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Fearing Failure

Friday, April 19, 2013

I think it's honesty time. Every so often, I get a fear in the pit of my stomach that all this work I've done, all this weight I've lost, all the ways I've changed my life, will be lost. That I will regain all my weight and go back to feeling sleepy, heavy, and uncomfortable in my body. I think back to the first and the second times I lost weight. I gained all that weight back - why should this time be different?

Why should this time be different? Well, there are a lot of factors to that. This time around, I have a new goal - living a healthy life - instead of a weight goal. This time around, I am willing to make drastic changes to get the life I want. And this time, I want to not give up if I am not 100% perfect.

The sad fact is: I am a perfectionist. I expect to be perfect, and if I am not, then why bother trying at all? This is not a good viewpoint, and it has hurt me many times in the past, both when losing weight and in other areas.

For instance, when on Weight Watchers, if I went over my points, I would go, "Oops, I used too many points, oh, well, I'll restart my week in the morning". Soon enough every DAY became a restart and then I just gave up, thinking I needed a "break".

I didn't need a break - that was the LAST thing I needed. I needed something else - the defeat of the fear of failure.

Fear of Failure coupled with my perfectionism is what kept me from changing my lifestyle. Fear of Failure is what sometimes haunts me now.

But the thing is: making one oops is NOT failure! Failure is giving up; failure is quitting before getting to your goal; failure is not trying at all. Eating too much ice cream one day is NOT FAILURE. Yes, it's a mistake. Yes, it ruined your eating patterns. But it shouldn't ruin your entire diet.

Among being more active, drinking more water, and eating healthier meals, probably the biggest thing I want to adopt into my life is realizing that very fact: So I ate too many cookies. Acknowledge, learn and move on. Don't give up a healthy lifestyle because of one mistake. Don't restart and procrastinate. I *will* make mistakes. I *will* succumb to temptations. But I don't need to let those temptations and mistakes drag me down, tear at my self-confidence and ruin my health plans. I can look them and say, "OK, that wasn't good; let's just keep going and try better."

Destroying my fear of failure is what will help me ultimately succeed. THAT will keep the weight off and my living a healthier lifestyle. I will not let this fear and my stupid perfectionism ruin my life; I love the way I am living and the way I feel about myself. I have gone too far to let it rule and refuse to give it anymore power over my life!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The hardest thing to get -- and the most important thing -- is getting back on track, the instant you realize what has happened. Not the next meal, or heaven forbid the next day. But the next minute. You can even turn it around within the same meal (i.e., realizing you're eating too much and STOPPING). I'm still working on this but getting better every day. emoticon
    1883 days ago
    Another spot on blog entry!

    I have the same fear, sometimes. I have to remind myself that I am in control. Previously, on my other failed diets, I didn't have control. I was wildly out of control! That's not the case anymore, but sometimes, I still forget.

    The only way you fail is if you give up, right? As long as we keep picking ourselves up and moving on, we can only succeed.

    Never give up! Even in the face of fear. You're absolutely right when you say you won't give fear anymore power over your life. It only has the power you give it! So don't give it any!! =)
    1885 days ago
  • AGOALOF150
    Thank you for this post...I think you are sharing what most of us experience..it is good to hear this reminder.
    1885 days ago
    I am a perfectionist, wow I wounder were I have heard this before(oh yah me!) I have seen a lot of us on SP And I do like your (honesty time) And I have done what you have and I again bet that a lot of us have and like you said (not this time!) emoticon emoticon and 1 of my favorites (Never Give Up!) And we will get there. And as for the other's restart and all, for me also add to the list stresser! emoticon emoticon
    1886 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this. I run into the same problem of why bother if it isn't going to be perfect. Like today, I already know my numbers are going to be off so I haven't tracked my lunch yet. I need to get over it and just remember my own advice that one day doesn't make or break this journey for us. Keep pushing forward!!
    1886 days ago
    Fear of failure is a big one for me too. If you have the time and inclination, I recommend the book "Fear" by Thich Nhat Hanh. I've found it to be very helpful in changing my attitudes and outlooks on things...helps keep those niggling perfectionist thoughts at bay and to keep things in a healthier perspective.

    Congratulations on your weight loss. Fantastic job!
    1886 days ago
    You will not fail because we will not let you :-). We need you here as much as you need us, Carolyn! So, you're stuck with us here at SP. You're DEFINITELY stuck with ME! LOLOL.
    1886 days ago
    I think if you were to evaluate the ways in which you lost weight before - and using the knowledge you have gained now - you would see WHY you gained the weight back. Whether it is because you restricted your diet - and then couldn't take it anymore or you gave up on exercise - I am sure you can find the reasons.

    The nice thing is - from what I have been learning through your blog posts - is that you are really learning and gaining a new mind-set. That is something much more powerful than a mantra "I want to look good for my class reunion (or whatever other excuse) and will do whatever to wear that nice dress I picked out."

    Most of how we got here is because we did not have a good relationship with food and exercise. Bottom line - I assume. However, it can be learned. I lost about 40 pounds a couple of years ago and then - BOOM - had another baby. Ended up gaining it after the baby because I reverted to old habits. I have no doubt that I will lost it again - if not more. I know I can do this - and keep it off. I made a mistake - rightfully so - but those things I learned on my last journey were not wasted - I am not giving up - and I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve from what I have learned.

    From what I can tell - the same is true for you.

    As for being a perfectionist - welcome to the club! My gosh, the demands we put upon ourselves but wouldn't put on another living person! If you ever feel the desire to return to your perfectionist ways - just remember we are here for you to help with that doubting voice. Sometimes all it takes is for someone else to open up our eyes. emoticon

    I really think the difference between many of us and those that are healthier is that we do too often dwell on our mistakes - and that leads us to make more. It doesn't have to be that way - we need to cut ourselves some slack. Pick ourselves up and keep going.

    You have that in you - and it is so good that you are realizing the things that were obstacles to your success in the past. Now - the only thing between you and your goal is the time you need to put all that into action.

    You can do this!


    1886 days ago
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