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Rethinking "I'm a Failure" Podcast Episode 126

Do you ever listen to that voice that says "I'm a failure"?

The one leaves you paralysed and stops you doing amazing things and achieving your goals?

You're not alone! And you're not a failure.

Dr Orlena shares her story of how she combated "I'm a failure".

Actionable tips that you can start today.

In this episode, You Will Learn: 

  • Does failing make you a failure?
  • Does failure exist?
  • What to do when you feel like a failure?
  • How do you stop thinking about failure?

Woman sitting by the beach looking at the ocean #rethinkinglife #reset #mindset #positive

Amazing Things From Fit And Fab Await You, Be Ready To Sign Up

Hello, and welcome to fit and fabulous with me, Dr Orlena Kerek. I hope that you are feeling fabulous and amazing and energy 10 out of 10 today. My new, "Why Are You Feeling So Tired Quiz is nearly ready to go.  I will put that on the website soon. 

A quick reminder, on Wednesday, I am doing an amazing workshop with Mette Fieldman. We will be talking about setting boundaries around food in your family.

Following on from last week's podcast, we chatted about those times when we feel we are being held hostage to our kids at mealtimes. What we really want is quiet, happy family mealtimes. When we know that we are teaching our kids healthy eating habits.

So if you haven't already signed up, sign up for that, it's totally free. And it's going to be amazing.  You will get to answer questions. It's going to be on zoom. So I am super, super looking forward to that. 

Do You Feel Like A Failure?

What are we talking about today? Today we are talking about rethinking I'm a failure.

I see so many people who have this thought "I'm a failure." 

It's Just A Thought, There's No Such Thing As Failure 

I have to confess that I have had it at times in my life as well.  I'll tell you a little bit about my story as we go on. It can be such a powerful, destructive thought to have. 

It erodes our enthusiasm or motivation or ability to be able to do whatever it is we want to do. Nut it just sort of seeps in and keeps saying to us, "I'm a failure. I'm a failure. I'm a failure. " It's totally not true. Of course, it's not true. There's no such thing as "I am a failure."

Failure Makes Us Rethink And Find New Ways

I want to spend a bit of time just rethinking this so that we can smash that horrible little thought to the ground. Think about how we can turn it around and get on with achieving our goals.

A few examples of things.  Let me tell you about when we moved to Spain. We have been in Spain for 10 years now. That's amazing.  I achieved my goal of moving to Spain.

Failure Is An Opportunity And A Redirection

Part of my journey of moving to Spain was that when I moved, I was on the career ladder to become a pediatric consultant. I will say I moved with my eyes wide shut. I thought I would come to Spain and my pediatric career would be put on hold a little bit. Essentially I would not give up my medical career. I always say I kind of accidentally lost my medical career.

I didn't mean to move to Spain and start a business. 10 years later with my business growing and finding something that I totally love doing. I'm perfectly happy. 

I can look back and think, Wow, it all worked out in the end. When I made that move and found that it wasn't as easy to be a doctor here in Spain as I had intended. Essentially I'd have to go back and do all my pediatric exams again in a different language. And I wasn't prepared to do that.

At the time it felt like I had lost my identity. I had four young kids. I was quite isolated here in Spain. And that little thought of I'm a failure, a feeder kept going round and round in my mind. It wasn't a thought that I would vocalize internally to myself. It was a much deeper thought.  One that didn't really reach its head so that I could have a look at it and examine it.

You Didn't Fail, You Just Change The Course Of Life

As I look back now, I know that that is part of what was going on for me. So when one level on my outside level, I was happy and smiling and getting on with life.  And doing all the things that you have to do when you look after your kids. But deep inside, some unexamined part of me had that little whispering thought, I am a failure. I am a failure. 

When I look at that thought and think I am a failure, what was going on for me was I have failed to become a consultant. I failed to become a pediatric doctor, that sort of highest level.

I had set myself this goal, which was to become a pediatric consultant. I wonder now when I look back, whether it was really something that I wanted to do.  Deep inside me, what was going on was I was this failure.  If I stop and examine this with my thinking brain and my analytical brain, that is absolutely ridiculous.

You didn't fail at doing that. What you did was stepped away and change your plans. And another thing is really to separate the, "I am part of it too." I failed at a particular act."

Failing Better Means Trying Again

For example, in another story, I failed my driving test. The first time I took my driving test, what did I do? I took it again and now I'm a driver.

Things To Do When You Feel Like A Failure.

It wasn't like I carried on failing. There are two important things there.

Number one is just to relook, to separate the, "I am from the act that we do."

Failing At One Thing Doesn't Mean You Fail At Everything

Here's another thing that I have failed to do.  This morning when I went for my run. I failed to set my watch so that it actually started. It only recorded half of my run, which was obviously very disappointing. But it's not really the end of the world.

Stop Labeling Yourself And Those Around You.

It's a bit like when we look at our kids. It's very easy to label our kids disobedient or silly or doing things that are stupid. What we want to do is separate labelling somebody, whether it's ourselves or somebody else. That action may have been disobedient. It may have been a little bit foolish.

