Failure Friday

by Carilyn on November 16, 2012

I’ve been a perfectionist all of my life. And while it has served me well some of the time (keeps me disciplined, pushes me to work hard), it has also created one of my biggest obstacles: Fear of Failure. When you have to be perfect all the time, there is no room for experimentation and risk – because YOU CAN’T FAIL.

The universe seems to get that I need  a constant dose of failure to remind me that no matter how hard I try, I will never be perfect. While I used to lament the fact that I fall down all the time, can’t get rid of my Buddha belly no matter how many sit-ups I do, and can’t bake a cake that won’t poison someone no matter how carefully I follow the recipe, I am starting to see that these failings are helping me be better at the stuff I care about. The more I fail, the less I have to lose. And that makes it easier to win.

So go out and fail today so you can win tomorrow!

Happy Running!



Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) November 16, 2012 at 11:56 am

Great topic and within that, a challenge to us all!
Um, just out of curiosity, how many people have you poisoned? 🙂

Carilyn November 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Thanks, Kirstin! And as far as poisonings, they’re not talking 🙂

Char November 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Failure is just a matter of perspective. I ran a really slow 6min/k run today. A couple of years ago that would have felt like failure but after this year it feels like winning.

PS I fail at baking too sometimes but I always learn from those failures. Sometimes I learn that I should have read the recipe better. Sometimes I learn that the recipe is just crap and needs to be thrown away.

Kate November 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Once I started freaking out about failing the world opened up. I may be a little *too* comfortable with failure at this point. A little healthy fear might be a good thing for me!

Carilyn November 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I love how you do it, Kate! Always up for a new adventure! That’s awesome!

Carilyn November 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

So true, Char – on both counts!

krista November 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

Looks like you’ve discovered my strategy. 😉 I’m a living, breathing fail. Love your blog!

Anne November 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Our society is now set up to only reward people who succeed, which is unfortunate because we learn more from failures than we do success. Successes teach us to keep doing what we’re doing, which in the long run leads to major FAILs. Just ask Kodak, Hostess and every other company that took their successes for granted. Same goes for people.

Carilyn November 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

One of the best things I heard a teacher tell a parent was, “Don’t take away your child’s struggle.” Thanks for your thoughts, Anne.

Carilyn November 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Thanks, Krista! 🙂

Kent November 17, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Love it Carilyn! Speaking as a life long perfectionist myself I can SOOOO relate. My biggest fail in life has been NOT trying new things for fear of failure – failure is not being perfect I’m sure you’ll understand. Just thankful that I finally got the message after all these years. Awesome Nike commercial! I’m going to put that somewhere that I can watch it from time to time as a constant reminder. Thank you 🙂

Carilyn November 18, 2012 at 8:50 am

Thank you so much, Kent! That really means a lot to me. I like to watch the Nike commercial, too :).

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