Rethinking Failure

Preface: The idea of this article is fairly universal, but it may help to think of it in terms of exercising and learning to change your lifestyle.



There is something of a stigma in our society attached to failure.  People look at it is if it were the plague, and that is fairly reasonable.  Nobody gets up in the morning and tells themselves that “today is a good day to fail!”  However, for some of us, we need to rethink the way we see failure.  We need to all realize that we are all going to fail at some point and it’s not going to be the end of the world.

Failure is an inevitable and necessary part of life, but sometimes we look at failure as a loathsome disease, feeling strong and often times overwhelming feelings of displeasure and shame.  This is especially true for those obsessive-compulsive over-achieving perfectionist personalities and oftentimes we are conditioned to beat ourselves up if failure rolls around.

Life is full of failures, small failures.  It’s those small course corrections that we learn from.  It’s like falling down, but picking yourself up afterward.  The key is to laugh, to learn, and to grow from the daily minor failures.

I was recently reading an article on this very subject, and it really hit home, because I myself hate the idea of messing up.  I just want to do things once and do them perfectly.  I hate the idea of having to repeat something again and having to start over.  However, this article suggests three things that we need to consider and do when dealing with failures:

1)  Acknowledge – You first need to acknowledge the failure or mistake.  This can be very difficult for some of us because we are constantly trying to hide or minimize our faults and failures.  Now that doesn’t mean going around flaunting everything you have done wrong, but it does mean reconciling yourself with the fact that sometimes you do make mistakes.  You can even poke fun or embrace those failures, which may in turn end up completely changing the nature and the outcome of a failure.

2) Breathe – Sometimes we tend to tighten ourselves up when we fail, so try instead to notice your breath.  Consider the fact that you are still breathing and you are still alive, in the in midst of difficulty and failure.

3) Learn – We oftentimes tend to become self-critical and we bash ourselves for the mistakes we make.  Instead of spending our energy on beating ourselves up, try instead to think of a solution, consider what you can learn from any given mistake and use that as a point of growth instead of a point of stumbling.  However, the fact of the matter is, in order to grow, we must stumble.  No one’s perfect.

So, these are just a couple of things that I learned about failure and about becoming a better me.  Again, consider this in whatever context you want, but since this blog is more or less devoted to becoming healthier, remember that it is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them, and come back stronger and more determined to reach that peak level of fitness.


Carlos Morgan is a 22 year old Communications Major hoping to get into Law School one day and make a difference. If you feel you want to know more, check out his Google+


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