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The Right (and Wrong) Way to Fail



This is an archived blog post for Green Alder Coaching


It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed’ ( Theodore Roosevelt).

You want to improve your life, but a sense of failure keeps getting in the way.  

The voice in your head, ‘I am a failure’, keeps you caged and reluctant to take on new challenges.

Failure shackles you and keeps you functioning in a safe place where nothing else seems to flourish.

Does this sound familiar?

You Are Not Alone

I would like to share with you my example of the WRONG way to fail.

During the last 12 months, I have had the intention to start jogging to help tone up my aging legs and bottom, whilst also developing my fitness (for free). A simple task, right?

On a number of occasions, I have started this challenge, and then ‘given up’ on it. I struggled with my limited fitness, and watching effortless joggers pass by.

The story I was internally telling myself was that ‘I am a failure…Look at me struggling with this effort…I am obviously not a natural and built for this stuff, and I was hopeless at school sports!’.

So, to this day, I still desire a fitter body, but my jogging has stopped.

But, where is my evidence that, with effort, I would NOT be able to run for an hour one day?

Jiggly thighs live on!

It’s incredibly common to shrink away from challenge and to judge yourself harshly; in order to justify an over-identification with an aspect of you who has had difficulties in the past.

You can become fused with a Fixed Mindset that you should ‘do it once, do it right’, or else you are showing weakness and that you are not quite measuring up to the task at hand.

The Re-frame

In fact,  there are multiple aspects to who you are. If you look hard enough you can see that there are many times when you actually DO succeed, no matter how small.


So, I will share with you my example of the RIGHT way to fail.

I recently took on the challenge to actively apply a Growth Mindset to a difficult task. I committed myself to a 30-day video challenge where, in order to boost recording skills and knowledge, I had to create a video EVERY day for thirty days of May 2013 AND upload it to a forum to be critiqued.

I did it for the sheer love and challenge of it and dived into the effort, made mistakes, listened to advice, and watched and learned from the experience.

It would have been tempting to compare myself as better or worse than…but, I identified that I would be unleashing the Fixed Mindset.

Instead, I celebrated the evolution of my path towards being a Video Ninja. I even stretched myself with personas way beyond my comfort zone in order to establish what works best for me (you could also call it failing fast and moving on…).

Who actually knows what your potentials are in life? Unless you actually start trying things, taking on challenges, making mistakes, and ultimately learning and flourishing.

I gained insight that there are many more creative aspects to who I am and it has resulted in a total rebrand of my coaching support service and what I am capable of offering.

I even won the prize of Most Transformed Person through the challenge.


And….I was in the Growth Mindset every day.

Below is a YouTube video I made to demonstrate my examples of the differences between  Fixed and a Growth Mindset.




Tell me, which mindset you prefer?

Do you feel liberated by the thought that the Growth Mindset is the Right way to fail?

Yes, But?

Shifting from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset is a challenging thought, right?

Well, what are you waiting for?

That’s why I am your support buddy and here to help you!

Be kind to yourself and take some time to check out my new Cultivating YOU Support package here >> for further details.

Onwards and upwards to our call to adventure!

Just one more thing

Oh, I also invite you to share my blog post with  your community…;)

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