Learning from our mistakes

No-one is perfect and every single one of us makes mistakes, some larger than others(!) however, mistakes aren’t something to be ashamed of, or brushed under the carpet. Mistakes are a significant opportunity for learning!

There is well coined phrase ‘The definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results’. And this is essentially not learning from your mistakes. If you are doing something that doesn’t work, why would you keep trying that same thing over and over? What we should do is learn and make changes, so that eventually we get the right method that works for us.

At Be Strong it’s totally cool to fail.  It isn’t a bad thing – it’s 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’ve never done 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 just 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? NO!!!! 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. Maybe on reflection you found it was too individual, you prefer activities where you are working with and supporting others and vice versa, kind of a team effort.

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

Learning from our mistakes

Only when we accept responsibility for our past failings, can we grow as humans, and learn from our mistakes. If we continue to deny why we are failing and blame other people or scenarios for things that are going wrong for us, we will never change. We will never get to where we want to be.

In June 2019, Anthony Joshua the heavyweight boxer, dramatically lost all 4 of his titles to a relative underdog, Andy Ruiz Jr, in a fight that was practically nailed on for Joshua to win. After the fight AJ released a video, for his fans.

In the video he took full responsibility for the result of the fight, dispelling the rumours in the press of food poisoning.  His demeanour was positive and relaxed.  He had made peace with the result of the fight, reflected on his performance in training and in the ring, and already knew what he had to do to have a chance of getting those belts back in a rematch.

Never let success get to your head and never let your failures get to your heart…. I have to readjust, analyse, do my best to correct it and get the job doneAnthony Joshua, Heavyweight Boxer, WBA(Super), IBF, WBO, IBO title holder

If AJ had blamed his team or invented some illness or infection that he was suffering, to excuse his poor performance, would he have anything to work with for the next fight? No he definitely wouldn’t. The reason he is a champion is because he takes the time to analyse his own personal failings and work on how to improve on them.


Mistakes should not be feared

While mistakes and failings can be embarrassing, they should not be feared. Mistakes are a massive learning opportunity. If we are failing at something, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What am I doing?’, ‘Why is it not working?’, ‘Where am I going wrong?’, ‘What can I do differently in the future?’ Only when we ask these insightful questions and most importantly answer them honestly, can we learn and work out how not to fail in the future.

It might take a few attempts before you get the exact right method to do something, but as long as you keep trying something new, that will always be seen as improvement.


When we openly accept our failings and admit our mistakes, it gets us so much respect from those around us. If you think about the people that you really respect, I bet a theme running through them all is that they are honest with themselves and they admit when they are wrong. And you often see, people who have turned their lives around, reformed alcoholics and drug users, they are given so much respect from other people, because they accepted their failings, and worked out a way to make things right, rather than carrying on damaging themselves and others. They stopped, assessed the situation and kept making changes until they took complete control.

Yo-yo no more!

If this isn’t your first rodeo, when it comes to losing weight, make it the last one! Look back at the methods you have employed before and ask yourself why you are back here again. No pity party, no beating yourself up, just good old fashioned honesty. Don’t employ the methods and tactics that you have used before that have resulted in you being back at square one for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time. Are you still using those old methods and hoping with all fingers and toes crossed that it will work forever this time?  Or are you taking the advice of those who have managed to do it for lifelong?

If you stop, take a step back and assess if you are doing your best at this, and realise that you aren’t, don’t beat yourself up. Face it, and make some changes. It’s the only way that you will start winning.

Think what you can do to break behaviour cycles, to halt those damaging habits. If there are periods in the day that are your danger zones, what can you do differently at these times, so that you don’t slip into that damaging behaviour. If you know what your danger times are, but are stuck for ideas on what to do to stop it, speak to us, message us, ring us, we will have an idea. But you have to be prepared to try them, not just think of an excuse not to do it.

If there are foods that you just can’t stop eating. Don’t buy them. Tell your family (who love you dearly) that you need to stop eating these foods, so for now, you won’t be buying them or having them in the house. They won’t mind if you explain how much it means to you.

This Week!

If you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere, you aren’t achieving what you want to achieve, take a step back and ask yourself the questions above and most importantly be honest with yourself.  Don’t kid yourself that it’s your genes, or you just can’t do this, you’re an emotional eater, or a boredom eater, that you just have no self-control.

Assess the techniques that you are putting in place to tackle these issues.

  • Are they effective?
  • What are you doing to rectify these problems?
  • Is your plan the right plan?
  • Are you actually following that plan?

Rather than blame everything and everyone else, seize the opportunity to identify your failings and face them.  Once you face them and act upon them, you will experience the glory of success!!

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