05 Nov Failing into Yourself
I am not a good cook. Nor do I pretend to be.
Cooking was (and is) a developed skill I learned much later in life. It was definitely not a talent passed down to me in any way.
Where others have stories about their GramGram’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe, or when someone says, “no one’s pot roast compares to Mama Jean’s pot roast!” I have….Internet.
Don’t get me wrong, my mother and grandmother had a few recipes they could rock out like no one else, and that one time my dad made food, it was delicious! But other than learning some tips and tricks along the way from very kind human beings (my in-laws), I learned the bulk of what I know from other blogs, asking lots of questions, and failing….a lot.
But one thing I learned was that failing and food, and failing at food, can teach you many things. The first being:
Beginnings can be discouraging – you don’t just start something being great at it.
I have overcooked eggs until they were inedible. I have added too much or not enough of an ingredient trying to make my own mayonnaise or chili sauce, until the concoction was unsavable and just plain awful. The failing didn’t end there.
Beyond the kitchen, I have failed at a 200lb front squat, I have lost many-a roller derby bouts, basketball games, and swimming meets. I have failed at balancing my time at home and at work. I have failed at saying the right thing at the right time. I have failed at taking time out of my busy life to care for myself. All-in-all, I am great at failure.
The point is, cooking, and all of the aforementioned skills – takes practice. Rachel Ray didn’t automatically wake up one day after never cooking anything before and create the best meal of her life. Camille Leblanc-Bazinet didn’t wake up one day snatching 200lbs and then get the title “Fittest Alive” a few days later. IT TOOK YEARS.
Years making the same meal again and again. Years and years, practicing the same movements and techniques over and over again in the gym. Years of not being number one, again and again but trying again anyway. IT TAKES YEARS.
It also takes dedication and perseverance…
The thought of that alone, depending on what kind of attitude you hold, can either be encouraging or discouraging. Just remember:
“Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
… and second lesson I learned from failing:
Your attitude can change the entire experience.
If you look at cooking, or working out, or writing a paper, as a chore – it’s never going to be a good experience. It will never been fun. More than that, a negative thought process may form and turn into a habit of negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors. That is good for no one. You will discourage yourself from trying again, and most likely irritate those around you. No one likes a negative Nancy! She’s the worst.
However, if you try and fail, and then take the time to reflect and learn from the process, you will have a stronger approach the next time around. You will have learned what not to do. You will have started to build a toolbox of know-how, and a mental toughness, teaching yourself that you can take on anything and finish it until completion. Now that’s a person I want to be around. A knowledgeable Nancy. She’s the best!
Mental toughness, a good attitude, and great friends can get you through anything. This is especially helpful as you persevere through your project to find our third lesson:
The longer it takes to achieve, the longer it holds true.
Think of how many years GramGram’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe was passed down through-out your family. It was from generation to generation. Many hands, hearts and hungry bellies amended and perfected that recipe. It didn’t just happen overnight.
Think of any diet you have tried, or any project you have worked on, or any studying you have done. How much did you learn from the quick process? The weight that you lost during that 30-day cleanse, is it still off? That test you crammed for hours the night before, did you retain all of that information?
I know for me, in those cases and most cases the answer was, and still is, no.
However, I’m willing to bet that in most cases the more time spent on said subject, the more you felt fulfilled and the more information you have retained from the experience. Am I right?
The “immediate” or “quick results” process did not work for me. And I bet if you look back on most things, it never really does.
The longer you take to perfect your process, the better your process is going to be.
Which leads me to my last, but never final, lesson learned from failing:
Pave your own path every moment you can. BE (uniquely) YOU.
You can learn from others, but you are not them.
Instead of comparing yourself to her, or to him, or wishing you had something someone else has, remember how much time and effort you have put into your journey thus far. You are not the same person you were 10 years ago. Why?
You are not the person you were yesterday.
You lived and you learned. You tried and failed. You grew a day older, and a day wiser.
You did many things you don’t want to do again, a few things that you do. You learned about what didn’t feel right, and what did. What was too much, and what wasn’t enough. What to give up and what to keep.
Whether you knew it or not, you have been tweaking the longest process there is to tweak, perfecting the best recipe there is perfect, creating the ultimate project there is to create: a precious, one-and-only, uniquely-crafted – YOU.
And if you aren’t happy, now is the time to tweak your process. Learn a different way, change your perspective, educate yourself, simplify your day, challenge yourself, start a new adventure.
Add something new to your recipe, or make a new one!
Do anything that you deem as worth it. Most importantly, never stop failing.
The road can be a bit scary, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need any ideas, motivation, comfort, or just a moment to remember why you started, – don’t be afraid to stop by – we will remind you. We’ve got plenty for you to fail at. 🙂