Yesterday, I failed. Not a little bit, and not just in one area. I’m telling you, I FAILED.
I didn’t feel well when I woke up at 5:15 to run, so I decided to skip my run and get a little more sleep. I woke up again at 9:30 and headed to the office. I was so concerned about missing my run, that I allowed my destructive thoughts to cause me to get off track on my other goals, as well.
I have a goal to eat between 1200 and 1500 calories per day, but yesterday I missed it by a mile.
And the thing that really gets me is, I KNEW those thoughts were coming! I KNOW the exact thoughts, and I know WHEN they come! I shouldn’t have been caught off guard… but I was.
”You missed your run this morning, so you should eat less to make up for it.” “If you eat but you don’t work out, you’ll gain weight.” “You failed… you skipped your run, so you don’t deserve to eat today.” “You’re such a failure… told ya you couldn’t do it! You’re only a few weeks in, and you’ve already f***ed everything up!”
I missed my goal by 300 calories yesterday. And I spent a good part of the day feeling like a failure. It distracted me from other things I should have been focusing on. All of those thoughts (and more) were circling through my head all day.
But, I learned something so powerful through this big FLOP, and I was encouraged in the midst of my failure.
In the past, I would have beat myself up over everything that happened (or didn’t happen) yesterday, but last night I chose to give myself some grace, LOVE MYSELF ANYWAY, and give it my best shot again today.
With all of that being said, I want to share what I learned about how to deal with your FAIL days.
- Don’t be afraid of FAIL days!
They WILL happen! No matter who you are, what you do, what challenge you’re overcoming, what obstacle you are busting through, or how long you’ve been at this thing called “success” or “life”. You WILL have “off” days. You WILL have days when you just completely miss the mark. IT HAPPENS!
If you expect yourself to be 100% ON, 100% of the time, you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Don’t set yourself up for failure! Expect to make mistakes, get dirty, screw up, fail, fall flat on your face! It happens to everyone! Think of the most successful person you know… Guess what? They have failed! They have bad days! In fact, their failures are probably 10X what your biggest failures are!
Don’t be afraid to fail!
- Just because you FAIL does NOT mean you are a FAILURE!
Failing does not make you a failure. What you DO does not determine WHO YOU ARE.
You know what DOES determine who you are? Your Father in heaven determines that!
And guess what? He says YOU are a champion! He says He has given YOU everything you need to become outrageously successful. He says YOU were created for a PURPOSE. He says YOU have a calling and a destiny on your life, and He is calling you OUT of the dry, broken, deserted place you’re in and INTO what He has planned for you since before the foundations of the earth.
That’s who YOU are. Just because you fail does NOT mean you are a failure.
- Failure is a springboard for MASSIVE GROWTH!
A. It strengthens your resolve. How bad do you want it? Are you willing to put in the effort, pick yourself up after a fall, give it your best shot again and again, as many times as it takes in order to get to your goal?
If you truly LEARN from your failure (and sometimes it has to be a really, really BAD failure in order for you to truly learn), it makes you say, ”I am NOT going back to THIS place again! I will do it differently next time!”
B. It shows an opportunity (or several opportunities) for improvement. It’s not about condemning yourself. It’s about correcting yourself. There’s a BIG difference.
Condemnation tears down, but correction builds up. Condemnation stunts growth, but correction encourages growth. Condemnation says, ”You idiot, you did it again!” Correction says, ”You’ve made a mistake, but here’s how we can get better!” You actually have the ability to be the voice of correction or the voice of condemnation when speaking to and about yourself! A failure reveals an opportunity for growth, and it comes through self-correction.
C. It is an opportunity to learn something. I have a series of 4 basic questions I ask myself almost every day – whether it was a “FAIL” day, or an awesome, successful day.
- What went RIGHT?
- What did I improve from last time?
- How could I have handled this better?
- What should I do differently next time?
This helps you identify the lesson inside of the failure. Because the truth is, failure can either cause you to quit, or it can cause you to learn something and use that newfound knowledge to do better next time.
The bottom line is, even when you FAIL one day, you can still NAIL it the next day. It’s when you fail, and you choose to stay in that place of failure, that there’s a problem.
Don’t be surprised or even caught off guard by failure. Because failures happen! Disappointments happen!
It’s what you DO with those failures and disappointments that matters.
So, will you choose to get back up and get right back on track? Will you choose to learn from your mistakes and your failures? Will you choose to make different decisions next time? Will you choose to rule your thoughts and reactions, instead of allowing them to rule you? Will you choose to continue on the journey to success…DESPITE your failures?