On Failure, Taking Risks, and Building Resilience

Hi everyone! I’ve been feeling some pain in my hip again ever since last Monday’s treadmill run. In times like this, I wonder if I should take it easy or if I’m just making excuses and should just go outside and test my legs out.

I’ve been struggling emotionally/spiritually with this injury (and other past running injuries) because I think I didn’t experience much failure growing up, and thus, didn’t have much of a chance to build up resilience and grit. I 100% believe that grit is the biggest factor in determining success. The winner will pick herself back up, no matter how many times she falls, while the loser remains on the ground.

I’ve been thinking a lot about taking risks, building resilience, and gaining mental toughness this year. After all, we spend so much time on physical well-being (exercising regularly, eating healthy, and getting adequate sleep), that I think we forget to spend time on mental health.

I have a hard time writing because I want my blog to be perfect. I want my posts to be meaningful and insightful! I want my readers to nod in agreement, that I’m able to put into words their own thoughts and feelings. And I want my writing to be funny and entertaining! I have difficulty publishing my posts, because once I do, it’s all out in the open for the world to pick apart and scrutinize.

A lot of this goes back to my resistance to risk. My parents raised me to be practical, to never speak up or question others, to never rock the boat, and never stick my neck out. They came from a different generation and cultural background, growing up in China in the 50’s and 60’s. They never quite understood “chasing the American dream” or why I pursued running so passionately in high school. They always encouraged me to take the safe route.

And it makes sense. When you grow up in a time where food was scarce and the future was uncertain, of course you need to take the safe route in order to survive. Well, I grew up in a very different time and place, where in order to succeed, I’d argue that you need to take risks. That if you don’t, you succumb to a life of mediocrity at best.

I’m trying to take more risks, with writing, with running, with my career, with my relationships. Risks, as in the ones where you go for it, in spite of fear or failure, not the ones where your safety or well-being is in danger. Nope, none of that. I’m trying harder to clarify what it is that I want, what are the steps I need to take to get there, and what are my obstacles.

I’m trying harder to not be so scared of failure. It’s only a regret if you never learn from your mistakes. And in time, I hope to build more grit and add to my emotional resilience.

Thank you for accompanying me on this journey!


Have you experienced running injuries lately?

Anyone else feel like they were raised to be follow “the safe route” and avoid risk?

What are ways you use to develop mental toughness and resilience?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.