What We’ve Learned About Success from Talking About Failure

August 08, 2018

Some of the best athletes in the world. Founders and CEOs. Authors of bestselling books, internationally known fitness gurus, even reality television stars.

For 62 episodes now, we on the #WeGotGoals team have had the good fortune to interview some pretty impressive individuals. We’ve learned so much about what’s powered them to the top (and we hope you have, too!).

But the more goal-getters we talked with, the more something dawned on us. Nearly every single one of them had a failure story, a way they fell short en route to what they viewed as their biggest high. What’s more, they nearly all volunteered to share it with us in a conversation about what was most essential to their achievements.

So co-hosts Jeana Anderson Cohen, Maggie Umberger, Kristen Geil and I took a moment to do another guest-less but host-ful episode--we’ll be recording one of these every month or so from now on--to discuss what these failure stories taught us about resilience.

Resilience--something Cohen admits she’s “kind of obsessed with” lately--amounts to the ability to recover quickly from difficulties, adapt to shifting circumstances, and thrive despite, or perhaps even because of, setbacks.

What enables some people to emerge triumphant from situations that would crush a normal human? Our guests offer us clues. Some leaned on a support network, others took the opportunity to reflect and refocus, and a few stayed laser-focused on a bigger, long-term goal. All, it seems, had incorporated their failures into the narratives that made them the high achievers they are today.

We talked through some of the failures that stood out for us over the past year-plus of episodes. For me, it was when Dr. Ari Levy failed his medical boards--then retook them, and now owns a successful practice, SHIFT. Or when Kathrine Switzer nearly got pulled off the course at the 1967 Boston Marathon, but chose to finish instead, and make history.

Cohen contrasts these with the story of Lee Kemp. The wrestler made the U.S. Olympic team in 1980; then, the country boycotted the Games. That failure was beyond his control and irreconcilable, and still fuels the way he lives his life today.

The setback that stood out for Geil was Jessica Zweig, who’s now the founder and CEO of the SimplyBe agency. Before that, she co-founded Cheeky Chicago--and from all outward appearances, was hugely successful. But inside, she felt so conflicted she eventually became physically sick.

For Umberger, Stephanie Johnson’s tale of applying for Survivor for17 years straight--and ultimately getting kicked off before the merge--highlighted the way success and failure aren’t always necessarily black and white. And Maaria Mozaffar, who failed the bar exam five times before moving on to succeed as a civil rights attorney, author, and activist, showed just how powerful persistence can truly be.

In the midst of reflecting on what we’d heard from our guests, we shared our own failure stories--career aspirations gone awry, opportunities missed, times we felt like fish out of water. I think we’d all agree those experiences shaped us and led us to where we are today (a spot we all seem pretty pleased with). And, we discussed the ways we’ll continue to build self-care and coping skills into our daily lives so we can nurture our resistance and boost others up along the way.

A few things we brought up:

Have a failure story of your own? We’d love to hear it. Share it with us in the comments, or--better yet--record a voice memo and send it to cindy@asweatlife.com. You could be featured on #WeGotGoals in the future.

Listen to the full episode anywhere you get your podcasts—including, now, on Spotify! If you like what you hear, please help us spread the word by leaving a rating or a review. And stick around until the end of the episode, where you’ll hear a goal from one of you, our listeners.



Jeana: Welcome to We Got Goals, a podcast by ASweatLife.com on which we talk to high achievers about their goals. But this week we are talking about past episodes of Goals and most notably about failure and resilience. I’m Jeana Anderson Cohen, with me I have Cindy Kuzma, Maggie Umberger, and Kristen Gial.

Woman 1: Morning Jeana.

Woman 2: Hello.

Woman 3: Hi.

Jeana: So I know that we all have a lot of episodes that were our favorites. And a lot of guests who were highly motivational and have gone through a lot of things. And we wanted to take this time on this week’s episode to talk through those guests. So Cindy, can you tell me about a guest who failed, got back up, that resonated with you.

