Why Feeling Like You’re Failing Can Be a Sign of Success

You're doing hard things right now, the best you know how. That is success.

In this post: When something is hard, we can feel like we’re not doing it well. I’ll share why that isn’t true so you can shift your perspective and keep pushing through. Plus exciting news about an opportunity to do life coaching with me!


We are all doing hard things right now. Things we have never done before. We’re suddenly working remotely or teaching our kids, looking for jobs or serving on the front lines of a pandemic, doing video calls or standing in line for toilet paper, waking up to an empty house or one that’s suddenly so very full all the time.

In times like these, we can make the mistake of believing if something is hard then we must not be doing it well. But this isn’t true. Something can feel almost impossible and we can be doing it well at the same time.

I am an awkward runner—not gracefully athletic but more like an enthusiastic, uncoordinated giraffe. I have learned to accept this. I run anyway.

When I first started doing so, every time I felt out of breath, every time it got hard, I would tell myself things like, “You’re going so slow. You’re not doing a good job. This must be your worst run ever.” Then I discovered something: Every time a run felt especially hard, I ended up with a time that was my personal best.

The reality is, in the moments when we want to give up, when we feel weak and exhausted, when we think we can’t do it . . . we’re actually getting stronger.

We’re not tired because we’re failing; we’re tired because we’re fighting.

We’re not weary because we’re weak; we’re weary because we’re winning the battle to go to the next level in our lives.

I recently heard someone trained in neuroscience say on a podcast, “Get comfortable and even appreciate feeling frustrated and confused.” He explained confusion and frustration are the emotions we experience when we are learning and growing. Most people quit when they get to this point, he said, but on the other side of pushing through is the life we really want.

Now when a run feels hard I tell myself, “I must be doing better than before—it just doesn’t feel like it.” Let’s recognize effort and discomfort for what they are: signs of growth. In the place between what’s comfortable and what seems like it will surely kill us is often where we become all we’re created to be.

Research has also found shifting from self-criticism to self-compassion helps protect us from depression and anxiety. It increases motivation, energy, and the likelihood that we will persevere rather than give up. Being kind to ourselves isn’t weakness; it’s wisdom.

Let’s say this to ourselves today…

You’re doing hard things right now.

You’re doing the best you know how.

That is success.

– Holley


With all that’s going on in our world, I’ve returned to life coaching to help you make your hopes and dreams a reality. Now you can work with me personally! I’d love to help you take the next step toward the life you really want today. Get started now.

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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