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Failure is a Cop Out

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The idea of failure…is just that. An idea. Failure does not exist, and let me tell you why.

But first, picture this.

You’re looking down at a crab in a bucket with all these other crabs trying desperately to climb out and escape. If they all worked together, they surely would. They could set up some sort of crabby tower and one by one they would all escape. But that’s not what happens. Just as one crab reaches the top of the bucket, another will swipe it down and just like that they all stay stuck in the damn bucket together. Talk about take no prisoners.

When I think about failure, I think about this story. We all stumble and fall and get caught in a bucket from time to time. If we took the position of learning from our mistakes and viewed it as a minor setback instead of the end all be all – we would climb out of that bucket quickly and be on our way. Instead, our self-doubts, limiting beliefs, and expectations pull us down and keep us there – trapped in a cycle of escape and failure.

You’ve been there. You make one small slip in your nutrition plan and BOOM! THE WORLD IS FUCKING OVER I ATE A COOKIE I’LL NEVER REACH MY GOALS NOW BETTER EAT 20 MORE.

Or in the case of business…you lose a client, have an off week, don’t meet a deadline you set for yourself, didn’t make a sale – and we get stuck in the cycle of “I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH, I WILL NEVER SUCCEED, I’M NOT MEANT TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR I CAN’T EVEN….blahblahblah”

You know what I’m talking about. I know you do.

Have you ever stopped to consider that these thoughts aren’t actually true? That you have the power to change your dialogue? That YOU are in control of what thoughts you act on and which ones you simply observe and politely ask to move aside and let you through?

Let me share with you something that has recently happened to me. Hubby and I have decided to close our gym…our baby…the thing we have poured our life into for the past 7 years. The idea of “failure” lingered. The self-dialogue was debilitating, it left me frozen – what will people think of us? How will be perceived in the industry? What will our friends say? What will our families think?

But when I took a step back and looked at the situation I realized – this was a choice. I made the choice to close my gym for many reasons, those which I won’t get into in the confines of this blog post. But the choice was mine, I made it and therefore I cannot view it as a failure. The failure would have been not owning that choice. The failure would have been not standing in my truth and being honest with myself and recognizing that every action I take in life comes along with a reaction – opposite and equal.

When you choose to behave a certain way, change the course of your life, eat a certain way or take a certain action – there are reactions to all of those choices. HOW you react to your choice is completely in your control. Ownership of these choices is not something that comes easily to many, which is where the disconnect comes into play.

Let’s use the cookie example to illustrate this. You eat a cookie.

“My body was craving it I had no choice I HAD to”, “They were on sale at starbucks, I really had no choice”, “My co-worker baked them, it would have been rude not to”, “I have been good all week, I really deserved it”…

What if instead of trying to justify your choice, you just owned it? “I ate a cookie because I wanted it, I was in control of that choice and I own it”

What just happened there? YOU TOOK BACK YOUR FREAKING POWER, that’s what happened!! By owning your choice you control the dialogue, you control the outcomes and you control how you respond. There is NO SUCH THING as failure. Failure does not exist.

Lessons exist. Growth exists. Experience exists. Failure is a cop out – it’s an excuse for a choice you made. Its deflection of ownership and its the easy way out. You are better and stronger than that, and you are worthy of harnessing the power over your choices so that you can move past mistakes and step into the person you were meant to be without the crabs pulling you down.

Shoo, crabs!

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