It may have been not the most sensible thing to do but that doesn't then make that person a stupid, foolish or disobedient person.

Figure Out What You Really Want

I guess a big question to ask yourself when you think about I am a failure is,  what do you really, really want?  This is a really important question to ask ourselves. 

Successful People Fail And Bounce Up Over And Over Again

When we look at people who we consider to be successful, it's not that they have everything handed to them on a golden plate. The vast majority of people have succeeded because they have gone through failure after failure after failure.

What they have done after those failures? Pick themselves up and keep on going.

Consistency Will Help You Achieve Your Goal

I always say this to people who are trying to change their habits. With my one-on-one clients or people in my group program, the goal may be that you want to lose weight. It may be that you want to lead a healthy and amazing life full of bucket loads of energy. 

When you set out your goals and you think, okay, here's the route that I'm going to take. And I'm going to get there by doing this. I'm going to eat healthily. I'm going to exercise. I'm going to make sure I go to bed on time. This is how I'm going to do it. Repeat it day after day. 

Not Everything Will Go As Planned. Just Carry On.

What you also have to think about is, "Oh, I'm going to have some days where that is not going to happen. Things are not going to go as planned."

Now, if you can see these in front and anticipate them then when they happen, you just think, "Oh, that's one of those days." I just have to learn something from this, pick myself up and carry on. It was a failure, but I carried on and carried on. So going back to this question of what do you really want? I think this is, it all ties in together. It's a good way of being able to think about what you want.

Be Persistent If You Really Want To Pursue Something.

Another personal story for me is that when I was 17 or 18. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  At that stage, I had applied to university.  I applied so many times to do so many different things to begin with.

I was going to do philosophy and psychology and then the next year it was psychology.  I had this epiphany that I wanted to study medicine. However, I didn't have the right A level in the UK. We have to do a level to get into medical school. I applied to medical school and having had zero training.

I had no idea what I was doing. I had no one helping me. I just basically applied and went to the interview and I didn't get a place at medical school.

I remember at that time as well, this was a few years after I had left school. I went back to my school and said, "please, can you help me?" Because I actually realized that I need a bit of help in doing this.

And they said, I have to go and do some medical work experience if I need it, you get into medical school, which I didn't know. But I then managed to get some medical work experience.

If You Know What You Want, Do Whatever It Takes To Achieve It.

I remember talking to this doctor in Exeter when I was doing this work experience and where I went to school.  He was a pediatric doctor and he was just chatting to me. And I said to him, oh, I'm not going to be a doctor. I didn't get into medical school. So I'm going to study psychology instead. 

I left it at that. Now I happened to be so amazingly lucky to be sitting in the foyer, waiting for my lift home when he walked past, having finished his day. And he said to me, You know what? You may not have got into medical school this year. But if being a doctor is what you want to do, you are a doctor for life. It's something that you can do next year, take a year out, get back to it.  Really commit to doing that.

If it's something you want to do, you will do it regardless of the setback.  And you know what he was absolutely right now at that time I was so keen to go to university. I wanted to move away from home and lead that independent university life, but his message was just spot on.

I think it's the same when you reach any failure. Is this something that I really want to do? And if the answer is yes, then you will carry on and carry on and carry on.  This leads me to my next point, which is it's all about your inner motivation.

Generate Your Inner Motivation And Keep Your Eyes On Your Goals.

I did a podcast on inner motivation a few weeks ago, so go back and listen to that. But my essential, my messages is we need to generate that inner motivation. One thing that's really important is to be constantly looking at our long-term goals. It's the same as when we learned to drive.

Stay Focused On The Road Ahead 

I remember my driving instructor would always say, stop looking at the road right in front of the car. Look at the road on the horizon.  Look where you're going to. It's the same with what we want in life, our successes, what our goals are, make long-term goals. Keep your eye on the long-term goal.

When You Hit A Road Block, Don't Quit. Keep Moving.

When you hit that block, that roadblock, you don't think, "oh, that's it. I've given up. I can't do any of this." You think, oh, it's just a little step on the way to my long-term goal. And it's fine because I've got time to course. Correct.

Befriend Yourself. Avoid Self Judgement And Criticism. 

Okay, let me have a little look at my notes. Oh, we judge ourselves. We all, we're always judging ourselves. We're so mean to ourselves.

One thing that you can do is treat yourself as if you were your best friend, as opposed to, as if you were yourself. We always say such mean things to be to ourselves. And we are constantly judging ourselves.  And we're constantly looking at the negative of what we do.

Do Things One Step At A Time

So the way you can turn this around is to show yourself that you can do things that you can do those things that you want to do. Now, if you're not a runner, I don't suggest you make your first goal to run a marathon. Clearly, if you go right tomorrow, I'm going to run a marathon. You're not going to do it.

But if you say,  in a year's time I'm going to set my long-term goal to run a marathon. Let's say two years time to run a marathon and I have done no running. So today I'm going to run one minute and tomorrow I'm going to run two minutes and then in a month's time I can run 10 minutes.

