Years ago, when I was still smoking, I, like many others, had tried numerous times to quit the habit only to fall off the wagon and pick up the deadly habit again. I always felt defeated and discouraged and often hopeless after each failed attempt. Then one day I heard the then-President of Smokers Anonymous say something to the effect of, “Each time you unsuccessfully try to quit smoking, you are a step closer to kicking the habit for good.” Rather than seeing each “failure” as further proof that I was a hopeless addict, his words made those “failed attempts” something positive. I hung on to that hope and that positive stance until I finally quit for good 25 years ago. That lesson has stayed with me even today with other negative habits I have tried to break, weight I have battled to lose, or something I wanted to do that didn’t work out after first attempts. Each time I have a failed attempt, rather than throwing in the towel and considering myself a lost cause, I remind myself that every failed attempt to change the behavior or do the thing I want to do brings me one step closer to achieving my goal. It propels me forward and keeps me buoyant. So if there’s something you want to do, don’t give up. Keep at it knowing that your persistence and determination, including your failed attempts, will eventually pay off.
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