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Why You Should Expect Failure in 2014.

by Jenny Swisher on January 4, 2014

Happy New Year! I hope the first few days of 2014 have treated you well and you are off to a blazing start with your new year’s resolutions. Truly, at the beginning of a new year, we all have the chance to start with a clean slate in every area of our lives in order to improve ourselves and get the most out of life!

As you may know, my husband is a school teacher and is therefore still on holiday break from school. Over the past few months, he has mentioned interest in doing adventurous things, such as mountain biking, backpacking, and Spartan races. So naturally, when we drove past a brand new local bicycle shop today, he wanted to stop. An hour later, after a long conversation with the business owner, I left thinking bikes were expensive (seriously, you could buy some serious shoes with that money) and biking is hard.

As we got into the car, my feelings were seemingly obvious.

“You’d never do that, would you?” Chris asked.

“You would?”

“Yeah!”

The yin to my yang.

As I thought about our conversation with the bicycle shop owner, one thing he said played over and over again in my mind. At one point in our talk about mountain biking, I made a joke that I would likely bust my butt if I ever tried it, to which he answered, “But if you do it enough, you learn how to fall.”

He went on to explain that by practicing and expecting to fall, it becomes no big deal. It becomes an expectation, and one you can be good at handling when it hits you out of nowhere. It becomes a part of the fun, and likely, a telling display of your success when all is said and done.

Interesting, especially as we begin this new year. I can’t help but relay to you, then, my two insights for creating a better you in 2014, and the two things I plan to focus on as part of my resolution:

1. Expect failure.
So often, we expect ourselves to be perfect at what we do the first time around. When we aren’t perfect, we tend to quit altogether and wave the white flag of surrender. In reality, we should forge ahead. Expect to fall, and learn to be good at catching ourselves. As the Japanese proverb reads, “Fall 7 times. Stand up 8.” What if we decided that THIS year, THIS time, we are going to not expect success and perfection, but rather, expect failure? I have a feeling we would get good at falling, and even better at persistence and dedication.

2. Never give up.
The key to expecting failure is to then keep going. Don’t just expect to fail and be OK with it; expect it and keep going. Keep a positive attitude and truck on. Sagi Kalev, creator of Body Beast, said today in a Facebook post, “If you can look up, you can get up.” So simple, yet so true. Never, ever, ever give up.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Isn’t “failure” self-defined? Isn’t it something we fathom and feed in our own minds? What if we redefined failure?

I think if we redefined failure we would redefine what’s possible in our lives. We would stick to resolutions. Achieve results. Become prideful in our persistence. Prove to be great role models for our children. Achieve happiness. And we’d get damn good at looking up, standing up, and forever climbing.

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