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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
    You are spot on with this blog - you must find the strength within to forget how you might 'look' to others, and just get out there and do it for you! Awesome results!!! emoticon
    1265 days ago
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    1265 days ago
    You should be extremely proud of yourself, your persistence, and the progress you have made on your journey. Thank you for being an inspiration to those around you and those on the web who may never meet you.
    1265 days ago
  • v ANGIEN9
    As always you are very real in your blogs. You are a very knowledgeable and have great insight!! Keep up the good work!

    1265 days ago
    You are absolutely right. I do like to exercise alone and walking my neighborhood at night partly because I'm pretty much alone. I have failed many times but I'm doing well this time, because I've made a few changes in my approach, the biggest ones are in the way I think. It's still really hard to put myself out there and have attention on myself but I"m trying to change that everyday.

    Stay strong and keep working toward your goals!

    1265 days ago
    Thank You for this blog it really hit home with me. I bought some new fitness DVD's & I have not tried them yet but now I will. You also encouraged me to try some new crafts that want to learn like sock knitting & lace knitting. I also want to learn yoga & now I will try from my books & find some DVD's. You taught me that it does not matter what others think about how I look trying these fitness things or what my first tries at these craft projects look like I just need to DO IT & forget what anyone else thinks. Thank You again from the bottom of my heart for this encouragement emoticon
    1265 days ago
  • v ALILEO10
    Thank you SO much for this!!! I have been working on being a healthier person. This has included giving up drinking and smoking. I have also in the last month and a half been working out 6 days a week for at least a 1/2 hour if not more...My scale has not budged! I have felt somewhat discouraged by this but your words reinforced the thoughts I had starting out on this whole journey. Very well said and thank you again!
    1265 days ago
    Thanks, great read! emoticon
    1265 days ago
    Awesome. So true. And I think this same mentality can be transferred to food. How many times do you eat the same thing over and over because of fear. Try something new. Cook in a new way. You never know what delicious, healthy meals you can create. And the ones that end up in the garbage disposal will bring lots of laughs - I have a few of those - lol. emoticon
    1265 days ago
    This is a great posting thank you so much it's helping a lot, I feel like people rarely get to the heart of the matter I guess you could say " the elephant in the room". I have been noticing I stay back from trying out new exercises because I see in the media people working out like soldier style and I am lucky if I can produce ten push ups. There's this dance workout DVD I put away because I have two left feet and I felt like I wasn't picking up the moves fast enough so forget it. So yeah I'm glad I read your blog because it's going to remind me it's okay to try and fail and I actually only fail when I stop trying.
    1265 days ago
  • v LIZZIECA55
    Thanks for sharing. Great blog!
    1265 days ago
    1265 days ago
    Thanks for your inspiring blog. I really enjoyed it.

    1265 days ago
  • v MCFITZ2
    You totally struck a chord with me. Thank you for so clearly expressing what have often felt. emoticon
    1265 days ago
  • v NANA_13
    Great blog! I can relate to the whole fear of failure mentality; I've struggled with it as long as I can remember. Your thoughts are very inspiring, encouraging me to quit hiding behind my insecurities and be real. Thanks for posting.
    1265 days ago
    this is the second time I am reading this blog and I sorely needed it. Yesterday was hard for me but your blog gave me inspiration to try again
    1265 days ago
    Thank you. This resonates for me.

    1265 days ago
    What a great post! I know that it spoke to me. Fear of failure has definitely been a problem for me.
    1265 days ago
    Very inspiring !!! I also don't like others to watch me exercise, but it is because I have foot and knee problems. I am afraid I might fall and fell embarresed if others are watching. I do sit down exercises at home and if I have a day where it is too much for me I can stop.
    1265 days ago
    You really nailed it and hit it home. I guess we are all afraid of failure. Anything worth having is worth working for. Thanks for the inspiration! emoticon
    1265 days ago
  • v GETSLIM121
    Wow wow wow! The success is pouring out of you by the sweat loads. Thank you for reaching deep and being so honest. Not bad for a God Bless You and all of your endeavors!
    1265 days ago
    I stay home and exercise b/c I don't want to be seen failing. Didn't realize others felt the same way about failure, and it's an new concept for me to need to be willing to fail to succeed.

