Fail Better & Feel Better

By Adam Glasgow - 3/17/2016

I recently read a newsletter from a dean at my son’s college about students learning how to deal with failure, and in so doing, learning how to “fail better.” Apparently this phrase (attributed to writer Samuel Beckett) has become sort of a cool catch phrase these days.  While learning how to “fail better” certainly has its applicability to today’s youth, I started to think about how important it is in the context of weight loss as well, not to mention life in general.  Learning to FAIL BETTER is important for us all.

There is no one among us who hasn’t experienced disappointment and rejection in life. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle-another great expression, which once again, I cannot take credit for.  So while failure is inevitable for us all, the most important part of failure is how we deal with it and what we can learn from it.

In most everyone’s weight loss journey, there are going to be setbacks. There will be days when the scale doesn’t reveal the number you expected. There will be moments when you ate something you tried to resist, or didn’t even really want, or promised yourself you would never eat. There may be people who stand in the way of progress or hurt your feelings. There may even be long periods of time where life gets in the way of weight loss, and the prospect of meaningful change feels lost for months or years on end.  THAT’S OKAY. THAT’S LIFE. What matters is how you respond to these challenges once you are ready to confront them.

Accept these “failures” – whether you think they resulted from your own poor decisions or circumstances beyond your control – and use them as a spring board towards growth and change. Think about why things went off course, and what changes you can make in your life or your surroundings or your relationships to prevent the same setbacks from happening again. Maybe the change you need to make is simple, like emptying your kitchen cabinets of Oreos or turning off the lights in the kitchen immediately after dinner. Or maybe it is more significant like asking for help from a close friend or relative, or seeking help professionally. Maybe it is putting a plan in place for future crises.  So the next time things get rough, you know exactly what to do or who to call.  And maybe the only “change” needed is to learn to forgive yourself and move on. Whatever this self-reflection means to you, you have the power to make this fail a better fail then your last one by LEARNING SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF AND GROWING FROM THE EXPERIENCE.

Fail better.  Feel better.

Look at failure as a gift and as an opportunity and it magically transforms from failure to success. You will not only have failed better, but you may not even have failed at all.


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