What If…

YouFailing is not Always failure might have been asked the question, “What if you knew you couldn’t fail?”  What would you do?  What risks would you take? I’ve asked myself this but when I think about it, I think it’s a fairly easy question.

I’d do anything.

If I couldn’t fail, why not do anything?  Invest all my money in one stock? Sure, I’m not going to fail.  Go skydiving? Why not?  I’m guaranteed to make it to the ground.  Talk to a room full of thousands?  You got it.  I think there is a better question we need to ask ourselves.

What if we weren’t afraid to fail?

That’s the tougher question because the chance of failure is still there.  This also makes it a more realistic question.  I am going to fail.  You are going to fail.  Maybe not today or in a horrible way but the truth is that failure is going to happen. We all work so hard to avoid failure, it’s not a fun thing to go through.

I hate failure.  I try to avoid it so much that sometimes I won’t even start something if I know there is a fair chance that I will fail.  The thing I am starting to learn though is that each failure is making me stronger.

Failure doesn't mean the game is over

I have been trying to grow this blog and share my message with a wider audience.  A lot of the things that I have done to try and make that happen have failed.  At first, I let it get me down.  I felt like a loser and thought that maybe I just wasn’t suppose to be a blogger.  I kept trying but nothing was happening.  While I was wallowing I realized that each failure taught me something.  It made me think in a different way to find something that would work.  I was growing and getting better even though it felt like I was one giant failure.

Michael Jordan Quote

Working on your health can feel a lot like that.  You try something new and it doesn’t work out.  You don’t lose the weight you wanted or you can’t change your eating habits or exercise still feels like torture.  Failure happens a lot when you work on your health and a lot of the time we let failure win.  We quit and go back to our old habits because we obviously don’t have what it takes.

Don’t quit.

Nelson Mandela

Let that failure teach you something.  Maybe that strategy didn’t work but there is one that will work.  Keep trying and realize that those failures are making you stronger.  Each time you fail but keep going you are making yourself better and making progress toward your goals even if it doesn’t feel like it.

Don’t ask yourself what you would do if you couldn’t fail, ask yourself what you’re going to do when failure happens.  If the answer is get back up and try again, you are already winning.

Winston Churchill Quote


Quotation-Angie-Smith-failure-fear-beauty-Meetville-Quotes-274815On my new Jillian Michaels yoga DVD, she gives a little pep talk at the end of the work out while you’re lying there in a pool of your own sweat.  She is pretty much just motivating you and telling you that you can do this.  Most of the time I am not really listening, I know I can do it, I just finished the workout didn’t I?  There is one thing she says though that always catches my attention.  She says, “I never expect you to be fearless, but I do expect you to live without regret as much as possible.”

The first part of that line got me thinking about fear.  I’m of two minds on this one.  On one hand, I totally agree with Jillian.  It isn’t realistic to never have any fear.  In fact, sometimes fear is a good thing.  It can motivate you or keep you safe.  On the other hand, we know that fear can be debilitating.  It can keep us from being great and doing amazing things.  It can also keep us from being healthy.

When it comes to health, the good side of fear can be motivation.  Maybe you are afraid of disease or illness that can come with bad health, so your fear motivates you to fight that outcome. But the fear of bad health can be a double-edged sword and can even cause you to be unhealthy despite your best efforts.  This is the kind of fear I want to talk about today because it is the kind of fear I have.

I am scared that everything I have worked so hard to accomplish health wise will somehow go away.  I know that this is an unrealistic fear because I won’t just suddenly gain all of my weight back overnight.  I know that barring an injury, I won’t be able to run 10 miles anymore or be unable to do a forearm stand.  Those things typically just don’t go away instantly, but I have this fear nagging in the back of my mind that they will.  This fear doesn’t motivate me to do my best like it used to, but rather feels like it is keeping me back from being truly great.  I tend to over analyze decisions when it comes to my health, because what if this one choice will be the undoing to my good health?  That is no way to live a healthy or happy life.

I don’t expect all of you to totally understand this fear, but I know that for some of you this is an all too real scenario.  You live in this constant fear of being your former unhealthy self.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that you were eating cheetos on the couch instead of doing a new challenging workout or making a delicious healthy meal.  What if that former self starts clawing it’s way back into your life? What if you can’t fight it this time?  Will you always have to struggle? Will it always have to feel this hard?

No, you won’t always have to struggle.  I have decided that I won’t let this fear rule my life or choices any longer.  I am going to start trusting myself.  I have maintained a healthy lifestyle for over three years now.  I have made such amazing strides in my physical abilities.  I have done things that I never thought I would do.  I have made goals that I will never be able to reach if I keep living in fear of failing and going back to my former self.  You can make that decision too.  Fear does not have to rule your life or make you miserable.  Whether you are just starting out on your healthy journey, in the middle, or have been at this for a long time don’t let your fear sideline you.  Believe in yourself and your abilities.  I know that you can do this and I bet that deep down inside you know it too.  Like Jillian says, I don’t expect you to be fearless.  It’s ok to have a little fear, but don’t let that fear consume you.  Instead take control of that fear and show it that you mean business and you can overcome what ever may come your way.