Failure (aka I Wanna Be A Loser Like Me)

[noun; ~ Pronunciation: /feyl-yer/]

  • Definition: Anything you do that goes wrong. Right?
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”Thomas A. Edison

Last week I read this great post about positive psychology. When I did, I didn’t know the impact it would have on me. But when I went on a run last Sunday, that’s when it hit me: I, too, should focus more on the positive sides of life and see through my “failures”.

Normally, I run for fourteen minutes, then walk for two and a half, and finish it off with another fourteen minutes of running. I try to build this up by adding running-minutes and decreasing walking-time every so often.

Running for fourteen minutes twice is doable and I was even planning on increasing it to fifteen minutes. But last Sunday I couldn’t finish my second round. I just couldn’t.

I don’t know what it was, the weather (suddenly very warm and sunny – very unusual for my country), the wind blowing in my face, my lungs feeling like they were to explode, my left sock irritating (and damaging, so it appeared later) my small toe, or just me. I don’t know, but fact is I had to stop running with 3:41 minutes still on the clock. I just couldn’t continue.

It felt like a massive failure on my account. Why? Because I’ve done it before and I believe if I did something once, I should be able to do it again, and again, and again. And again.

Another example: say I increased the weight on my barbell when training my biceps and I manage to make it through the workout without dying. My mind will then accept no less of me the next time. Because I’ve done it once, I feel like I should be able to produce at least the same outcome over and over in the future. If I don’t, the little voices in my head tell me I am a failure, a loser.

They do so with every apparent mistake I make. I know, it’s very tiresome. But I can’t switch my brains off…

It’s difficult to be this harsh on yourself, especially if you do it subconsciously. And that’s when I remembered reading about positive psychology: let’s focus less on the mistakes we make, and more on the good things we do! Who is it that we have to please? No one other than ourselves!

It’s good to stay motivated and strive to do our best, but it’s not okay to tell ourselves we failed if something doesn’t work out the way we hoped it would. And even if we did make a mistake: so what! A mistake is only ever a mistake if we don’t learn from it!

Another point of focus is choosing to reward ourselves when we accomplish something over self-punishment when we fail. How come my mind never tells me I did something right, but only nags at me when I do something wrong? I think I need to have a serious chat with my brains…

My life is revolved around the negative: ignore the positive, focus on mistakes. That has to change!

So I started by telling myself it was okay to take an extra break. And after three minutes of catching my breath, I ran the final four minutes home.


13 thoughts on “Failure (aka I Wanna Be A Loser Like Me)

  1. You’re doing great with your running. Part of excelling at anything (running, writing, loving) means having good and bad days. If you expect to be at your strongest every day and never falter, then you haven’t made a serious commitment. Except Evel Knievel, pop culture hero of the 1970s. He had to be at his best every time or die. But for the rest of us, having an occasional off day just means we’re pushing appropriately. So take comfort. You’re not Evel. Evil maybe, but not Evel :)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you don’t decide to run infinitely, running in circles around yourself and never reach it !

        But I think you will metaphorically, if you are speaking. You will have that moment. Do you want some more driving force ?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all thanks for linking back to my post on positive psychology. Really happy that it had meaning for you. It truly helped me to redo my life over the past five or so years. But, be patient, grasshopper. (Do you get that reference?) We are very complex organisms. Sometimes our muscles know more than our mind and imagination do. You were wise to listen to your body and stop when you needed to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Tony. Thank you again for sharing that post with us :)
      I do get the reference! Although I’ve never actually seen the movie… Hmhm. I am impatient, though. So very impatient. And my mind wants so much, even if my body can’t comply. I have to find a way to balance the scales. But in the end, our bodies are the boss. Thanks for commenting :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “even if we did make a mistake: so what! ”

    —I like the attitude :) Indeed, it is the mentality I am trying to develop now: I have only limited time (and life). I cannot afford wasting my life on those that make me miserable. For about a month, I have decided to do just what I believe is right. What if it is against others’ expectations? So what. I want to live my life.

    For example, we are interview three candidates, but two of them are fillers. Each visit takes half day. So I tells my coworkers I will only meet the qualified one. The other two? I am not going to wasting my time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like wasting time. I suppose it’s linked to my impatience, haha. But it’s easier said than done, you know. I KNOW it doesn’t matter if I can’t finish my run the way I want to, the world won’t stop spinning. But it’s my behaviour towards myself that needs to change. Why respect others and not yourself? Seems very strange and it’s something I need to work on :)


  4. It is difficult to accept not being able to do something you did once. But I think that is the glory of it, sometimes you just have to re-learn or un-learn a thing completely. Begin again. Every day is a new chance, right? Failures are staircase to success and being the hardworking person that you so are, you are going to excel dear girl. :)
    While you are at it, have fun Sammy. :) This is a concept I am trying to include in my life on a broad perspective. It’s really good to be positive and do things, it takes some load off that comes from being anxious or unhappy. What you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you, Hemangini. Positivity is key! But it’s always easer said than done, I just need to learn how to switch my focus from negative to positive :)


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