Set Realistic Goals For Yourself 

And as you do that, you show yourself,  I can do one minute and you know what? I did 45 seconds, but that's more than zero. So you need to be constantly showing yourself. Yes, I can do these things. So you need to set the goals that are appropriate goals. The best kind of goals are the ones that push you a little bit, but not so much that it's overwhelming and not achievable.

Woman enyoying the sun #rethinkinglife #reset #mindset #positive

Create A Playlist To Keep You Moving and Motivated.

And whilst we're on the subject of running. One of the things I always think really helps us get to where we want to get to and shows us that we're not a failure. It's a running playlist. So when I go running, I can run every single  Saturday morning, seven o'clock I'm up there running.  I have the same playlist every single week.

And I love Shakira. I love her Waka, Waka Africa song. If you haven't listened to it. Oh my goodness. I put it on every single time. I have to go this steep hill. And it's there and I dance up fat tail. I don't out of breath up that hill, but I love that song so much. It just spurs me on. So create a playlist like that.

For that I can do this. I am amazing. I can do whatever I set my mind to, you know what they say? You can do anything, but you can't do everything. So whatever it is you want to do find your, "I can do this playlist." Create it. Come and share it in our Facebook group.

Hurray! We Have Achieved So Many Fit And Fab Successes. 

Oh, by the way, the Facebook group is amazing at the moment. We've been having so many successes.  A big shout out to Sheena who said "I had a sugar craving and I ate a pear". Hurray, Sheena. That is amazing. That's a big step forward.

Meaghan said that she had been feeding her kids brussels sprouts, and they liked them. So another big shout out Meaghan.

Join Me In Facebook Live For More Rethinking Failure Discussions 

I'm super excited to announce that on Thursdays, I am going to be doing a Facebook live. So I'm going to tie it in with the podcast. We're going to chat about the same topic as on the podcast. So on Thursday, it's going to be at 7:00 PM Spanish time, which is 6:00 PM UK time,  1:00 PM Eastern time, Facebook live.  Come and listen and obviously you can ask questions. We will be chatting about, I'm not a failure, rethinking failure on Thursday

A few other tips that I have for you. Stop watering that I am a failure thought. I'm reading this amazing book to my son at the moment, which is all about worries. And it says, basically worries are thoughts that we have. And we water these little plants like we're tending to them like tomato plants.

Leave Your Negative Thoughts Alone And It Will Also Leave You.

So you've put in a seed and you start paying it attention and it grows and it grows and it grows. Once you stop paying it attention, it stops growing. It's the same with any negative thought.

Stop paying attention to that thought. Stop thinking. It's such a big deal to fail. It's fine. It's just part of life.  Start focusing on the positive thoughts that I can do this. start watering and paying attention to the I can't do it.

There you have it in a nutshell. Everything you need to know to turn your, I am a failure thought around into, Do you know what? Here's my goal. I can do it.

Keep Track And Record Your Achievements.

Another thing, write down all the things that you have achieved. We always overlook everything we have achieved. So make a long list of everything that you have achieved in your life.

Failure Can Be A Good Thing.

I can think of the things that I have failed to do in my life. I failed the medical school exam. Once I had to reset it, actually, you know what? that was a really good summer. There were so few of us left at university. We had an absolute ball. We got to know different people that we wouldn't have known if we'd gone off on our summer holidays.

I failed my driving license once. Lots of things that I haven't done. I didn't carry on being a consultant, but I have a long list of other things that I have done. There's so many more exams that I have passed. I did pass my driving test and other things that I've done. I've started a business.

Success Comes After A Failure.

I'm like kept up at a business. I've moved my family to Spain. I've had four children and they're all thriving.

It's easy to feel like you're a failure as a parent from time to time. But again, look at all the positive things that you're doing. I've got four healthy children. They bicker, they squabble, but they also love each other. They get on with each other and they're imperfect people like I'm an imperfect parent. But we're constantly striving to get better.

See You In Facebook Live

I hope that has given you a few thoughts and a few tools that you can use. So number one, come and join the Facebook live in the Facebook group. If you're not a member, I'll put a link in the show notes.

If You're Ready To Make Changes, Book Your Breakthrough to The Healthy And Amazing Me Session.

If this is something that resonates with you and you think "I am ready to make changes, I want to lead my most healthy life. I want to implement changes in all four pillars, nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotional wellness. And I can't do it by myself. Obviously, this is part of emotional wellness, which is the foundation.  I want some help. Then book your breakthrough to the Healthy, Amazing Me session.

I'll leave that in the show notes as well, but you can come and have a chat. The 30-minute chat. It's just a getting to know you chat. I love chatting. So I would love to chat to you. So a few things and I will see you next week. Take care. Bye bye.

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Written By Dr Orlena 

Dr Orlena Kerek (MBChB from the University of Bristol, UK) trained as a pediatric doctor. She is now a family health coach. She helps busy mums who want to feel amazing by eating healthy food. So they can enjoy a healthy life, get back into their honeymoon shorts and teach their kids healthy habits.  All without thinking about it.

If you want a healthy family and healthy lifestyle without having to think about it. And you'd like help, book a 30-minute "Healthy Life Roadmap" call here.


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