Failure stops so many people. Either they’re afraid to fail so they don’t even try, or they do fail and make it mean nothing will work.
But failing can actually be a useful thing if you do it right. It can help you succeed and help you build confidence in yourself. In this episode, I’m showing you how and helping you see failing in a completely different way that will change how you react to it.
Hi! Welcome back! I’m so glad to have you here. I know you’re probably busy and I seriously applaud you for taking a few minutes out of your day to work on your self-improvement.
Today, I’m talking about failing.
It’s something so many people are afraid of. It’s something so many people don’t want to ever experience and when they do, they make it mean terrible things about themselves.
You’re weak, you can’t do it, nothing will ever work, you’re doomed, all because you failed.
You may think failing means all these things, but I’m here to tell you that it means none of that really.
What does it really mean? Well, I looked to Google to find out this answer to what failing really is, and there were of course multiple definitions so I’m going to share with you my two favorites which I think are the most relevant to binge eating. And they are:
To be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.
To behave in a way contrary to hopes or expectations by not doing something.
So you set a goal and you didn’t achieve it. You had hopes and expectations and didn’t behave in the way you planned. That’s it.
You set a goal to not binge and you binged. That doesn’t have to mean all the terrible things you make it mean.
You expected to not give in to your urge by doing the things you’ve learned to do and you didn’t do them and instead you gave in. That also doesn’t have to mean all the terrible things you make it mean.
Not achieving a goal and not doing what you expected mean nothing until you give them meaning and the meaning you give them is up to you.
What you might have been doing is beating yourself up when you fail and labeling yourself as a failure and thinking how much you hate yourself because you failed yet again.
So much unnecessary negativity that makes the experience of failing so much worse than it needs to be.
Maybe you didn’t binge for days or weeks and then you did and you think it’s the end of the world and you think you completely blew it.
You forget about all the success you had in those days or weeks leading up to it and only focus on that binge and now you’re down on yourself and upset.
And what do you do when you’re down and upset? Maybe you eat again, or you just do nothing and wallow in self-pity. Nothing proactive comes from that.
Then there’s the fear of failure which I know stops people from getting help. What this results in is just failing ahead of time. Failing at trying because they’re afraid they’ll try something and it won’t work and they’ll have to add yet another failure to their list and they’re so tired of failing.
But what I want you to know is that the reason why you’re so tired of failing because you’re not doing it right.
Yes, there is a right way to fail. Or maybe I’d rather say there is a useful way to fail.
Failing and hating on yourself and labeling yourself as a failure and living in misery and giving up is not a useful way to fail.
But being okay with failing and being okay with yourself if you fail and learning from your failures is indeed useful.
Here’s the thing you need to know. You will fail. You will fail many times in your life, but that doesn’t mean you won’t also succeed. You will do both! But depending on how you go about it, you’re either going to only fail, or do both failing and succeeding.
Success is not a straight line, it involves ups and downs.
Anytime you’re trying to do something new and achieve a goal, failure will be a part of the process and what you do with it is everything.
Failures are learning opportunities. You learn what doesn’t work. You try something, it doesn’t work, and now you know. Now you know what doesn’t work for you. Or maybe you didn’t try anything at all and learned that not trying anything doesn’t work. Let that second one sink in. That’s what happens before binges for a lot of people. They have no idea what happened because they failed to pay attention and if you’re not paying attention then you’ll fail to try to apply anything you’ve learned about not bingeing.
I’ve had plenty of clients who binge while we’re working together, they have a fail, and they worry that this is a huge problem but, it’s completely expected and I think it’s necessary that it happens while we’re working together so I can teach them how to handle it. So they can learn from it.
I binged after learning how to not binge. I finally knew exactly why I was bingeing and what to do to not binge but I hadn’t had a chance to put it into practice yet. Then when I did put it into practice, I didn’t become an expert right away. And those times I binged I didn’t make it mean anything bad about myself. Instead, I looked back at what happened and learned from it. I learned where I went wrong and what I could do better next time.
I want you to look at failure differently than you have been. Take away all the drama and look at the facts. What did you eat? What were you thinking and feeling before you ate it? How did you react to your thoughts and feelings?
Now that you know and you see what doesn’t work, what can you do differently next time? Come up with a plan. Try something different.
I think that’s something else that also drives people crazy about failing. They keep trying the same things over and over expecting different results. That’s not useful you guys. It didn’t work. Try something else. Try it in a different way.
You may say you’ve been trying to not give in to your urges to binge and keep failing so it will never work, but are you thinking the same thing every time you do it? Or are you trying new thoughts each time? If every time you say, “I’m not going to give in, I’m not going to give in, this is so uncomfortable, I can’t take this anymore” and then you binge, then clearly that line of thinking isn’t working for you. Try something else.
Failure is a good thing. It means you’re trying something new, that you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, that you’re putting in work and effort.
What’s also great about it is that the more you do it, the more confidence you build in your ability to fail and then failure isn’t so scary anymore. You become a person who knows how to fail and what to do about it.
I love it when my clients are prepping for what could be considered a difficult situation involving eating and they tell me, and they truly believe, that it’s going to be a growing experience for themselves. That it’s an opportunity for them to practice and learn. It’s so true and that’s how you want to look at it.
If you fall, you’re going to get stronger each time you push yourself back up. Failure makes you a stronger person and a wiser person if you learn from it.
Every person you know who is successful has failed and they didn’t let it stop them. They didn’t let their fear of failure stop them either.
So let’s bring it back to the definitions. You didn’t reach your goal and you didn’t do what you expected. It’s okay. And the truth is, you didn’t do them yet! Yes, yet! That one thing you tried didn’t work, that one thing isn’t going to get you to where you want to be. But what will? Let’s find out! Let’s try some things and see what happens and not get down on ourselves when it doesn’t work out. Let’s be curious and courageous and fall down and get back up!
Fail gracefully. Don’t make it mean anything bad about you. You’re fantastic and you’re going to succeed and you’re going to fail along the way. It’s okay. Now learn from it. Don’t let your failures go to waste, use them to learn.
Alright, that’s all I have for you today. And if you haven’t gone to my page with the free stuff on it that I talk about in my outro, get on that and check it out! It’s at coachkir.com/free and as of right now as I’m recording this, on that page there’s my How to Not Binge Eat Tonight PDF and my 5 Surprising Things You’re Doing That Are Keeping You Stuck in Binge Eating (And What to Do Instead) PDF, along with a link for you to sign up for a free mini session. Who doesn’t love free stuff? Go get some! Have a great week! Bye bye!