I was lucky enough to attend an Of Monsters and Men concert yesterday evening. (It was fan-bloody-tastic by the way. Can I move to Iceland? Please?) So after a relatively short nights sleep (my body clock is tuned in to early starts at the moment) I awoke feeling particularly lousy. On days like today I always experience a fleeting moment when I’m tempted to lie in bed and generally feel sorry for myself, however that is rarely a good solution. Instead I jumped, no that’s a lie, half rolled/half fell out of bed and shucked on my running gear. If exercise – and/or good food (note I didn’t say junk food there) – can’t perk you up then I don’t know what can. You’re probably expecting me to say I had a wonderful run and came back feeling on top of the world and very smug and righteous. Well I didn’t. It was a tough run. Some days your body just don’t want to work. My legs were stiff, I got a stitch, which I pride myself in rarely experiencing, and for some entirely inexplicable reason my stomach blew up like a balloon. All of those factors culminated in one of the most uncomfortable runs I have done in a long time. But did it dishearten me? No. If at this point you’re starting to wonder where on earth this crazy girl is going with this ‘story’, please bear with me!
You see, it didn’t matter that I didn’t beat, or even match, my personal best. What was important was that I got out there and tried. Sure, it doesn’t feel nearly as good as those days where you feel as though you are flying along, but it you shouldn’t allow it to ruin your day. Take it in your stride and move on. Certainly don’t put off your next run because of it (I am most definitely guilty of doing that in the past, though I don’t like to admit it).
The same goes for attempting to use up ingredients near the end of their tether. It’s a brilliant feeling when you get things right, and produce a tasty dish. But at the same time there’s no reason to be disheartened if your attempt dive-bombs miserably. It can’t, or rarely can, be worse that the original product especially if it is almost past it’s prime. And it’s highly unlikely that you will poison someone. The main thing to keep in mind is that you actually made the effort to use ingredients that were soon to be destined for the garbage. Not everyone does. It’s very easy to take food for granted and toss things out when you’re scared they might be going ‘icky’, particularly if the product was cheap.
The other day I decided to try something new with old, bruised bananas. Unfortunately the cookies turned out a bit too chewy, tough and pretty flavourless. Buy hey, I learnt from it! I now know which elements of that particular recipe works and which don’t. And if I had to choose between a mushy brown banana and a chewy cookie lacking in strong flavours I would still choose the latter.
It’s okay to be disappointed, and it can be frustrating when your efforts appear to have been for nothing. I’m not denying that. But don’t give up. Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from trying again. And again. It doesn’t have to be the same recipe – there’s nothing wrong with trying a new one! The best way to overcome fear is to persevere until you realise that there is actually nothing to be apprehensive about. As Emma Watson wisely said “it’s not the absence of fear that makes you strong, it’s learning to overcome it”.