It’s okay to fail. We all fail. If you’re like me, it can be pretty regular!. However, failure doesn’t need to be viewed as a bad thing. Surely striving for success should be the goal, right?
But what if I said success is always the goal? Would you even bother trying?
Success can represent the unknown, unchartered waters that we dream of but have never ventured. Our goal may be to lose weight, build muscle or get super strong. If we are only starting, that goal might feel a long way off into the distance and perhaps even a little overwhelming or unattainable.
The fear of trying because we might fail can become paralysing for some. (1 ) What if I can't do it?; (2 ) What happens if it goes wrong? and (3 ) What if people laugh at me?"
These thought processes leave no room for error. They can start to become all or nothing. From here, we can then start to become stagnant and stop moving in any direction. We are not succeeding, but at the same time, we are not failing. With this comes comfort, and we humans love comfort. If we never try, we can never fail. And if we never fail, no one can judge us, right? So everything stays the same.
To truly achieve our goals, embrace failure. Now, this doesn’t mean we have to be useless at everything we do, but embracing failure allows us to take action, free from worries about what people will think or how good the outcome will be. All we have to do is act.
If we want to improve our body composition or health, talking a good game won't do us any good if we don’t take action. When you eventually take action, do so with patience and see it out to completion. We may have given up on our last diet because we thought to ourselves, "what if this doesn't work? So we cut it short and didn't give it the necessary time.
But this isn’t failing; this is giving up. We jump from diet to diet, fad to fad, but commit to nothing and, more importantly, never learn from our mistakes. Then we end up making them over and over again. A successful failure will try, finish, fail, and understand why they failed. Stop. Reflect. Learn. Readjust.
Finally, make sure to enjoy the process. If you don't, then the actions required just seem dull and uninspiring. Part of enjoying the process is seeking failure because with every loss comes an opportunity to reflect, learn, readjust and improve. If you enjoy training and have found a balance with your nutrition that suits you and your goals, guess what? You are more inclined to follow through on this. And more importantly, you won’t let the occasional failure pull you off track. You draw a line under it and move on. So step away from perfection and focus on the try. Focus on the fail. Embrace it, learn from it and move on with those learnings.
Micheál Penston is the Head Coach at FM Fitness & Nutrition based in Westport, Co. Mayo. They specialise in helping busy men and women create the healthiest versions of themselves by educating and empowering around all areas of their lifestyle: fitness, nutrition, recovery, and behaviours. You can grab a FREE copy of the 5 Stage, Health & Fitness Kickstarter or find out more about their online and in-person coaching methods at www.fmfitnessnutrition.com or social media handles @fmfitnessnutrition