Three steps to redefining failure.

So, why is it we always think we should start, first time out of the gate, with great gusto, ability, and high performance? This has been an issue with me in many regards. I have felt I needed to do it completely right, not admit to any weakness, and be perfect.

I might have reason; we all might, actually. I, and I'm sure you, have had people in your life who think you haven't done all things exactly as they think. Maybe they haven't forgotten about your failures, and they don't want you to forget either. Maybe they belittle you because they think you are beneath them. I get it. 

So, what's a person to do with all of that?

I can tell you what we generally do is make ourselves feel smaller, allow their voices to control our heart, and many times we don't even try something because we are scared of failing again.

But let's take a new look at it? As a dear friend says, let's learn to reframe the situation.


First, we need to remember it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. We can not possibly please everyone out there, and we need to stop trying. It will only drive us to insanity or depression.

Second, we need to remember that failure is simply us learning. Even when things come naturally to us, there is still so much to learn and so much room to grow. If we only did what we were good at, and never tried harder, we would become stagnate. When we can't do something it shows where we can grow.

Third, saying there's a certain ability that you must reach before you are no longer a failure is actually comparison talking, which stinks. The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. Are you improving? Are you getting better? Then you are on the right track.


When I first began running, over 2.5 years ago, I could only run the track in the gym (which is 1/12th of a mile) once before stopping. Or maybe not a full time around. I've tried running off and on through the past decade or so, but it never stuck. I never got better. Because I simply stopped and got discouraged each time. This time (with the exception of about 6 months when I began boot camp) I have continued and been consistent, or as consistent as one can be with the weather in Oklahoma. And Monday I ran 5.5 miles. I was so happy!

I was happy because I knew I had come a long way. I was happy because I didn't quit. I was happy because it is something I feel the desire to do, even if I don't have a reason. I ran. A long way. And I didn't die.

Now, I could tell you that my husband's time will always be better than mine. I could tell you that I have no doubt my sister's time will be better than mine once she gets going again. I could tell you those things and they would be true. But it is up to me to find my worth. Do I find it in the hard work, the determination, and the accomplishment of what I have done? Or do I find it in what others do? Because if I compare with another, there will always be someone better.

So, no more comparison. No more listening to those who are negative. No more listening to the negative voice in our own head. Let's simply listen to our heart, keep trying each day, and push ourselves when we need to. 

Because, failure means you know which direction you are able to grow. No more, no less.


  1. Great advice, Stacey, esp. to me as I begin learning karate. I have a long way to go, but I can look back to where I was 3 weeks ago and know that I am improving. That's what counts, not how I am doing compared to others. Thanks, Stacey :)

    1. Yes!! I have had to come to terms with the fact that I will never be as flexible as the younger girls, but I can improve myself still. And as long as we are doing that, we are doing good. We can talk about plateaus later. ;)


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