What does failure look like to you?

I got to thinking about this question randomly on Tuesday morning mid-conversation. You know when you have a bit of Deja Vu, or remember something subtly at the back of your mind whilst doing something else?


I was in the middle of talking about some changes I’d been making with a friend (more coming on this in the next couple of weeks) and in the back of my mind I could think so clearly of this conversation around failure.

I remember saying that I wasn’t really afraid of failing. I worry that I’ll never try things. That fear will be too much I never do anything I’m proud of. That I’ve up and moved from one city to another at short notice. I’ve quit jobs with nothing to go to and three months notice to pray and hope it works out. Only to be hit by another curve ball (global pandemic) that didn’t appear to slow me down.


I said that as long as I was happy, it was OK.


To which he pointed out, that maybe for me, living a life where I was unhappy was my failure.


Not money, or status. But my sense of happiness and pride in what I do.


Recently I must admit I’ve not been totally happy in some elements of what I’ve been doing and it’s really held me back from enjoying the bits of life I am happy with. But this week I made some changes and I was amazed. There was an instant, oh my god, I feel better now.


I’m not saying that’s always going to happen, but wow, I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

So I’m going to ask you the same thing.

  • What matters to you?

  • What does failure look like to you?

  • Are you afraid that you’ll fail on your diet or exercise plan?

  • What would cause you to fail?

  • In who’s eyes would you deem failure? Someone else's? Your own? Is that a sign of being overly self critical?

  • What can you do to prevent failure?

  • How small can you start and then build?

  • This is a big one as a coach, and from my own experience of “go big, or go home”. That approach rarely works. It’s a go big and then get so overwhelmed, you go home.

  • Go small, stay out, and be consistent.

Grab a sheet of paper (or just sit quietly and think for 10 minutes) and go through these questions. In answer to each response, ask yourself why until you have no more answers.


If you try (really really try), and make your best effort. Can you really fail?


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