Cindy: Oh my gosh, well I mean the first thing that really struck me when talking about this topic was, I kind of thought back through all the episodes, and pulled out some of the notable failures and there's so many and just that pure volume is really encouraging. Because we have some darn impressive people on the show and almost every single one of them has a failure story and some of them are huge failure stories. It’s just a part of success. And that in and of itself was just something that stuck me when as I was thinking about this. One of the individual failure stories that spoke to me a lot was way back to, I think it was maybe episode 5 or 6. Dr. Ari Levy, now he’s a physician, he owns his own medical practice. Sort of a holistic health practice here in Chicago, Shift.  But he failed his medical boards the first time he took them. And what really struck me about that story was that he realized that it wasn’t. You know it’s one thing to kind of fail when you take a step too far or when you’re really ambitious. And you’re aren’t quite ready for the next challenge. But he realized he failed because he didn’t do the work. He didn’t study enough, he didn’t prepare, he didn’t dedicate the time. And so he had an extra layer of shame and guilt on top of his just plain failing the medical boards. And then with that comes all the questions of what’s going to happen to my career, am I going to lose my job, am I ever going to be a successful physician when I can’t even pass this exam. What he did next, that struck me again was despite that shame and guilt, he really leaned on his support network. And we all need to do that when we fail but sometimes it's extra hard when we kind of realize that we contributed to our own failure. We're so still deserving of that support and we need to reach out to people, kind of get past ourselves, get past that shame and guilt. And connect with the people who care about us regardless of whether we failed because we tried our best and just couldn’t make it or whether we failed because we realized that we maybe could have tried a little bit harder. And then, you know, he harnessed his support system and needed them to take the next step. Which was to retake the exam. And, you know, he had to study when he was like planning his wedding so he really had to rely on the support of people like his fiance, now his wife, to help guide him through that. The end result we know now is he passed, he has a successful practice. Just I took so much from that difference between being disappointed in an outcome and being disappointed in yourself. There are differences between those but you can come back from either one of those.

Jeana: And I mean talk about having to get over yourself in order to move forward. Like, what you’re saying in leaning on somebody. It requires you owning up to and really acknowledging those mistakes or failures. And I think that also resonates with me because in general when we mess up we want to quickly get back on our feet and just do the right thing or try to right the wrong without maybe acknowledging, like okay this is was a mistake, what do I have to learn from it. And he probably, you know, took that time to really like learn something from it versus just going forward, powering on, almost like getting up too quickly, I guess without without taking the time to internalize and figure out what there is to learn from the mistake, the stumble, the failure, whatever you want to call it. So yeah I resonate with that as well Cindy.

Cindy: Jeana, was there a particular story that stood out to you?


Jeana: Well I think sort of bouncing off of Ari’s story, Lee Kemp is sort of on the flipside. Ari  knew that his failure he sort of had a part in. He could fix it himself and he caused it in some way, himself. And he took power over that. On the flipside there is Lee Kemp who qualified for the US Olympics and the United States subsequently boycotted the Olympics, the year that he qualified. So to him it was completely out of his hands. He did the work, he tried his hardest and he was totally powerless in that situation. And if you go back and listen to the episode, today he is still not over it. Because of the fact that he couldn’t do anything to rectify it. He’s taken power of his life in a lot of other ways. He’s taken power of his life in speaking to people and he’s really channeled that energy into doing good for the world. But he wasn’t able to go back and undo it. And he wasn’t able to get that original goal. And I think that’s the interesting part of it. Is that sometimes you can go through something hard and still achieve your original goal. And sometimes you go through something hard and you have to change course because there is no other choice. So I think that’s sort of the comparison and the contrast here. Lee Kemp is an amazing athlete, he’s an amazing father, now he’s an amazing coach, speaker and author. But those weren’t probably things that he thought would be his path. At the beginning, at the onset.

Cindy: That’s interesting. It’s interesting to think about what resilience means in that context. And what does it mean to kind of let go and accept that past outcome. I mean clearly he has moved on and had incredible success but as you say, there is still a piece of him that still feels that loss. And how do you kind of rectify that? And does it matter ultimately to your future success? Is there some value maybe in hanging onto a little bit of that past regret to fuel you, I wonder. I don’t know, what do you guys think?

Maggie: I think this is a really cool example of how success, failure, it’s not black or white. That’s one of the biggest takeaways that I think I’ve gotten from a lot of our guests. Is that there are points of success and points of failure. And sometimes, they’re intermixed and intertwined. And it’s just part of life and it’s almost like the story that you create around it that is what fuels you to go forward. And it isn’t the action or the thing that happens it’s the thing that happens next. And how you handle, how you react to whatever does happen.

