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The fear of failure

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  December 5, 2012 12:39 PM

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As I keep getting closer to my fitness and weight-loss goals, I have started to worry more. I would have thought that with all of my success, things would get easier at this point. And yet, somehow, this little thing called doubt has started to creep in and settle in the back of my brain.

Failure is not an option for me -- because we are talking about my health. I have two choices: succeed and lead a healthy lifestyle, or fail and go back to my unhealthy ways, thus damaging my chances for living a long, happy, healthy life.

So, as you can see, failure is not an option.

But I'm not perfect. No one is (if you are, I want to meet and interview you!).

So, how do I keep my fear that I'll fall off the diet and exercise bandwagon at bay? It's a question many of you have e-mailed me asking. Up until now I haven't had a good answer because I love setting new goals and pushing myself.

But here's a better (I think) answer, which I realized today while looking at the scale and hoping the number hadn't gone up (it hadn't).

Fear of failure is what motivates me the most to keep going.

I'm not saying I'm a worry wart. I don't obsess if I have one day every once in a while where I just want to eat nothing but chocolate, and there are days when I just don't have a good workout in me. Everyone has those days. But that fear -- that realization that if I don't succeed I'm not setting a good example for my toddler -- is what helps me eat the celery and peanut butter instead of the peanut butter cup.

And what's even crazier about that realization? A year ago when I started this blog I would have been the first to tell you that the fear of failure was so great it was the reason I ate junk and didn't take care of myself the way I should. It was overwhelming. Now, the thought of not taking care of myself properly and the repercussions that would have on my family and health is the overwhelming thought.

What scares you? How have you overcome your fears?

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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