How To Approach Failure: A Fuel for Success

Written By - Matt Michaud 

For many (if not most) of us, the path to success in fitness, health and sport is anything but sunshine and rainbows. It’s an endeavor full of peaks and valleys that takes time, discipline and determination. We've all seen that person in the gym that makes it look so easy! They can knock out a million pull ups in a row, do 50 burpees in the same time it takes you to do 10 and they finish the Metcon when you still have 2 rounds to go. You see all this and ask yourself "Are these people even human?" or "Will I ever be that fit?"
While there is such a thing as natural talent, it generally isn't all encompassing and has it's limitations. As distant as it may seem, the reality is that most of the exceptionally fit started out just like you and I. Chances are that the ones that are the fittest in your gym had to embrace and overcome an enormous amount of failure to get where they are. It's what these people generally do when faced with failure that helps them keep reaching for the top of the ladder of health, fitness and sport. Below you'll find some helpful points to consider when facing failure.
Embrace and anticipate failure, don’t fear it.

We all have things we are talented at, and we all have things that we like to do. These things are in our comfort zone. They make us feel good. We tend to lean on these things. Then there are the things we aren’t good at and don’t like to do. We avoid these like the plague. Instead of dodging or being anxious of these things, go after them head on regardless of the anticipated result. The more time you spend with the things that make you uncomfortable, the more comfortable they will become. It wont happen overnight, but you will probably end up surprising yourself in the end.

Find A Lesson In Every Failure.

Failure is a great teacher and the best way to check yourself. Not only will it give you a hard realization of where you stand physically, it will allow you to internally evaluate your thoughts and ideas and can give you an idea of what you actually want. Failure allows you to be honest with yourself and shows you where we can improve. Even if you don’t like the results, you can learn from it. When something doesn’t go the way you hoped or wanted, you should ask yourself how you can use the experience to guide you to your next step.

Don’t be Embarrassed If You Do Fail

Not one of us are perfect. It’s okay to fail.. we all do it in some capacity daily.  You are never alone here. Sharing your failures with others and receiving their feedback will help you realize that.  Putting forth a solid effort is always commendable, no matter the result. I guarantee that those around you will be incredibly impressed with how hard you tried, even if the outcome isn’t what you wanted.

Focus On Progress, Not On Perfection.

When faced with something that is outside of your comfort zone, ditch the negative thoughts. Set goals for improvement, not for perfection. Be clear on what drives you and use your progress to reclaim a positive outlook when you do fail. Approach everything that you do with a purpose and a plan.

Like it or not, you are likely to be faced with failure somewhere along your journey with health, fitness and sport. If you embrace and anticipate failure, learn lessons when you fail, aren't embarrassed to fail, and focus on progress instead of perfection you'll be amazed at how quickly your journey changes for the better.

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