Dealing with failure

Failure is an inevitable part of life, but always remember it isn’t always a bad thing!

Firstly, lets get one really important thing out of the way. Do you believe that lifestyle transformation is the right choice for you, whatever it is you’re trying to achieve? Whether that’s weight loss, meeting new friends, becoming more active, improving your health in both body and mind or something else. If you don’t, then you’re at the wrong group. You’re setting yourself up to fail by choosing a group that you don’t believe in. If you’re still unsure, come and speak to Rick or Rachel and we will explain how it all works!

At Be Strong it’s totally cool to fail, we call it learning, building experience, experimenting or a combination of all. A really simple example is you decide you’re going to join a Pilates class. It’s something different, you never did it before and you know some people who go and enjoy it. You sign up, acquire the correct kit, turn up and attend for 4 weeks. You then speak to your friends and confide that you don’t like going and are not enjoying it.

You feel its a chore to go along and you’re beginning to dread it. When they ask you why you tell them that you’re moving heaven and earth to make the class and you simply don’t enjoy it when you get there. You can’t really put your finger on it but you know its not for you. You explain that its probably lots of little things. You agree to keep going for another 2 weeks to see how you go and promise to keep an open mind. At the end of those 2 weeks nothing much has changed so you cancel your subscription and stop attending.

Is that a failure? Absolutely not! You tried something new, researched it, prepared well and gave it an extended period to see if things would improve. You learned too! You now understand that Pilates isn’t for you, that time of week and day doesn’t work for you with your other commitments. On reflection you found it was too individual, you prefer activities where you support others and vice versa, kind of a mutual aid environment.

All of this will increase your chances of success when you try something new again.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.Samuel Beckett

Increasing your chances of success

Everything new has potential risks but we can minimise them by the decisions we make. There are three potential types of risks to take or moves to make: –

Silly decisions

If you decide that lifestyle transformation is for you then that’s great. However, its best to take advice from people with expertise, rather than consider yourself an expert straight away and devise your own plan. The majority of people that devise their own plans still want everything tomorrow, patience is very rarely considered. This usually means that although they chose the correct path, the methodology is flawed and the risk of failure is massively increased.

Changing your lifestyle should always be done incrementally, with small changes introduced gradually. If the change is not small such as walking 2 miles to work 3 days per week, and back again, then it should not be mixed in with lots of other changes. Simple works, this is hard enough as it is! Unfortunately what happens in reality, is people go from being inactive, eating and drinking recklessly with no control, to walking to and from work every day, joining a gym and attending 5 x per week, eating chicken and kale, drinking water and sticking a label on it that says I’m doing lifestyle transformation with Be Strong. No you’re not. You’re doing your own plan (with you) and we’ll bet everything we own that you won’t be successful that way. To be honest, if you sit back and think about it you know as well – because you’ve done it before, probably many times too. You see now why we call it a silly decision? Just sit back, look at that plan and convince us how that’s a great idea.

Vast rewards

We all want these! How many of you have the ‘Perfect ABS in 10 days’ type of DVD, or been enticed by the latest meal plan to ‘Drop a dress size in 7 days’, or the ‘I lost 3 stones in 6 weeks and met the love of my life’ shakes? Rach and I have! This is because we are either desperate or we’re used to a society where everything needs to be instant and rewards are achieved with minimal effort. Our thoughts on these types of programmes are well documented and don’t need expanding on. The only way to lose weight is through achieving a calorie deficit. It’s best done through small changes to your lifestyle until little by little there is a transformation from how your lifestyle was before in the direction that brings improvements to your health and well-being.

There is a common trait that runs through all these types of programmes. They all involve you buying something and there is not an ethical professional in the UK who would recommend these.

Could you imagine if you rocked up at a local group and the leaders started to advise you to eat 2 boiled eggs, 2 pieces of fruit, a grilled chicken breast and a green salad each day whilst drinking 5 glasses of their new miracle weight loss cordial at only £19.99 a bottle? Would you lose weight? Yes! Why? Because you are actually starving yourself!!!! Does the weight loss cordial at only £19.99 a bottle make any difference? No! Its normal sugar free cordial!!! Why do they do it? To steal your money!!

