The Power of Failure

I can handle it all by myself.

I am very well aware of what I eat.

The issues I am facing are all known, no need to put these again on the table.

Reviewing my own past and summarizing my first free conversations with clients, a trend is emerging. And the force is strong in this trend. We believe we know it all because we are afraid to fail. The sense of not achieving what may look like a piece of cake is so engrained in our psyche. Society is all about succeeding and succeeding consistently.

Failure is not on the agenda, as failure is a shameless act of not achieving what we want to achieve. And who needs help when you have internet?

I can fail over and over again without anyone knowing about it!

The pursuit of perfection is fuelled by today’s society i.e. the need to gain status. The social media channels embody and use en masse for marketing purposes, all the success stories. The trend that failure in looks and skills can now be turned from interpreted negatively to magically washed away and become positive. All to show the positive aspects of someone’s life by downloading an app, rendering the image and posting it.

We tend to see failure as…failure. A sign of weakness, “me not worthy”, and putting away these moments deep in the closest of other attempts that are/were seen as moments of personal (or corporate) shame.

Going further than the call of duty was what drove me towards self-destruction. Who needs help when new tasks are assigned to my already overloading agenda? Because previous targets and goals were met with ease and perseverance? I was not looking for excess luggage, hindrances of humankind that would slow me down. Or even better, set me up to fail.

Nah, let’s forget all that and hammer out results. It may not have been perfect but what the heck, I did not fail in public.

And yet, we continue going all out without realizing that failure is one of the best learning schools there is. Humanity still shuns away from imperfect executions of what one may do right. What skills one may need to hone further. Honestly admitting, it takes guts and stamina to admit you failed. However, reactions from a superior level are not giving employees that same feeling of a well-tried out attempt to better oneself.

Failure becomes frustrating when different results are expected and the same/similar failed methods are reintroduced. Like a scratched record, we rerun the same principles of striding forward, because we firmly believe we have the answers in us. Or on the internet, because that’s where we can play hide and seek, try it again, fail again and perhaps go about something of a similar nature. 

The almighty yo-yo dieting trends illuminate our LED screens, sucking us into their nutritional vortex as “you will not fail this”. Buying yourself completely bonkers with supplementary tablets and ointments to suck away those unwanted fat rolls. Or shoving a hose down your arse to get your internal tubing a proper cleansing.

And yet, we fail over and over again because we can admit we failed on our own accord. Ever seen someone post a picture with what one did to score success…and failed?

I have failed a good amount of times. And I was afraid to admit that I failed. I failed in front of my bosses; my friends; in public (and with some humiliation); during tournaments; at home; in my own business; in front of my loved ones, and even in aeroplanes.

Ashamed like shit I was. 

Failure is no longer failure.

It takes time to realize that when you flush away all these moments down the drain. You will allow a lot of dust in the corner of shame. It takes a lot of guts to admit ones failures especially in today’s society because of the stigma failure brings with it. Failure emphasizes that we are human beings with our flaws, imperfections, and ways to show that we cannot do something YET.

What I learned about my own failures are the following five essentials.

We don’t recognize our blind spots.

Out-of-body experiences of any nature aside, it is very difficult to ascertain your blind spots when living and breathing in the same rhythm for such a long time. I literally could not see where I skipped a beat to perhaps set myself up for more success through learning where I was at this stage of life. Erasing my boundaries, going pedal to the metal without knowing I may miss crucial aspects to improve upon.

On a corporate level, it all may work out quite well, but personally, it was pretty much a disaster.

Setting aside time to get someone to explore these blind spots in parts of your life to make you thrive again can make a huge difference.

We are not asking for help.

Human nature has turned into listening creates to reply; we hardly listen to understand. We hear what one wants to explore further on a personal or business level, but automatically, we turn into experts with what definitely will work best. Quality help is there when you may get the answers you are looking for. I still find it not always easy to ask for assistance because of the feeling of exposing my weaknesses. But there are plenty of people – including myself – that will reserve quality time to answer and support.

Posting a question in public about a topic you desperately need help for to stride more effortlessly on the path to success takes time. But do you get the answer you need or a tirade of know-it-all’s, blaming you why the road you took is doomed to fail (and why you even consider it?)

We are not taking a step back.

The only way forward, failure or no failure, is to continue forward. What we have set out to do and put on paper is done and dusted, so let’s not rattle those cages again. With our eyes constantly pierced beyond the horizon, we tend to forget to halt once in a while to assess what we have accomplished so far, whether we are on the right track and what means we may need to adjust to avoid any possible hurdles.

Failure will sneak in when giving yourself a break from moving forward. Eating 100% healthy all the time is based on a similar principle. It is set to fail to where you want to go towards.

We don’t know why we do things.

Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” is the personification of getting crystal clear why you must start with the question “why”. The “what” and “how” fall into place automatically. You’re running around in a hamster wheel without purpose unless you haven’t thought about why you want to lose weight, get better sleep, or become more productive.

Burn your why in your mind, lock it and check in every single day with yourself. Failure to reach goals will become easier to overcome. It took me 9 months to find my ‘why’ when I started The Thrive Approach. Don’t take it for granted you have it figured out in a couple of days.

We don’t trust our gut.

An area only suited to collect the remains of my nutritional intake before it is shaped and compressed into the brown we excrete. Yes, I have long ignored my gut. Science is making extremely promising findings to show that our gut feeling is as real as real can be. 

Allowing your decisions to revolve solemnly around what plays around in your head is a huge mistake. Listening to your gut has proven to set me up for more conscious decisions. We know that that nagging feeling when we want to make a change, yet know something does not feel right, can be overwhelming.

I’d say, go for it. It is more right than wrong.

There is no failure, there is only feedback.

It is time to cast aside that sense of feeling of pride and resilience that you have it all well under control. More than ever, our health and wellbeing should not be getting back on the chopping board over and over again because we fail to see results.

Ask for help, show that you have blind spots, and let us together define your why.

Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. | Coco Chanel

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