Kristen: My story that resonated with me is a little bit different than the one that you guys put forward. I was really drawn to Jessica Zweig’s story in episode 40 and her failure wasn't so much a business failure or you know not reaching a certain goal she had set. But it was the fact that she was suffering from a chronic illness so severe that she had to have surgery. And on the inside that's what was happening but on the outside she looks like a highly successful person to everybody else. And I think about that contrast a lot because I'm pretty sure that's something that everyone in this room has experienced it one point or the other. It's that old saying about how like a duck looks so calm floating on water but then underneath its feet are like furiously peddling. And you can't see all the churning and all the work that's happening to try and just keep that duck afloat. And so Jessica, to give a little bit of a background if you haven't heard this episode. She was running Cheeky Chicago. She had a great brand. She had a great team. She was very well known throughout Chicago and was doing amazing. But inside she was really suffering and she was putting herself through the ringer. And ended up really needing to take a step back and take time off. And eventually, she ended up leaving Cheeky Chicago and eventually she started her own personal branding company, SimplyBe. But that’s just something that I think about a lot. It’s just she looked so successful to everybody else, she looked like she was the epitome of one of the goal setting, high achievers we talk about. But inside she felt like she was failing and just that contrast is something that I think affects a lot of us more than we realize or more that we are comfortable talking about.

Jeana: I mean that's so true with the the world that is social media now. That we're only showing the highlights or mostly showing the highlights. Or even when we talk about the struggles, we talk about them from you know the lens of a really pretty photo that presents what the struggle is going to be built beneath it. And I think everyone, everywhere can relate to that on some level. Whether it's you're the person who is feeling those feelings of like ahh, I'm really struggling even though I’m going to post this beautiful photo. Or you're the person kind of scrolling through your social channels and you're feeling like why am I the only one that feels left out of this perfect world.

Maggie: I think the thing about all of this is it makes it hard to feel like anybody else has failed. Because people don't talk about about their failures as much. So when we’re posting our highlight reels. And we’re guilty of this to at A Sweat Life. When we’re posting our highlight reels. It’s hard to know what else is happening. So I think the world around us and we as well, need to be better about saying what we are going through. And what failures it took or how many failures or the mountain of failures that came before to lead to whatever it you’re showing people. Because we owe it to each other to be honest about the experience that it took to get to whatever mountaintop your shouting from.


Cindy: And I think equally important too is to kind of give some shout-outs along the way on the mountaintop. There was recently an article on Runner’s World, I didn’t write it. But a runner, an elite runner talked about the fact that she was having a relapse of her eating disorder. And she posted in the middle of it. And she’s like this is unusual. Usually you hear the after I beat this, everything is great now. I went through struggle but here I am on the other side. Which is I think, critical. We need those messages. We need hope and we need to know that even when people are successful, they have gone through struggles along the way. But we also need to be able to stand with each other in those struggles a little bit more, I think. And some openness along the way and showing people what it's actually like in the moment. That if we had a little bit more of that, it would be interesting to see how that affected everyone's viewpoints on all of this. So we can maybe get a glimpse of those legs paddling while the duck was still in the water and not just when it was, you know, flying through the air sitting on the shore.

Maggie: Going back to that idea of failure/success not being black and white. One of the stories that we've gotten to share, Kristen was when you interviewed Stephanie from Survivor. She worked so hard, she had this crazy story of trying to get on Survivor. That was a huge goal for her. She applied 17 times and eventually got on the show only to be voted off without getting to the very end. And I think about the stories that we hear. Sometimes these big massive failure stories that turn into success. That's not always a really massive failure or a really massive success on either spectrum. It sometimes just part of life that feels off or feels kind of good. And I think one of my stories of failure is one of those where it was kind of a success but kind of a failure. I don't really know. It's just kind of like how I interpret the way that I left my first job and moved into my second one.

Cindy: I'm intrigued Maggie, talk more about your own failure story.

