How to do Something that You've Previously Failed At


I'm the queen of getting really excited about things and then losing sight of that energy after a week. Actually, I think everyone is. I think failure is a part of the human experience. But unfortunately when you've failed at something, it makes it incredibly difficult to try again. 

In 2011 I started exercising regularly. I had a gym buddy. I was eating well. And I lost about 30 lbs in a couple of month. Until that point I had never actually seen what treating my body well could do. It was my longest stretch of keeping with something active for quite some time. I felt invincible. And then somehow my gym buddy and I stopped going to the gym, I let my diet slide, and my black bean brownies became normal brownies again. I felt like I failed.

Fast forward to a week or so ago. I realized I'd gained some weight. I felt overwhelmed with the prospect of starting up a fitness program that worked for me. Even writing about this now feels like putting salt in a paper-cut. It's so freaking uncomfortable. 

After an event I was a part of last week I stayed after and chatted with some girls and we started talking about weight gain and body image. And I told them about my recent discovery and the conversation that followed made me feel utterly not alone. 

The next day I told another good friend about it and we talked about how hard it is to start fresh and make positive changes in life. Especially concerning body image or mental health.

It is hard. 

I feel the same way about my anxiety. I know the things that work for me. I know I cope a lot better if I spend some time outside and I drink a lot of water. I know my brain works better. But most of the time I fail at those things. 

I think one of the biggest things for me is that I'm always afraid of failing (again) and disappointing myself. I am an incredibly introspective person most of the time. I spend a lot of time analyzing and overanalyzing myself, the people around me, my dog, and my inbox. At any given moment I know exactly what I need and exactly how to get there. My anxiety makes that feel muddy. It makes me feel like I can't move and even if I did I couldn't fix how I feel. 

I know this is a lot of feelings for one blog post, and to be honest I may not ever press 'post' on this, but I wanted to get it out there even if it lives in my drafts forever. 

Making changes is hard. 

Really hard. 

I feel like I can't do it most of the time, but if the roles were reversed and I was talking to you, I'd tell you you could definitely do it. You can climb the mountain. You can send the email. You can close your eyes and jump into the water. You can do it because your mind is sometimes just a stumbling block. I'd ask you to tell me about something great you've accomplished and say see! Look at the greatness you achieved! You've definitely got this! And then if you did fail I'd cover you in grace and I'd tell you that everyone fails. Failure is part of being human even if it feels weird and uncomfortable. I'd tell you that if you've failed in the past you should definitely try again. 

I'm going to try really hard to take my own advice this month.