My son Andrew had to delete his account on a building game he loves and learned something so valuable, I couldn’t resist sharing it…
At first, he was devastated because he had worked so hard in it and literally had to watch all that he created, disappear.
He forgot his password and email associated to the account and after much frustration, accepted the facts; there was no way he would get back the old account. So, he did the next best thing; he created a new one.
An hour later he came running with excitement to tell me he had almost re-created everything that had originally taken him months to build.
There was no learning curve the second time around and I listened as he shared what he had just acquired; the wisdom of experience.
When we have experience, we can do things faster and wiser than we could when we were first learning.
This applies to so many arenas in life; building businesses, making money, establishing friendships, and where I always go – fitness, food and weight loss.
If you’ve lost weight healthily once before, you know how to lose weight healthily again, and you can do it faster the next time around.
It’s not failure to need to do it again a second or third or 100th time. It simply means you’ve acquired the skill of losing the weight but had not yet acquired the skill of keeping it off. Both skills are important but both need to be learned.
We don’t learn by succeeding all the time. Our best lessons are learned through trial and error and often, we find what doesn’t work for us first, before we ever discover what does.
I can’t even count how many frustrated people have stepped into my office over the years, and shared how many “failures” they’ve had with weight loss and sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise program.
I would venture to say over the last 25 years it’s upwards of thousands who are disappointed, frustrated and down on themselves, but in my office to try again.
It breaks my heart because they somehow feel they are the failure. One of my favourite expressions is, “A failure is not a person, it’s an event.”
And more than that, it’s a lesson.
They have simply found numerous weight loss methods that didn’t work for them but I bet within that, they learned something that did work.
I bet they walked away having gained experience with nutrition and fitness and healthy supplementation. In fact, most of them know so much about fitness and food after years of trying to discover what works for them, they could teach it to others.
To paraphrase Thomas Edison’s words, they simply found 1,000 ways not to lose weight or keep it off.
The good news is this; if you keep trying, you will always succeed and not just that, you’ll do it with experience.
Just like my son, the next attempt will have a shorter learning curve. You’ll bounce back from slipups quicker, you’ll learn how to navigate your triggers and temptations better, you’ll acquire the skills to not only lose the weight, but also keep it off.
Your success will come with a wealth of experience and knowledge that could have only been acquired through trying and then, trying again.
So next time you’re tempted to beat yourself up over what you think was a weight loss “failure” instead of quitting, remember, there are no failures, only discoveries. Take them with you and TRY AGAIN.
This is a monthly opinion piece; Alison Brown is a Walkerton native now living in Listowel, where she is a local business owner, mother and published author.