Maggie: Well, so when I originally thought I was going to go into advertising. I felt like I had this really cool story of going into my first career where I was not initially asked back for the interview and I kept calling the ad agency saying I would really like this interview. I think that would really do great things at this company. And they eventually called me back as sort of a last minute, someone cancelled. Okay I guess we'll bring her in and then they ended up really liking me and bringing me on board for this program. And I was like oh my god, this is going to be the launching point of being the underdog and then doing great in this career. And then I kind of missed the mark and I was like not doing the things that I thought I was going to be able to do. I had the opportunity to work on a global account where there were not a lot of other planners. And I really wanted to show that I was so good at what I was doing that oh my god she should be promoted to senior planner right away. It was like the opportunity to do really great and then I just was like in over my head. I didn't get to produce the work that I wanted to when I was there. And I battled kind of with myself. Am I not cut out for this because I'm not smart enough for this or is this not really my calling that I thought it was. And so I kind struggled with like, how much do I just keep treading water to do this thing that I set out to do. Or is not that I'm not smart and that it's just I'm kind of pushing my energy in the wrong direction. And so I kind of toyed with that for like a year. Of just feeling like stuck and not sure why and not sure if I quit, if quitting really was quitting and giving up. Or if it was changing course because that's what I felt like I was more called to do and I chose to shift the course. And I still think about that time in those days when I was working really hard but not feeling like I was producing good work and it sort of does feel like a failure. I was like I really wanted to leave a better mark on that time. And it didn't pan out that way but I wouldn't have traded that decision for anything because I am in a much better place now. And so I know that I learned a lot from that. But I haven't really told that story or thought about it until we started thinking about these other failure stories and that black and white. And so I kind of for the first time really acknowledged that kind of feels like a failure but it also feels like a success. So it's like this weird balance for me.


Kristen: Maggie, our stories are super similar. So I'm going to jump in here too. The job that I was at before this, I was hired as an in house copywriter. So I was working on digital marketing stuff for a company that made travel mugs and water bottles. And it was great, and comfortable and right in my wheel house and I felt like I was doing good things. And then of course something happens and the company gets acquired. And everything changes as soon as your feeling great. And the decision they made was that all copywriters would be located in Hoboken, New Jersey. So I had a few options at this point. I could move to Hoboken which was never really an option. I could take a layoff or my manager really wanted to keep my around. She was like well we have positions opening in this office working on displays. Which like literally that means the things that you see in drug stores and grocery stores that hold our water bottles and travel mugs. And they needed people to be like helping create the displays and work with manufacturers and procurement and supplies. And I was like alright, I'm a reasonably smart person. I should be able to figure this out. How hard can it be if all these other people in the office are doing it too. And I started and it was awful. I had the most anxiety going into work every single day and opening my email would give me anxiety. And I just absolutely hated every single aspect of it. To the point where I would not do anything because I was too afraid to take a step in the wrong direction. And so I would just ignore emails and put off responding to them. Or I would leave a meeting and deliberately not do the action items that I was supposed to. And that went on for a little while and eventually I was like this is not working. I am taking this layoff. Get me out of here. And even though it felt like such a failure at the time, I definitely called my dad crying and upset that I felt like how could I not get this? I'm a smart person, this should not be that hard. It just wasn't even what I wanted to be doing. So eventually I took that layoff and it was the best thing. And that's what led to me doing this podcast. I reached out to you guys about working on the podcast when I was in that period and eventually it set the stage for me to doing some freelance work and building my skills as a writer. And led me here eventually. I feel like it's not really a failure. It was more like a test drive that you could back off from pretty easily. So that god I am not working on displays.

Maggie: Kristen, I never knew that part of your story. And working with you now, I just think like oh my god she's so good at her job. I never would assume you would feel like you were bad at your job and I think that's the point of conversation that we don't always have with our coworkers, with our friends. We have a view of someone else and that's just the story you tell yourself and you just don't know the whole story, you don't know the whole picture. So A, thank you for sharing that. And it's just cool because I'm sure everybody has that moment of like ugh, they're perfect or ugh they do everything right to their bosses, to their friends, to their family. And we just don't have the whole story ever.

Jeana: I also think it's interesting because Kristen and I. Or mostly I [...] Kristen's sister. So Kristen's sister is entering her career, first time, first job within a similar position to Maggie. Where she was entry level, not really. I mean everyone goes through work before they get to their first job. But I wanted to dole out a piece of advice to Kristen's sister, Rachel, before she figured it out for herself. Because I think everyone deserves to know this before they find it out themselves that you're going to feel bad at your first job, no matter what. You're going to spend months, maybe years feeling like your not as smart as you were before. Feeling like someone else can do it better and just feeling beaten down. Based on what I've seen other people say, based on my own experiences. And I feel like people need to tell college graduates this more. I don't think it's maybe the best graduation speech. But I do think graduate, entry-level employees deserve to know that there not going to feel maybe like their best selves for a little bit. Because they will be surrounded by other people who can teach them and that's the opportunity, is to learn and look at that as the opportunity to find new information. To maybe be humbled a little bit. But it's so hard to do because you come from a world where you're maybe in leadership roles, where you're the best at everything you do, you were the top of your class and suddenly you're surrounded by people with ten years of experience beyond what you have. And that's tough but it's also an opportunity.

