"There is no failure
except in no longer trying. There is no defeat
except from within, no insurmountable barrier except our own
weakness of purpose."
Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American Author, Publisher)
Failure is one of those life experiences most of us would rather
encounter. It's associated with self judgment and negative
Often, people are hesitant to begin working on their food and body
challenges because of past failures. They would rather not fail
again. They say, "Oh well, I tried", and take the failure as "a
lesson to be learned". Too often, they conclude that the lesson
"I better not try that again."
Somewhere in our lifetimes, the word failure became synonymous
the word "loser." There's often great embarrassment and even
for grownups to have this experience. As children we repeatedly
allowed ourselves to fail. Without failure none of us would have
learned how to walk, talk, write, or even ride a bicycle. As
we shy away from new experiences to avoid risking failure.
Let's say you've tried to lose weight several times before -- with
great success. Only to have experienced gaining it all back
So why bother trying again? People will see you as a failure and
judge you negatively (although not nearly as harshly as you judge
yourself). They will have pity on you and gossip behind your
You certainly don't want to endure that again.
TRUTH ABOUT FAILURE
"Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also."
Carl Jung (1875-1961 Swiss Psychiatrist)
Failure is not bad. Actually, it's probably the only way you will
ever become successful. The obstacles, setbacks, and failures are
part of your successful journey. Failure is really just feedback
telling you how to adjust your plan. It is essential to success.
While it's certainly a giant leap to welcome it with open arms,
perhaps begin with acceptance that failure is part of every
The only true failure is when people give up. Actual failure is
when we beat ourselves up and learn nothing from our setbacks.
Confucius is quoted as saying, "Our greatest glory is not in never
falling but in rising every time we fall." If we embrace our
failures along with our successes, learning from each, we will
achieve. The only people who never fail are those who never try.
A little known formula for success is that success happens because
of failure. Legend has it that Thomas Edison tried 10,000
filaments before successfully creating the electric light bulb.
asked if he ever felt discouraged with so many failures, he
none of his attempts were failures. They were each successful
experiments in finding what didn't work!
Henry Ford went bankrupt 3 times before he created a car that
worked. Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he tried to sell
chicken recipe. He took this recipe to over 1000 restaurants
he found a buyer. Walt Disney spoke with over 297 banks before he
was able to attain a loan for his successful dream.
The National Weight Control Registry is a research study that
to gather information from people who have successfully lost at
30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year. They report that
everyone who successfully loses weight and maintains this weight
has tried to lose weight before. Part of their success was that
they had learned from past failures.
THE LESSON OF FAILURE
What's the lesson in
this? Successful people fail more often than
unsuccessful people. In fact, they fail over and over and over
It's the failure's themselves that provide learning experiences.
Wisdom and experience to succeed comes from failure. Successful
people don't give up because they've failed. Instead they sit
and view these experiences as learning opportunities.
To be successful, we need to design an alternative paradigm for
failure. Allow yourself to see whatever happens not as failure,
as "information." Gather and access this new information and
your plan. Figure out how to adjust your plan and decide what the
next step will be. Keep going. Immerse yourself in other's
stories and model your behavior in a similar fashion.
Failure can be used as another tool on your journey to a deeper
appreciation of self and love for self. Failure can be used either
a way to close your heart down even more to yourself and others,
failure can be a stepping stone to opening your heart even
You can view failure as evidence of your inherent internal flaws
human being. Or you can look to find the emotional and spiritual
lessons embedded within the failure. To be human is to experience
failure. Nothing is, or ever was, wrong with you.
Failure can guide you towards a leap of faith. You can overcome
obstacle, any problem, any situation. Find within you the courage
walk towards what you really want in life. Learn to encourage
yourself. Love that you are overcoming fear and attempting
new - no matter what the outcome. Of course there will be
along the way. You're learning an entire new set of skills. When
you occasionally fail -- get up, dust yourself off, access the new
information, believe in yourself, and begin again.