Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints 47,763

To succeed you must first be willing to fail

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

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

Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Very inspiring blog. I've been spinning my wheels lately, not daring to make a change. Today I'm taking a deep breath and facing my fear of the unknown, of failure, and of looking foolish, and will walk into that weight room and do more than just walk in one door and out the other. Thanks for the motivational nudge!
    1290 days ago
  • v CISCOKID60
    Girl! You need to take this on the road! You are such an inspiration! Thank you! emoticon
    1291 days ago
    You are so true about that.
    1291 days ago
    You are truly inspiring!! Thanks for the words of encouragement.
    1291 days ago
  • v WILMA102
    Very inspiring
    1291 days ago
    WOW!!!!!!!! Thanks it really mde me think.
    1291 days ago
    Beautiful blog...very motivational and inspiring and the most interesting thing is that it the blog can refer to all other areas of our lives.....thank you for sharing.
    1291 days ago
    1291 days ago
    What an amazing blog. Congratulations on your success. You are an inspiration. Thank you. You have made me realize that I can do this. I have been nervous about using the equipment in the gym in my apartment because I'm afraid of what people will think. Thanks for the inspiration to get out there and just do it. Don't worry about what others are thinking or doing. Thanks again. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
  • v L1ZB3TH354
    I loved the line about leaving a trail of sweat wherever you go. Great blog. Thanks!
    1291 days ago
  • v ELIZABETH5268
    Another inspiring Blog post from you! Good job!
    1291 days ago
  • v DOCTOR_G
    I personal do not embrace failure. It is not an option to me. Life is a learning process and we all have our personal struggles. The winning attitude is getting back up when we fall down but falling down is part of the process, not "failure". We only fail when we give up.
    1291 days ago
    That was awesome! Thank you for your words of inspiration.
    1291 days ago
    Your story has inspired me. I'm in a pretty rough spot right now - lost 85 pounds, have gained 50 of them back - but your words help. Recently I read a really inspiring quote that reinforces your words, and I'd like to share it with you.

    "In every difficult, worthwhile endeavour there will come a point when the easiest course of action is to abandon forward motion, to allow inertia to take over and to return to the status quo. It is the brave and great person who, upon recognising this point, resists inertia and smashes on through to the far side. No matter the cost. I call this juncture the critical moment of will."

    1291 days ago
  • v TAYGRL
    Absolutely LOVED this!!
    1291 days ago
  • v JAMER123
    I am one of those that tried the gym and public pool when I first began but did feel out of place with my weight. I love the fact there are a couple of gyms now that cater to only those with a lot of weight to lose therefore they are all at the same point in life, to get to a healthy weight for them. I am coming out of my shell more every month but still not seeing the scale move since my big loss. it will start again, I know not when.........
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
  • v NOCUBY
    This blog is perfect and reached me when I needed it most: today. I seem to fall regularly (when it comes to weight loss) and trying yet another time just feels so discouraging and frightening. I've been fighting those "What makes me think THIS time will be any different?" feelings all day. So thanks to you for writing this! It really is just what I needed to hear.
    1291 days ago
    Thanks for sharing!! As I read this, I realized that I have so many fears! I need to just Do It! Who cares that my stomach jiggles if I jump around or run on the treadmill in front of others!? Right??? Who said the gym is just for fit and skinny people? Why do I let what other people might think, stop me from doing things I want to try? You hit the nail on the head with this post! Thank you so much for posting this!
    1291 days ago
  • v QUELZ15
    That us so true and very well put
    1291 days ago
    Very encouraging... emoticon

    I love the last line - How far are you willing to go? Now that I have identified where I am going and have my goal in sight (or at least in mind), its great to know that I am willing to go and do as much as I can to reach and hold that destination in my hands!

    1291 days ago
    Thank you so much! The gym in my apartment complex is on the ground floor and there is a huge picture window so that anyone who walks by can see you working out. It has made me incredibly self-conscious and because of this, I have unfortunately not spent as much time there as I know that I need to in order to succeed at my current goals, and often I shy away from doing certain things because I know that it will expose me at an awkward angle to onlookers. I just decided to read some emails before going to do my 30 minutes on the treadmill tonight. This is one bout of exercise procrastination that actually paid off! I feel so encouraged, motivated, and inspired by this post. I am heading to the gym RIGHT NOW and I am beginning my couch to 5K workout TONIGHT. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts!! emoticon I am now a subscriber to your blog!
    1291 days ago
  • v PWIFE46
    I needed this.This is where I'm at.I've got to much going on to afford to be overweight and unhealthy anymore.I'm a pastor's wife and have people that depend on me for strength and encouragement,but it's hard to do that when you feel like your a mess.I know I'll get where I need to be;I just don't want to get off track again like I have before.
    1291 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
  • v ELIZACG9
    emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing this; it makes me really take a hard look at what I'm doing. I've always hated looking sweaty/disheveled at the gym surrounded by so many people kicking my butt and looking fabulous doing it, and you are right. It's all fear and worrying about what people think. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what they think; it matters that I did the best I could and embraced the pain and the new and lived without fear. Again, thank you SO are a true inspiration. emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
  • v CAROLO12-12
    Thank you for sharing....Very well said..Sure is a little eye opener for us all.
    1291 days ago
  • v SEPIA83
    I never realized before that there was so much fear associated with weight loss. Your blog helped me to realize that isn't fear of losing the weight. It is fear of NOT losing the weight, the fear of once again failing at a critically important goal. Thank you for sharing and helping me to understand.
    1291 days ago
    1291 days ago
  • v LYNCHD05
    Reading your blog made me think of then girls who come to the gym with the perfect hair and I wait for that after I get home. I would have to do,it twice....
    I love trying new things.
    1291 days ago
    There is such wisdom in your truth!
    Thank you for sharing.
    1291 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. Great blog and great advice. Congrats on your determination to success and to victory!!

    emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
    Wonderful! I am a great procrastinator, was just sitting here reading your blog instead of working out. I am now heading to the treadmill! Thanks!
    1291 days ago
    Wow what a great blog! I can relate to everything you just said. I loved going to the gym at night because it meant not as many people. I didn't jump rope because I figured everyone was looking at my "Extra flab" bouncing around. I didn't try any machine that I wasn't familiar with in fear that I'd look silly trying to figure it out. What an inspiration you are, but really everyone who actually TRIES things and steps out of there comfort zone is inspirational. GREAT JOB!
    1291 days ago
    This is very good blog. I have a friend who was struggling with this very issue even though he had accomplished so much. He will be brave and do the thing he was afraid to do. I am so proud of him as I also suffer those fears even in front of my own family. When I start a new dvd I don't even want family around as I get embarrassed on my looking awkward and slow. It's taken me time to even do new things in front of my dh even though he is very supportive. We do hold ourselves back due to our own insecurities. Thank you for sharing.
    1291 days ago
  • v _LINDA
    This is so very true. I would not be the busy, active manager of a large 400 member bridge club if I had not overcome my extreme shyness or let my severe disease keep me a couch potato forever. Stepping outside the box, outside your comfort zone is the only way you will ever grow as a person. A few of my friends love to quote Eleanor Roosevelt, do something you fear every day...
    The only true barrier is the one you put up in your mind
    Spark On
    1291 days ago
    What an awesome blog. Thanks! I needed to ready this today.

    1291 days ago
  • v PJHAWK7
    Robert, I just went back to look at your Spark page and am in awe of where you came from. You write so beautifully, I hope your talents are used in other ways to help and motivate people. Your words encourage me to keep on trying even when I feel like I'm failing yet again. Thank you for sharing those inspirational thoughts,

    1291 days ago
  • v HIGGS02
    Holy craps! That was like a big slap! And in a good way!! While I was reading I was inspired to see if I could still do ten pushups. Yeah, totally can't but I will soon. That made ne really think about why I want to lose this weight. I now have to start thinking about it as for a healthier me, not for a number on a scale. Thanks for sharing!!!!
    1291 days ago
    1291 days ago
  • v FLRED12
    This is extremely inspirational. You did an excellent job writing it. emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
    Wow! Your words and emotions moved me deeply.
    It isn't just about exercising or dieting, it's something deep inside us and your sharing your struggles and ACHIEVEMENTS truly motivated me.
    You should be very proud of everything you've worked for.
    You are awesome!

    Thank you for sharing.

    1291 days ago
  • v MEVILL
    LOVE this post! It can be applied to so many life experiences. I will be sharing this with my students next week. I have several kids that struggle with concepts in Algebra 2 - it's hard for them to think that they are not the only ones that have struggled. Everyone can be good at everything; we all need something that keeps us might be called "failure" in some minds...I see "growth" and "experience".

    Thank you SO much for sharing!
    1291 days ago
    Great Blog with Great Advice............. emoticon and emoticon on conquering your fears.
    1291 days ago
  • v BERRY4
    Well put!
    I keep having to show up and put forth the effort...even when the scale isn't listening. Ultimately, I've decided this is for HEALTH and not just about weight.

    Loved your remark: "...leaving a trail of sweat wherever I go." (Means I DID something!)
    1291 days ago
    Couldn't agree with you more. Failure is just part of the process, and doesn't indicate anything about the doer, apart from the fact he/she hasn't succeeded. Yet.

    1291 days ago
    This is such an inspirational blog, I keep reading it over and over. I love it. Thanks for the motivation and the beautiful writing!
    1291 days ago
    Wow! This rings so true. Well written blog. Thanks for the motivation.
    1291 days ago
    Thank you so much for writing this. This is so inspirational and breaks down how I've been and you are completely right. I cannot be afraid of failure or feeling like one. I can't allow that from stopping me from accomplishing things. Thanks again, very well written. emoticon
    1291 days ago
  • v MAYBER
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts
    Well written and thought out
    One day at a time
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1291 days ago
  • v ELISSAV12
    you are a very good writer!
    1291 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment
    Member Comments Page (463 total):  < Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next > Last >>

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.