Cindy: And I think it's interesting in creative fields too because you also get into this, I've heard [...] of this American Life talk about it before. When you're quality standards, you kind of recognize what's good and what isn't. And you realize you're not actually capable of producing something good yet. That you can watch something, you can listen to something, you can read something and recognize this is quality work. And then you can look at what you're doing and you're like this is, this is not there yet. But you don't really know how to bridge that gap and there's going to be quite some time before you get the experience required to get to the level of quality that you know is what is demanded of you or what you really appreciate about other people's works. So I think that's an extra layer of challenge that I think we all face as we continue to go through our careers too. And appreciate the work of our peers and mentors and people we look up to in our fields.


Jeana: It also takes recognizing your own progress too. And just looking back and saying here's where I was, here's what I was doing and here's the work I'm producing now, wow that's better. If I look back and read a piece I wrote in college, I had no voice at all. And now I read what I write and I enjoy my own voice. Which is a silly thing to say but I like reading my own work back now. Which is fun.

Cindy: What I think is interesting about both of your stories Kristen and Maggie is that point where you have to define success for yourself and how do you know when you're letting yourself down versus when you would be better served to move in a different direction. I think that takes some serious self-reflection and I don't know, Jeana have you been in a situation where you had that kind of a struggle and how did you kind of deal with that?

Jeana: Have I ever? So I think there are a couple of key points in my career where I felt knocked down. And knocked down is probably the best way to put it. Early on, my first interview I was dead set on working in PR and advertising but I didn't, I don't think I really knew what it was or what I would be doing in particular. I ended up doing social media for large brands for the bulk of my sort of agency life. Which was super fun but over sort of the time I spent in agency world, I always felt like I wasn't a fit. I felt like I was a fish out of water. And what I've learned is that a fish out of water either must change to fit the world or the world must change to fit the fish. There is no other way that that story can end. So I wasn't ready to change to fit the world, so I left it. But I did spend a lot of time in the agency world learning from it. Learning to be better at the work I put out, learning to be more of a perfectionist, learning to take my time on doing good work and really learning what good client-facing work and PowerPoints looked like. Which sounds silly but we actually do produce a lot of PowerPoint decks at A Sweat Life. And I thank I thank you very much agency world for that skill but the cultural thing was never right for me so I sort of had to make a choice to leave that world and focus entirely on A Sweat Life where we can form our own culture.

Cindy: That's such a sophisticated view and it's really I think if you can make that shift while you're in the while you're in the middle of a situation, how powerful is that? It makes me think of about Katherine Switzer, which is another kind of failure story that stood out for me. You know, think about this, she was the first woman to ever officially run the Boston Marathon and the way she tells the story, she signed up with her initials K.B. Switzer not because she was trying to fool anyone. Even though there had never been a woman officially running the marathon before she checked the rules it didn't say woman could run it. She didn't think she was really doing anything wrong and then she signs up for the race, she gets there, everyone around is nice. She starts the race and then mile two the race director comes at comes at her at her, leaps at her out of a truck and is like "What are you doing? Give me that number!" I'm sure it wasn't quite so clean even. And if you can imagine, you thought you were following the rules and then suddenly someone came along and was like you did everything wrong and the shame and the guilt that she felt in that moment, really made her almost want to quit. And she almost did. But she really quickly realized the opportunity that okay actually I need to finish this race of people believe that women can do it  and then soon after. That moment changed her whole life. Those photographers went viral as things could in, you know, the 1960s. And you know, she has since then become a true activist. And her entire life, now she's in her seventies. She has been one of the figureheads for the entire women's running movement. So it seems like the more quickly you can distinguish between the parts of if that are true failure or the parts of it that are kind of beyond your control and the parts of it that you can take and apply to something else in your life, the more success you can have in the long run.

