Failure = Success - nWow! Counselling & Coaching

Most times when we are pursuing a goal we don’t get there directly. There will probably be setbacks on the way, even failures; at least that’s what you might think.

It’s a bit like if you had to sail from Christchurch to Sydney: you’d get on board your ship, set the course for Sydney harbour and then catch the wind to sail there through stormy waves or calm stretches of water, rain or shine.

Once you see land you discover that you have accidentally arrived in Brisbane instead of Sydney. What do you do – do you give up, sink the ship and spend the rest of your life cursing yourself for being an utter and complete failure? Or do you set course towards Sydney again, knowing you have already crossed the Tasman and are much closer than when you were still in Christchurch? It seems ridiculous to sink your ship … doesn’t it?

Think of a small child learning to walk. They get up and fall down, get up and fall down – again and again. But they keep trying and the funny thing is that most of the time they actually seem to be enjoying themselves.

Can you imagine the mother saying: “Oh well, I suppose she’s just not going to be a good walker. Let’s just forget about walking altogether and buy her a wheelchair.” Of course this would never happen!

The point here is, as you might have already guessed, that there will be setbacks when you go for important goals, but failing once does not mean you should stop altogether and we want you to realise that it doesn’t even actually have any bearing on whether you can get there in the end or not.

Likewise, having eaten a whole packet of chocolate biscuits does not mean you have blown your diet and failed forever and ever; and the same goes for maybe not exercising for a day or even a week. It just means that that particular day or week was a hiccup, but all the other days or weeks are still okay and there is absolutely no need to sink the ship or give up learning to walk altogether, is there?

Actually what it is giving you is vital information about what works and what doesn’t work. What things you might want to look at closer and what needs to be tweaked. If you find yourself still reaching for the lollies or chocolate or McDonalds, it’s a great opportunity to really ask yourself what you’re eating them for and what role they play. For example is it that you need to find another way to relax, cope with stress, or is it perhaps just an old habit you’ve always had that it’s time to get rid of.

It’s the same with exercise. If you find yourself making up excuses and cancelling exercise sessions – again, this is a great opportunity to really look at what is going on in your head. What are you saying to yourself when you think of exercising? Do you see it as a punishment? Or is it just the wrong time of the day and you just need to find a better time slot for it.

There are just so many possibilities of what can cause a set back. And just like a baby learning to walk who readjusts its body position, rebalances the distribution of weight on each leg, tries out different distances to the table or whatever it is that they are using to help themselves up – you too can take this so called ‘failure’ and see it as feedback that there may be something to readjust or alter.

So if in the future you come across one of those days when doing what is necessary to achieve your goals seems so hard or even impossible – then simply remember to give yourself a break and take a deep breath: These things are normal and bound to happen. It is how you deal with them that makes all the difference. Just reconnect with your goal and most of all, the reasons why you want it so strongly: whatever way you see that goal in your mind, make that image or movie brighter and bigger, until you feel your strong feeling of motivation return and you are ready to reset your course! Well done! And the thing is: If you have done it once – failed, that is, and then reconnected with your goal again – you are closer to plain sailing the next time ….

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To your lasting success and happiness,


Jan & Maree nWow! Counselling & Coaching