When Failure is the Solution

It’s been a long 5 weeks.

Now, with the clarity that only comes from getting through a rough patch, I feel relieved to be in a quiet room alone with my thoughts and my computer. Had you asked me on December 1, 2014, if some of the goals I set for myself for the final month of 2014 would be abandoned, I would have scoffed.

Yet that is exactly what happened.blogbyb

As of December 1, I had just completed a 30-day challenge to blog daily and signed up for another 31 days. On the “take care of myself physically” front, I had also committed to a 60-day PiYo challenge. By December 10th it was pretty clear that life had a different plan for me — I had two choices — yield or fight. I chose to yield.

Truth be told I am tired of fighting.

Sometimes failure is not only the right solution, it is the best (if not only) solution. The two goals I mentioned were both negotiable, in other words, the only person that would be affected by my abandoning them was me.

At first, I felt sort of uncomfortable, more like a quitter than a problem solver.

Yet the further I traveled away from my arbitrary goals the more at ease I felt with the permission I had extended myself to simply let go. Life throws curveballs. We don’t plan for a loved one to fall sick. We don’t expect to get sick ourselves, but, it happens.

Really it’s not if, it’s when.

That was December. It was a month of illness…and now — finally — I feel as if we have rounded the corner. And although I sure don’t plan to blog daily, or exercise for 60 straight days…I almost feel as if I could.

If for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity I’d like to look a little bit harder at the notion of failure.

As defined by Dictionary dot com, the word “fail” as a verb (used with object):

  • to be unsuccessful in the performance or completion of:
    He failed to do his duty.
  • (of some expected or usual resource) to prove of no use or help to:
    His friends failed him. Words failed her.
  • to receive less than a passing grade or mark in:
    He failed history.
  • to declare (a person) unsuccessful in a test, course of study, etc.; give less than a passing grade to:
    The professor failed him in history.

Here is the thing that definitions don’t account for, sometimes failure is the best solution because to not pay homage to what you need (or perhaps another person in your life needs) would be a failure of far greater proportion.

For years I struggled with the ability to grant myself the same form of permission I gave to others. I held myself to a higher standard and often beat myself up if I redrafted goals, thankfully those days are gone.

Yet that doesn’t mean it is easy.

In this situation, I was reminded that the key to my liberation is my ability to grant myself permission to let go.

As I said earlier, I am no longer interested in the fight, life is either way too short or far too long. Sometimes it just makes more sense to yield, then let go.

What about you, what do you do when life events trump your plans?


  1. Janet Norton says

    I don’t see this as failure, I see it as appropriately changing priorities. Lofty goals, but hey life happens and you handled it well… Now if the the writing and exercising gets done sometime in the future, Great! But it shouldn’t be done because you failed to do it previously. It should be done because you want to do it.

  2. says

    You are so right on. Sometimes the fighting really only keeps (or worse) gets you stuck and the best thing to do is yield. Afterall, as you mentioned to fail is a verb, not the same as making a choice to succeed in another area! 🙂
    Life Breath Present recently posted…December’s ReviewMy Profile

  3. says

    Sitting here with a tremendous head cold and some other weird health things that are popping up, I can relate to some of this. I always wonder what the underlying message from the universe might be…..but that is just me. I wonder, do I need to slow down? Or maybe like you discovered, yield to something else?
    Lisa Froman recently posted…Night MovesMy Profile

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