Jeana: And just building off of that point, Cindy. You know, Maaria Mozaffar who is a political activist failed the bar five times. So she had this vision of this is what I want to do and I think that's something that a lot of our guests have had. It's like this intuition and this gut feeling of this is right and this what I want to be doing. And then any failure along the way is just a little hurdle to get over, a stumble to get over but that is worth it. And the converse side of that we're talking about is when the failure presents itself that shows that like maybe I'm in the wrong place. I've got to shift direction. There's like that intuition, gut telling you to move somewhere else versus whatever those stumbles are along the way. It's just making me stronger to get to that vision. Have you experienced either one of those, like that intuition telling you yes or that intuition telling you maybe no?


Cindy: That's interesting. That actually leads into my failure story a little bit. Because what I think of as one of my bigger failures in the past few years was the failure to give myself an opportunity that I felt like I should have. I am a freelance writer and I've collaborated on one book before. And I had someone approach me about writing a book of my own that had to do with running which is my favorite topic. And you know I was really excited about it. And I talked about it. And I worked with this person. And you know it got to the point where I had to make a decision and I got advice from other people. And I kind of, you know, wasn't sure because of some things that had to do with the business aspects of it. And I ultimately ended up turning that opportunity down. For reasons that were, some of them were really solid at the time and some of them probably were more related to fear and self-doubt. And, you know, I kind of walked away from it, I felt fine about it. And then they got someone else to write this book. And then when I saw the book come out, I had really severe emotional gut reaction that I was not expecting. It really caught me off guard. I suddenly started to feel like I had walked away from an opportunity that I would never get again. That it was just you know a totally wrong decision and that I had just blown it. I hadn't even given myself the chance to see what I could do with it. So again, you can't go back and fix the past. But what I learned from that was maybe I needed to trust my intuition a little bit more. That even though there are people telling me okay, you have these solid business reasons for not doing this particular thing. But sometimes your gut just has to kind of win out over that. And it also taught me that I really wanted my name on the cover of a book. And so you know, I took that and I pursued that and I collaborated with a new collaborator and now I'm working on a new book that will have my name on the cover and hers. And it's something that I'm really proud of and excited about. And I can't wait to see it come out. So, you know, it took some hard work and some tears to get there but I did feel like I was able to access that. And it did it was like a course correction and it taught me to that it maybe I did need to trust my intuition a little bit more and sometimes it's hard to do.

Maggie: That is like the epitome of resilience to me. We talk about resilience in the face of things happening to you and how do you recover, come back from them. And we talk about resilience when you make a mistake and then you have to kind of course correct from that. And then there's the kind of resilience where, you know, you don't act and then you have to kind of navigate the waters around what did or didn't happen after inaction. And I think these are all three different things that happen in our lives all the time but resilience is that thing. It is the ability to grow from it. To notice that time when you're in that churn, when you're in the struggle and not just passively think okay this will soon be over, this too shall pass. But to find the moments that you can learn from, to forgive yourself, immediate forgiveness for whatever has to be, whatever you have to do to feel right for yourself and by yourself. And then to move forward into a more positive place. And that can happen in a short amount of time, it can take years like with Lee Kemp. All of these stories, it's different ways that resilience comes about. But all of our incredible guests have this gut that I think is super strong. And I think that is the essence of resilience to me.

Kristen: Yeah, and to really hammer home one of the points that you just made. Jeana and I were talking yesterday about our failure stories and you know, what we were going to talk about on podcast today. And I was telling her, like my memory must just suck because I don't know what I'm going to talk about. Like I can't really think of a failure to choose. And I know I've definitely failed but I'm having a really hard time remembering specific instances. And she looked at me and she was like that's because your resilient. And that's a really interesting interpretation. That I honestly felt like a light bulb had gone off over my head. It was like oh, it's not that I've never failed. It's just that my perspective has shifted. And maybe resilience isn't something that you recognize in the moment or that can even happen right away. It's definitely a time intensive course of action. So Jeana, I know you've been reading about resilience a lot lately. And learning a lot about it.


