What Defines Failure?

How do I define failure? I have been reflecting on this question a lot lately.

The past several months has been less than awesome for me. I have shared a bit here about some of the things going on in my life and some I haven’t. As I have mentioned in a previous blog my husband fell 15ft off a ladder last fall, he is fine and very lucky but did sustain several broken bones. The impact of that accident was not something we could not have imagined and his return to work took longer than anticipated and tested us on many levels. This also means our home renovations were on hold which left our house in a bit of influx to say the least. He is now back to work, almost fully recovered, and the renovations are back on the priority list. At the same time, I had entered into peri-menopause (super fun – NOT) so basically felt like I was losing my mind, it’s impacted my sleep, energy levels, and crazing food cravings as I tried to get my hormone therapy at a good level. Then, my son’s friend needed a home because his home life was not safe, so on top of all the things we made some room adjustments, reshuffled all the reno materials, boxes of our belongings that are all awaiting the space to be completed, sacrificed my home office space (I work remotely) to provide a room for this boy. All at the same time as trying to manage a job change and working on completing my Masters. ((Insert crazy face))

What does this have to do with failure? Well, with all of “things” going on in my life, especially the impact that peri menopause has had on me, I gained some weight. From where I was sitting and before to when all hell broke loose, about 25lbs gained to be exact. My fitness level is down to almost nothing given my energy and sleep disturbances. Now, it’s not the first time I have been in this situation since my initial weight loss but this one feels different. This one is harder because in the past year I have spent a great deal of time learning about metabolic adaptation, the impact of habits, self-love, acceptance of the life long battle ahead of me as I battle with myself to not re-gain weight and re-establish bad habits. I am in a constant battle with my body and I thought I was winning until I was truly tested.

Which leads me to failure, I have been feeling like I have failed. Life happens, life tested me, and I failed. I gained the weight, I re-established the bad habits. But why? I know all the things, I know what is good, bad, what balance looks like, and yet here I am. Failing to live the lifestyle that aligns with my values.

Or is it that easily defined?

Yesterday I had two conversations with friends that made me think more about this. One was where a friend was telling me she had shared my weight loss story with a new friend and when telling me she referred to me as a “super hero”. The minute she said it, the first thought that went through my mind, I am not a super hero, I am failure. But am I, really? Do I really think that of myself? Then later that day, while talking with a friend and mentor, she asked me how it was going in my new role, I said “good, well I hope so because failure is not an option for me”… those words that have been ringing in my head ever since “failure is not an option for me” – but yet here I was earlier in the day thinking of myself as a failure given my recent weight gain and struggles.

So, what is failure and what is an opportunity for growth? We all know we learn from mistakes (failures), yet, my fear of accepting failure as an option could be the very thing holding me back from growing from this experience. Maybe I am not a failure, I am just human…

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