are doing. To be seen struggling is somehow an admission of weakness that some egos cannot tolerate but it is in weakness that we are made strong. It is when we admit that we know nothing, empty out our preconceived ideas on how this journey is supposed to be and become a willing student, that then, the teacher arrives.

How far are you willing to go to reach your goals?

I know how far I am willing to go, as far as it takes and I will never be afraid to try.

That is how I succeed.

Link To My Public Blog... mailboxes2miles.blogspot

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    There are 2 blogs that I always like to save to read last. They're very different. They're longer. I always learn something. I always enjoy them. Thanks for yours.
    1320 days ago
    Thank you for this blog! I needed to read this today!!! emoticon emoticon
    1320 days ago
    You are a very gifted writer. :)
    1320 days ago
    awesome blog! emoticon
    1320 days ago
    "How far are you willing to go to reach your goals?

    I know how far I am willing to go, as far as it takes and I will never be afraid to try. "

    Definitely truths... but one thing I know I have to do for *me* anyway, is recognize that I don't have to do things I really don't enjoy... I can let others be the ballroom dancers and the jazzercisers if I really don't enjoy the activity. I can do the things that excite me, and the things that help me be able to do those things.

    But even with that caution... I still have to get in the pool. Lift those weights. Run those miles. And as fearful as speed on a bicycle makes me, I have to put in those workouts, too. Otherwise, I would not have my TRI.

    Spark on, Robert!
    1320 days ago
    This blog is wonderful! I always have to conquer the element of fear whenever I begin a new training program. It isn't trivial and can be profoundly limiting if you let it. This is a wonderful perspective, and one that everyone must adopt to truly grow and meet those goals that you haven't even thought of yet.
    1320 days ago
  • v KANOE10
    Great blog. There is no choice but to learn from your mistakes and to keep going!

    1320 days ago
  • v MAGGIE101857
    So true! Even after running 1/2 marathons, I still get that "funny feeling" in my belly when I got out to run in public! But I do it - because doing it is all that matters!
    1321 days ago
    There's so much truth in this! Our failures should only be seen as learning tools contributing to our journey towards our goals. Try, fail, learn, try again. Repeat. That's the road to success.
    Thank you for another inspiring blog!
    1321 days ago
    As always Robert, inspirational! I have let fear stop me and it's something I continue to struggle with, but your words and actions inspire me to move past that and try something new. Thanks!!
    1321 days ago
  • v 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Blog!!! It is Very Inspiring to Everone. You are a Hero to many too. Keep Pushing Forward. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.
    1321 days ago
    I've always thought the only true failure is not even to try at all. To get out there and make the attempt is courageous...and sometimes we just won't succeed on the attempt...but that is not, by any means, a failure.
    1321 days ago
  • v DALID414
    I hated running because everything jiggled and it was an awful reminder of how I let myself go. But I kept doing it, because I hated it, to have a place to measure my progress. I jiggle less now, so I run longer. emoticon
    1321 days ago
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