I like to hang around with people who challenge me. I’m not referring to friends who spontaneously subject me to an arm wrestling match, dare me to jump from a moving vehicle doing 60 mph or participate in an archeological dig inside an active volcano.
It’s way simpler than that, but in some ways more painful.
I enjoy challenges that threaten to change the way I see myself.
I’ve talked about being an INTJ, the Myers Briggs personality type best known for arrogance, a know-it-all attitude and introversion. The latter works well, since the other two traits make us less than popular in social situations.
If not for my sense of humor I’d have zero friends.
As is typical of this personality type, I am constantly questioning myself, am rarely happy with the way I handle things in the moment and will dwell on a conversation for days… weeks… sometimes months, wondering what the other person thought of what I said.
What I fail to realize most of the time is: no one cares. Or at least they act as if they don’t, which may be the exact moment they’re making a mental note to unfriend me.
Most of the time everyone else involved in the conversation has long since moved forward with their lives while I’m still trying to find a way to fix whatever I feel went “horribly wrong.”
Not surprisingly, it’s lonely being neurotic.
But here’s the thing. We all make mistakes, whether it’s about saying the wrong thing, showing up on the wrong day for an event, or falling off the wagon of eating clean/working out.
The only real “failure,” however, is if you fall down and stay down.
This is far worse than sitting home wrapped in bubble wrap, too afraid to leave the house or speak to anyone for fear you’ll do something dumb and embarrass yourself or get thrown out of the gym altogether. (That was not my fault, I swear.)
Imagine if, as a toddler, you gave up the first few times you tried to walk. You’d still be crawling around on the floor. As an adult, this makes it hard to find work, make friends, drive a car, or otherwise participate in life.
How much sense would that make? “Yeah, Suzie tried the walking thing but it didn’t work out for her so she gave up. Couldn’t deal with the failure.”
Ditto for learning how to spell and write — or anything, for that matter.
The same goes for finding a workout program or activity you like and for figuring out the best meal plan that works for you.
Trial and error involves failure at some point or another.
The proverbial key to success lies in using the “failure” as a way to gather data as to what doesn’t work. The number on your scale, for example, is simply information and is not a reflection of your value as a person.
Keep emotions out of it and you’ll increase your chances of success.
Here are a few ways to reframe failure and not allow it to permanently derail you…
Make note of what went wrong but avoid dwelling on it and beating yourself up over it. How could you have prevented skipping yoga class after work? Maybe set out your clothes the night before, if it’s a morning workout, or pack your gym bag the night before class so you don’t risk forgetting socks or a workout bra. Try a different approach so you’re better prepared next time.
If you’ve failed at something it means you stepped outside your comfort zone. Congrats! Most people are too afraid of trying something new. If you took a new Zumba class and fell on your face, you deserve credit for taking the risk. Laugh it off and go again or switch gears.
You are not your past failures. Avoid allowing your past to shape your future by focusing on them (I need to listen to myself, I know). This prevents you from moving forward. It’s fine to talk about why you go into a trance-like state at the sight of chocolate, if necessary, as a way to work through it, but don’t allow it to stop you from making progress with a different approach.
I harp on this all the time and it’s for good reason: Consistent right effort produces results. Period. It may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but plowing ahead — especially on days when you don’t feel like it — will eventually get you there. Have patience!
You don’t have to go it alone. I have a hard time asking for help, so if you feel that way, I get it. But… sometimes, a different person can show you things you wouldn’t see on your own. I work with life/business coaches all the time and could not see myself without one. Another person can help you gain perspective and suggest different approaches you may not see on your own.
In fact, if that sounds like you, stay tuned for a new announcement for a workshop I have coming up on January 18th on creating your own, personal 90-Day Belly Fat Blasting Plan. If you’re a member of my Ageless Army you already know about it. But i you not, sign up for my newsletter so you’re sure not to miss a thing!
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What about you? How can you turn around a recent “failure” so you move forward into the Land of Results? Let me know in the comment section below!
And DO share this with your friends who may enjoy this info. I’d be forever grateful xo.
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.