Taking up bicycling in my fifties has given me many opportunities to learn by failure. Did I tell you about my humiliating mountain biking effort? https://deborahrankinrd.com/a-gratitude-journal-transformed-my-mountain-biking-failure/ How about the time my bike seat fell off as I sat on it?
Ten years ago I bought my first good bicycle with money I gained from my tax refund. I found a scenic trail near my house and went out to ride for miles. Then I stopped. You can read the sign. It was a Big. Dead. End.
I poked around, looked closer, and found a tiny gap to the left of the barricade. There was just enough room for me to push my bike through. Look what I discovered on the other side! I proceeded onto a wide, level, paved bike trail. It was an easy place to ride. I had fun.
However, I would have never known what I would find on the other side of the gate if I hadn’t found a way around it. Does that have any bearing on your health goals, workout goals, food goals, work goals?
Perhaps you have tried before, once or many times. Maybe you still didn’t get where you wanted to be. To accomplish what you want you must learn by failure, and find a way around obstacles, barricades, and setbacks.
Learn By Failure
Once I asked my mastermind group to talk about this: a business or personal failure, and what you learned from it. It was a powerful session, for several reasons.
- Admitting failure means I take responsibility.
It’s much easier to complain about problems, issues, difficult situations or difficult people that make it hard for me to do what I want to do. Regardless of the validity of my complaint, I probably won’t learn anything from the experience until I take responsibility.
- I can’t move on until I learn.
Counselors and therapists suggest that our subconscious draws us to people and situations that re-create unhealed issues from the past. Until we learn that lesson and choose a different response, we get stuck fighting the same battles and feeling the same hurts. I know I’ve wasted years of my life struggling with situations I could have learned from much earlier. Have you?
- Failure may be a sign I need to alter course and try a different approach.
Vincent Van Gogh, the renowned painter, wanted to be a minister but failed the admission exam to theology school. He lost a volunteer job as a missionary because he gave his lodgings to a homeless person. Despite many failures, Van Gogh found his calling and created captivating paintings we still admire.
(I originally inserted a picture of Van Gogh’s famous sunflower painting in this place, but the museum didn’t like me using it. So here’s a sunflower photo I took myself!)
Exercise for Stress Relief
If you want to build new habits that make exercise and nourishing foods a more consistent part of your life, what can you do to learn by failure and stick with it?
Here are a few famous quotes about persistence. Sit back, take a few deep breaths, and think on them. Pick one that applies to your quest for physical and emotional health. Think about it, write it down, and journal about it tomorrow morning. You are journaling, aren’t you? https://deborahrankinrd.com/journaling-for-weight-loss/
I have a rule: If I keep complaining about something, I either do something about it or let it go.—Tina Roth Eisenberg
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcome the consequences of any misfortune.—William James
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.—Pema Chodron
Success is not final. Fear is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.—Winston Churchill
Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.–Ovid
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