Yesterday I was at Costco with my hubby. They were sampling some of my favorite “healthy” treats: little bites of chocolate and coconut magic. My husband pointed them out and looked at me like “Aren’t you going to get some?” I replied with “Old me would totally grab a few bags but that part of my life is complete. I don’t need them anymore.”
He then gave me this big Cheshire cat grin. You see, we’ve only been married just over 2 years and he’s seen me quit and start sugar repeatedly. Sugar is my heroine. So I knew why he was smiling. My interpretation was “You’re so cute when you think you’re going to quit eating sugar.” Yes, I know. But I still asked “What?” His answer wasn’t what I was expecting. He said “I just love that you never give up.”
When I first start coaching someone, sometime in the first few weeks they inevitably say something like “So, I just need to think positive thoughts?” No. There’s much more to it. Knowing that your thoughts create all your results means choosing how you want to think on purpose, so you can create the life you want on purpose. But our human brains are tricky. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find the right thoughts that will create the results you want.
So we like to try on thoughts like trying on clothes. You have to see how they feel. This week I’ve been trying on the idea that parts of my life are complete. I’ve always valued experiences. I love traveling and seeing different parts of the world because I love having new experiences. I love learning and trying new things. I love teaching my kids to face their fears and watching them get to experience something new. More often than not, I give my kids experiences rather than things for Christmas and birthdays.
If you always do the same thing, you don’t have much room in your life for new experiences, because you’re busy experiencing the old ones.
My first marriage didn’t fail. It didn’t end prematurely. It was just complete. It was time for me to experience something new. I got to experience dating as a grown woman, which was COMPLETELY different from dating as a teenager. I got to experience starting a life with someone after we’ve each had 40 years of life experience behind us, after our personalities are kind of set. Definitely not the same as starting a life with someone when you’re not even sure who you are yet, when you grow into yourself together. I completed one experience so I could experience something else.
I loved college. It was an amazing experience. But I completed that part of my life. I loved having babies and toddlers. I wouldn’t give up those experiences for anything. But they are complete. Now I get to experience having tweens and teens and all the new experiences those years provide.
I’ve had enough sugar for a lifetime. I enjoyed my time with sugar. It was a pleasurable experience. But maybe that part of my life can be complete also. It’s time for me to experience what life is like as someone who doesn’t want sugar. I want the experience of being someone who only wants to eat foods that nourish and fuel her body. I’ve had plenty of periods in my life where I’ve experienced healthy eating(action). In fact, I dare say even now I eat healthier than most people. But I’ve always still desired the unhealthy. I always felt like I was missing out. I always felt deprived. What if I could BE a healthy person? This would be a new experience, and one I cannot have unless I’m willing to mark my current experience as COMPLETE. I’ve never experienced eating healthy and not wanting unhealthy. I’ve never experienced BEING a healthy person.
Back to the story. My husband said “I just love that you never give up.” There are a lot of ways to look at failure. The way I choose to think about it, I haven’t failed at giving up sugar because I haven’t given up yet. I haven’t failed at losing weight permanently. I haven’t failed at being a healthy person. I just haven’t figured it out YET. I will figure it out. It’s a done deal. I know it will happen because I know I won’t give up until I accomplish it.
And it doesn’t really matter WHEN I figure it out. There’s no rush. Being there won’t be any better than being here. I won’t be more worthy there than I am here. I’m perfect exactly as I am. I just want to experience something else because it makes life fun and interesting.
We spend so much of our lives fearing failure. We don’t attempt things we want because we’re afraid we’ll fail. But that just means we fail ahead of time. If you don’t try the thing, you definitely fail.
Failing is not even trying. Failing is giving up. Failing is quitting on yourself. Everything else is just learning. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. It doesn’t matter how many attempts it takes. It doesn’t matter if you know how you’ll do it.
We’re here on earth to have experiences. What new experiences do you want to have? What experiences can you mark as complete and say goodbye to so you can make room for new experiences? Are you letting thoughts of “failure” get in your way?