Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fear of Failure Destroys Success

Inspired by Steve's post I was reminded of a story, I wanted to relate it you because I think of it EVERY time I mess up a goal, weigh-loss related or lother wise:

TO ERR IS HUMAN
By Raymond Jones

If you were to take a long trip, say from Salt Lake City to Hawaii, aboard a 747 with several other people, you might be appalled if you knew who was flying the airplane. It is not the pilots; it is a couple of guys named Fred and George.

Fred and George are two black boxes, and they really are referred to as Fred and George. Fred is a gizmo called an Inerial Navigation System or INS. Fred knows at every moment exactly where the airplane is and where it is supposed to be. In the old days a human navigator took a look at his instruments and did some figuring, and by the time he had the position worked out the plane was long from that spot. Fred knows now where the plane is.

George is the autopilot. He moves the controls to guide the airplane this way and that, speed it up or slow it down. He and Fred talk to each other constantly. If their conversation were in English, it would sound something like this: Fred will say, “George, we’re off course two degrees to starboard.” And George will say, “O.K. Fred, I’ll fix it.”

“George, we’re off course three degrees to port.”
“O.K. Fred, I’ll fix it.”
“George, we’re forty knots below our airspeed.”
“O.K. Fred, I’ll fix it.”
“George, we’re three hundred feet too low.”
“O.K. Fred, I’ll fix it”

This conversation continues all the way to Hawaii, and George and Fred bring the giant plane within a thousand yards of the runway in Honolulu within five minutes of the scheduled time of arrival.


The incredible thing is not so much the accuracy of Fred and George, but the fact that the airplane has been in error 90% of the time of its flight. In error 90% of the time and still it lands on target and on schedule!

In weight loss, in life it is not wether we stay on a path 100% of the time that creates our sucess, I think we so often get obsesed with rules, goals, and numbers we miss the big picture. If we could see that we can get a 747 to Honolulu or a rocket to the moon even having been in error 90% of the time, we might be a little less uptight about being in error ourselves.

There’s nothing that kills performance like fear of failure, fear of being foolish, fear of being caught in error.

So next time you have a bad day, or feel like you've ruined your path by binging, slacking or other - just focus on the things you did right and hit it harder the next day to correct. You'll find that if you just keep working on getting to the goal, reguardless of how many steps "back" you might have along the way, you'll still get there!

lots of love to you all - natalie

5 comments:

mr. nonis said...

What a great allegory! It's not about never slipping, it's about not failing when you falter.

South Beach Steve said...

This is a great post! You and I kind of had a one-two punch effect going. :-)

Yum Yucky said...

You've just described my fitness journey perfectly! It's great to hear it this way. And I feel validated. :D

Staci Dombroski said...

Thanks for the post! You are exactly right!

Friend of the Bear said...

Hi Natalie. Great post!

Best wishes,
Bearfriend xx