Jeana: I'm sort of obsessed with it. So I'm going to read one sentence: "A pair of researchers found that resilience was defined most as the ability to recover from setbacks, adaptable to change and to keep going in the face of adversity." And that was reported in the Harvard Business Review. And what's most important about that is that it's all of the things that Maggie just talked about. It's setbacks, it's actual failure. It's things just not going your way. So I think failure can be defined in a lot of buckets. Choosing to see it as failure is one thing, choosing to see it as a course correction is another thing. I think I've always chosen to see anything going wrong as an opportunity. Which might just be my internal optimism but it also be resilience. Which you can also [...], which is very interesting. So Angela Duckworth wrote the book Grit, and she wrote a lot about gritty parenting, how to be more gritty yourself and how to just define your own grittiness. Her book Grit is worth a read. Resilience in general though is a big, big link to happiness. People who can go through setback and failures and find a way out tend to be happier, science shows that. And resilience is linked to happiness because it also tends to be linked to habits and outlooks that lead you to be happier in general. I know we did a full happiness mantra on the sweat working app linked to resilience. And we created what call the resilience toolkit. If you want to do this exercise at home, you can create your own sort of endorphin building practice that can help you mentally as well as physically pull yourself out of that moment of failure. And there are a couple other things that you can do we'll link to that sort of mantra building in the show notes too.

Maggie: And I'll just tack onto the last thing that you said Jeana. When you mentioned how it's resilience is linked to happiness because sort of the habits that you build. And I think there's another link to American Psychology Association that says that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. Because it happens everyday. So it's like creating the habits that you can trust. That you, that you will that work for you. Whether it is you know, just a workout everyday, a workout in the morning or workout at night, whatever routine fits your model best. That you can lean on when you need it. And it's like creating the tools like you're saying to build yourself back up when you're faltering. Because those ebbs and flows of life are constantly happening. And I should practice what I preach because I will let those ebbs and flows kind of affect me on a daily basis or on a weekly basis. That I think that's a place for me where I can start to hone those skills a little bit more is finding whether it's a mediation in the morning, or a walk without my phone. Taking the time, carving it out that would really help me build those habits and kind of insert resilience here.

Cindy: Right, because it's really easy when things are going well for you to kind of forget the habits that create your sort of coping reserves, right? And all resilience is, is having coping reserves that are greater than the challenges that you face. And recognizing that when those challenges outstretch your resources and your ability to handle them, that you need to reach out for help. But building those habits in every day and remembering to do that, even when we're feeling good I think is a great way to build up our stores of resilience. So that we can not only help ourselves but that we can help those around us when they're challenges outpace what they can handle at that moment too. I will say that listening to the stories of failure and resilience on We Got Goals and talking about them with you all has been just a treat and a really fantastic way for us to all think about and build our resilience too. So thank you all for sharing your failure stories and for being a part of this podcast today. And this podcast in general.

Jeana: Thank you Cindy.

Kristen: Thanks guys, it felt good.

Maggie: I'm about to go take a walk without my phone.

Cindy: Bold move Maggie. Thank you again.

Jeana: And stick around listener, after this you'll hear from a real life goal-getter taking about their goals and maybe their resilience.

Cindy: Hey goal-getters, Cindy Kuzma here. We have a special treat for you. Just like we have been having these past few weeks. It's a real-life goal from one of you, our listeners. If you'd like to record a goal and have it be featured on this very podcast. You can record an audio memo on your phone, on your computer, however you'd like to do it. And email it to me at Cindy@aSweatLife.com. You could be featured here on We Got Goals in the week ahead. Thank you so much for listening and here is one of your goals.


Kelly: My name is Kelly and I'm from Chicago. A big goal I've achieved in the past year is a career goal for myself. I left a full time job back in August working in the hospitality industry and I have a big passion for fitness and health. So I wanted to start my own company and I did so back in December. It the ultimate fitness experience and I actually have my very first client event next week. So I think a big part of that was being in a career for the past nine years, I was just ready for a big change. And I have this big passion for fitness and health. And I also want to help other people. So you've seen my kind of my contact list of my career skills from event planning and working the hospitality industry. I decided to combine the two of hospitality and [...] fitness and health in that industry. Because I think everyone deserves to take care of themselves and just make a better life for themselves. So working on that together and now the future is just adding more clients to the list and making a career for myself working on my own and maybe building a team in the future. So really excited about it, really excited about these career goals that I've put into this. You can find me on Instagram at KellySnyder_FitLife or FitLifeExperience is company and FitLifeExperience.com is the website which is actually still being built. But it will be up and running. And definitely find me on social media.

Cindy: This podcast is A Sweat Life Production and it's another thing that's better with friends, so please share us with yours. You can find us wherever you get your podcast including it now on Spotify. While you're there, if you could leave us a rating or review we would be so grateful. Special thanks to Jay Mono for our theme music, to all of our hosts for being our guests this week on this hostful episode and to TechNexus for the recording studio.