Change means getting out of your comfort zone and, really, the word 'comfort' says it all; There's comfort in that familiar place, even if we're miserable there. We know that misery, its edges, its seams and its weak places. When we step out of it, we're suddenly in the unknown with none of the paths we once followed to guide us.
The unknown and our fear of it will often push us to fail and, if you're trying to change your lifestyle - To start eating better, to workout more - there's a good chance this will happen to you. Maybe you'll start and stop or maybe you won't start at all because of all the obstacles standing in your way. Maybe you'll get going, only to revert back to those old behaviors when things get tough.
It's normal for us to go backwards sometimes, yet we start to think that, not only did we fail, but we are failures.
But, what if that isn't true? What if what you call failure is actually:
- Getting to know yourself: If you're new to exercise, how can you possibly know what you're capable of? We often set impossible goals, forgetting that we're not sure what we can handle yet. This is a time to start simple with something you know you can do, whether that's taking a walk every day or popping in a beginner workout video.
- A learning experience: If you can only workout for 10 minutes, maybe that isn't a failure, but actual feedback. You now have more information about what your body can do and you can expand on that every workout.
- Experimentation: When you were a kid, you didn't expect yourself to be perfect at everything you try. As an adult, you probably do, especially if you've tried this exercise thing before. The truth is, we can't know what we can do, what we like, what works if we don't try it first. There's a good chance that whatever you try may not work...at least not at first. Giving yourself the freedom to experiment may be what you need to succeed.
What do you think? Do you ever feel like a failure? Is that feeling justified or are you being too hard on yourself? What would you accomplish if you looked at those failures in a different light? Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences with failure.