If miracle cures worked it would save the NHS in the UK billions and they would be investing heavily in them. They’re not.

…steps down of soapbox, point made.

Smart risks

Now this is where you should be investing your time and energy. If you are choosing to attend a group, and it didn’t work out for you before, ask yourself why. Did their advice not work, was it poorly informed or presented badly to you? Did you actually listen to what was said, and put it into practice? The only reason we mention this is that it may not have been the group that got it wrong, it may have been you?

If that’s the case then its good news! Groups that have been around a while tend to get better as they mature. This is because they do the same as us, constantly researching, experimenting and learning. So, if you liked that group, believe in their ethos, values and methodology give it another go. This time take the advice and keep it all very simple. The best way is by not trying to do it all in one go.

Our (simple) advice

Finding the right group

If you’re joining a group make sure you do your research. Are people attending it being successful? Is success in the majority or the minority? Do people enjoy attending? Do the group leaders have a good reputation? Are there any catches? Is it affordable? Can you attend at the days and times they run? Are you clear about what they do and your role in that? Are you willing to listen to their advice and actually take action on it? Are you unsure yet but want to join and be nurtured in the right direction?

Your learning period

It won’t likely happen for you overnight. If you do take small steps then you have the absolute best chance of success. Read our articles on Tracking Calories and Process Goals to get started. There is enough in there to cover at least the next 12 weeks. If you need help you know where we are.

Try your utmost to progress this from being a hobby to a serious business! You can pick up and leave a hobby as and when it suits you. If its a serious business you get the job done, you live that life for as long as it takes. Where are you now? Can you make the change or somewhere in between? Serious business takes place Monday to Friday then you become a hobbyist at the weekend? It all depends on what fits with you but as long as your travelling in the right direction that’s all that matters.


This is an area that we love. It’s the land of opportunity! Are there areas of your lifestyle that you haven’t really touched yet, or certainly had a really good go at improving them?

Did you really start to move more? Was it the best shot you could give it. Are you still doing it? Could you improve?

Have you set a process goal, just 2 simple tasks you will complete each week for a very short period of time?

Have you set a normal goal, one that has an outcome and a number of detailed steps of how you’re going to achieve it?

Do you know how many calories you need to consume each day? Have you worked out what meals to have based on that number? Are they meals you love eating?

Have you cut down, or stopped, some of the habits that are counter productive to what you’re trying to achieve?

What’s getting in your way of being successful? Have you worked out a plan to overcome it? Have you asked for help and advice? Keeping busy often helps by taking your mind off things – what could you do?

Are you eating less? Do you know how much less? Have you been tracking calories? How many days last week, or last month were you successful on your calories? Do you know or would you have to guesstimate?

Simple experimentation

So, get this. How about you start to move more, or carry on moving more. At the same time track your calories and try to have as many successful days as possible. You do not need to do anything else. Nothing! Stand back, gather your thoughts and tell us what you estimate your chances of success in relation to weight loss and improving your health in both body and mind would be?

When to give up and when to persist

This is all about your belief in yourself. Its also about your aspirations. You don’t need to walk away from Be Strong to re-group, re-plan and assess the next move. You can do it all from within. If you know in your heart or hearts that lifestyle change is the best chance you have of being successful then stay connected. Nobody fails at Be Strong, not for as long as we’re trying to be the best we can possibly be. And you know what, no matter the outcome, your best is always good enough. It’s hard to stay connected when things aren’t quite working out as you hoped and those that do have our total and utmost respect and admiration. When it works for you, and we believe it will, the rewards will be off the scale. You can make it happen, you really can. Just go away and put that pen to paper to do the two things that work for everybody. Track those calories and move more than you are.

Lots of love,

Rick and Rach x

We can always accept people failing, after all most people fail at something every now and again. What we cannot accept is never really trying. Some people tell us they really want to make changes. Then they only give us reasons why, for them, trying is not an option. Everybody can try at something.Rick and Rachel

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