How to Succeed by Failing

The Primal lifestyle that Helen (Primal Chicken) and I have adopted is based on getting back to basics – keeping your life uncomplicated. Healthy eating and exercise obviously play a significant role, but there are other facets involved in living Primal and following the Primal Approach. One of these is learning to get back to a simple way of thinking.

In our society today, failing is discouraged and making a mistake is frowned upon. When a sports star or politician makes a mistake, they’re vilified from pillar to post, so my next statement may seem a little strange…

Helen and I want to fail.

Huh? I can hear you thinking!

One of the hardest things I found when changing my lifestyle (we don’t consider it a diet at all), was the temptation to go back to my old ways:

Having a bad day?

Chocolate or Muesli Bars will make me feel better!

Cold and wet day?

Pizza of course…

Grumpy, got out of bed the wrong side day?

Munching on that big pile of hot chips will lift my mood…

For me, my worst habit was muesli bars, loaded with high carbohydrate grains, and when I had a particularly bad day or was stressed about something I would often sit down and eat six in one sitting. Six Boxes of six that is – Three boxes of strawberry, Two boxes raspberry and a box of chocolate chip! Another couple of bad habits were chocolates and lollies, pizza or steak and chips – not a vegetable in sight. Good thing steaks are Primal, so my withdrawal wasn’t total! They were all things that were easy to reach for, call for or make when things didn’t go to plan, or I had a bad day. To be totally honest, I didn’t need any excuse to eat crap, but it’s normal for us to blame our failures on things other than ourselves! 😉

The Primal Chicken, on the other hand, loved her white wine, loaded baked potatoes and Turkish delight chocolate bars.

What happens if I break down and eat that chocolate or pasta or my muesli bars, have I failed?

Well, maybe…

Am I a failure?


What’s the difference?

This quote rather says it all:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Good old feel good comfort food. We can all easily say to ourselves that this is all too hard, I can’t do it and I’m going just to quit. It would be so easy to give in to cravings and to fall back into our old comfort zone. It can be so easy to give up anytime things get hard, or you feel frustrated, or angry.

But here’s the thing about failure… If we fail, can we learn from our mistake? Can we improve next time?

Consider this thought. If I fire an arrow at a target 100m away and I keep shooting, it might take me 100 shots or maybe even 1000 shots, but eventually, I will hit my goal. If I never pick up the bow and try in the first place… can I ever hit the target?

I’ll wager our ancestors didn’t give up if they missed when they were hunting for their dinner!


Athletes, musicians, artists, scientists, business people, actors, take shots every day in the hopes of winning. They understand that failure doesn’t mean giving up, they take that failure and learn from it.

Thomas Edison tried over 10,000 times to create the lightbulb (some might argue Nikola Tesla had something to do with it, but that’s a whole other story!) and the following quotes by him are just as relevant today:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.”

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”

“If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”

Seeing a pattern yet? 😉

Successful people get up and try over and over and over, and eventually, they do succeed.

How you deal with the idea of failure is what makes the difference.

Failure is not something you ARE; it’s something that happens to you.

While this isn’t as easy as it sounds to keep in your thinking, it can be done. We all have that voice inside us telling us that failure is bad – society tells us that on a daily basis. We have been given the expectation that failure means losing, losing is bad and that if we fail we are disappointing our family, our friends or ourselves. In actuality, we only fail if we don’t keep attempting the shot.

We have to learn not listen to that voice, but listen to our heart and keep trying.

You will learn. You will succeed.

It is the same with changing yourself, getting back to a simple Primal lifestyle and diet. You can’t expect to do it overnight, there will always be times you will struggle, there will always be times you fail and fall back into bad habits or give in to cravings. Guess what? We’re only human!

Succeeding and hitting goals becomes so much sweeter and so much more meaningful if you have failed, but gotten up and kept going. This is true for anything you want to change – quitting smoking, biting your nails, losing weight and getting healthy, running a business, having a successful relationship.

The battle isn’t in your stomach, it’s in your head. If you never quit, you can never actually fail! If you keep your thinking simple – success is guaranteed!

So hopefully you understand much clearer now when I say – “We’re proud to fail.”

Now set your own personal goals and go be a success… you can’t fail after all!!

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