Hi. Today I want to talk to you about failure because when in school, we’re taught that failing is bad. You get an F and you must repeat the class or be held back. In life and business, we must redefine failure. And this is something we must teach our kids.
Failure is Necessary for Success
Failure is the necessary currency for success because without failure, you can’t accomplish big things in life. Absence of failure in your life means that you’re not daring greatly and that you’re playing safe. You’re just sticking to the status quo. It means you’re living a life of mediocrity by default.
I learned from a coach long ago that most people fail ahead of time. For example, my older son is a senior in high school. He’s super-duper smart. Every time we get an invitation from an Ivy League school, or any university for that matter, he gets super uncomfortable and says “mom, there is no way I can get in. Oh my gosh, do you know how smart those kids are?” And it honestly angers me a little. I ask him “why not?” and he answers that there are too many smart kids and that they are very selective. He doesn’t even want to apply because of the fear of failing.
I have to talk with him about this and ask him “what’s the worst that can happen?” If you don’t get in, what are you making that mean? It’s all about the meaning we attach to the failures; we are not our failures. Failure is just growth, it’s a currency for growth. It allows us to learn. Failure is just the learning grounds for us to learn what’s necessary to get to the next step. If you look at any successful person, they experienced many failures before they became successful. Let’s look at Edison for example. He failed multiple times before he finally got the lightbulb to work.
We need to redefine failure in this way. Failure is just a lesson that needs to happen so that you can succeed. What we can’t do is fail and give up. This is what most of us do, however this is what truly stops us from achieving success. It’s not the failures themselves.
When my son says things like this, it makes me super sad because I lived part of my life this way when I was young too. I hate that he’s repeating what I was doing. I really got attached to my failures and I made them mean that I was a failure. But this is not true. This is why I do so much of the mindset work with my clients and students. Whatever we adapt to becomes our beliefs, and we stop questioning them. It wasn’t until the latter part of my life that I started to question everything – all my belief systems.
I even started to question all the bureaucratic systems and I became inquisitive. This is what led me to create the Functional Yoga Medicine Certification Program. In school, the authority figures always told me to “stay in my lane”. This was the case when I got my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, my Master’s in Nutrition, my Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and even my certification through the Institute of Functional Medicine.
Breakdowns for Breakthroughs
Everybody wants you to stay in the lane of your chosen path. But this is where I want to break down the barriers. In my FYMCP program, I’m connecting psychology, nutrition, yoga, functional medicine, and even business.
This is what really helps people heal emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. That’s what this is all about – only when we break down the barriers can we have breakthroughs.
When I mesh psychology with functional medicine, functional medicine with physical therapy, physical therapy with yoga, and yoga and nutrition, this is what’s known as Functional Yoga Medicine.
Mind-body connectivity affects all systems. Functional Yoga Medicine is all about looking at the whole body, the client’s whole life, and taking a big picture approach. But it’s also understanding that sometimes you’re going to need to dive deep into the details. It’s the yin to the yang.
Stand For Something
If you don’t try, you’ll never fail. But you’ll also likely never succeed. Most people like the safety of mediocrity and staying status quo. Even my dad used to tell me, “Connie, you’re too ambitious, that’s why you get disappointed. I don’t know why you drive yourself so much.” Because I had Lupus, people always wanted me to scale back and just be “normal”.
But what is normal? Normal is being mediocre, sticking to the status quo, and not questioning staying in your lane. You have to determine if this is what you want, or if you want to take a stance and make a difference.
I have to stand for my convictions. Most people live normal lives – graduate from high school, go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, and voila. They become middle-aged. Then they think to themselves, “what have I done” and they become stuck. They’re set in their ways. This could be your entire lifetime, but it doesn’t have to be. I want you to think differently and achieve greater things because I don’t want you to live by default. I want you to live on purpose, uncovering your greatest gifts.
Fail Forward, Not Ahead of Time
This world is full of people living average lives, as evidenced by the bell curve in statistics. But I want to encourage you to live differently. Let’s redefine failure and understand that without failure, there can be no success. Failure does not define you. Don’t let the fear of failure trap you into mediocrity because that’s not who you were meant to be. Rather than failing ahead of time, fail forward and understand that each failure gets you closer to achieving greater goals.
Use failure as information. It’s a learning process. Failure teaches us a lesson that gets us closer to our greatness. Think of the following quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It keeps me going when things get tough. Just remember, when the going gets tough on the path to greatness, it’ll be dark, lonely, and super hard. But I’m here for you as your coach.
Staying in the Arena
I want you to remember this quote because such are times that you must remember that you’re called for greatness. I hope this stays in your heart.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
Stay in the arena my dear friends. And with that, I’ll talk to you all soon.