    Like when I first tried to do a push up and couldn't even move a hair. So I started doing them on the wall, and now I can do 12 from my toes, horizontal on the floor. I don't ever think I'll be able to work out until I vomit though...that's just too much for me...but I'll think about trying to drip some sweat like you do.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1265 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2013 12:29:52 PM
    Wow! what an incredibly inspiring blog!! Thank you for the motivation and the honesty in your words.
    1265 days ago
  • v NLYR20
    Inspiring one, That's a wonderful insight to excuse we show to ourselves to stop doing right thing. But there is a day to break it even. emoticon emoticon
    1265 days ago
    Thanks for making me believe in my self again.
    Boy!!! Did I need this at this time!

    1265 days ago
    Very inspiring. I am always being told that I care too much about what strangers think of me. Hopefully every time I try to be invisible I will think of this and get on with life.
    1265 days ago
  • v PHOENIX927
    Very awe inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
    1265 days ago
  • v BELTANE12
    Wow, thank you for this blog, it was real eye opening.
    1265 days ago
    1265 days ago
    Remarkable! I've started the master cleanse and I'm on day five... This is for detox purposes only, before I start my diet and not weightloss. This has inspired me to press on. I had started to exercises few months back and one day last year some guys looked out of their apartments and started shouting insults at me as they were looking outside at an accident scene I was passing. I was so discouraged I stopped exercising and gained more weight. I cried about it. But this meant that they won. I'm about to go one-up on them! It's my time to win. I'm going to exchange my tears to sweat!
    1265 days ago
    I need to "start again" .... I NEVER thought I'd gain back all this weight I'd fought so hard to lose - but I did. I keep delaying starting again because I just don't want to fail ... I really needed this post today - thank you so much.
    1265 days ago
    I don't normally post on people's pages I don't know. Your blog seems as if it was written just for me. Thank you for such an inspiring post.
    1265 days ago
  • v LISAMG1220
    This an amazing blog! You are right....if you are pretty when you leave, you did not work hard enough. :)
    1265 days ago
  • v HFAYE81
    Super inspiring, speaking such true words!!
    1265 days ago
    Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing your journey. It really spoke to my heart. Thanks for inspiring me today!
    1265 days ago
  • v JAYNEANN59
    Awesome & Inspiriing!
    I have felt all those negative feelings & let them prevent me from becoming the person I wanted to be or reach the goals I wanted to reach. Developing the attitude of "who cares how others see me" and focusing on who I was becoming has freed me!
    Thanks for putting into word how many of us have's always good to know we're not alone!
    1265 days ago
    love this!!!
    1265 days ago
    this blog is incredibly inspiring and came at the right time. Thank you!
    1265 days ago
    Great blog, thanks for sharring
    1265 days ago
  • v 1GROVES2
    This was great! Well written, authentic and very inspiring! Forget self and Just Do It!
    1265 days ago
  • v TKTMTA
    1265 days ago
    Well said and so true for many of us I believe!

    1265 days ago
    Well said...Thank you for the insight; You nailed it!
    1265 days ago
    Your words speak ring true for so many of us. Your story is encouragement for al.
    1265 days ago
    This was such an inspiration. I've started working out, and I always feel self-consciences. I have a goal and decided I will not let anything stop me this time. Thank you!
    1265 days ago
    It's amazing to hear that your story and struggle. It makes me realize that I am not alone in the way that I feel. thank you for sharing these inspiring words. You have greatly touched me this morning!
    1265 days ago
    Such an inspirational testimony of what you have endured to achieve and will continue to achieve your goals in weight loss and fitness. It is all about going above and beyond, working out when you know you really do not feel like, getting over the fear of running that first 5k and then feeling the excitment and the "high" after you make to finish line. I know, I started back to running in 2011, only doing 5k's for now, eventually, I will work my way to a half marathon....Maybe following you it will give the inspiration and push I need.

    Great job. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1265 days ago
    You blog was so well written and touched on so many things we all face,especially fear. Learning to step outside yourself, letting go of pride and accepting small (or not so small!) failures as part of learning about yourself and part of the path to success can be so difficult. Thank you for your positive comments and encouragement!!!
    1265 days ago
    Thankyou. You are very inspiring.
    1265 days ago
  • v JANAMP09
    Well Done! So true about not wanting to be seen When I do weights I can get very intimidated by the guys (the grunters and flexers - uck!) There I am with my 15, 20, and 35 lb weights doing the best I can and they make me feel silly. I must remember to picture them in one of my kick-ass aerobics classes emoticon .

    Great blog! Thanks so much!
    1265 days ago
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