Failure is the path to success. If you’re not failing, then you’re not pushing your boundaries. The mantra, “failure is not an option” is folly. In order to learn a new skill and to expand your capabilities, you’re going to have to fail many, many times. And even once you succeed there will be a lot of room for improvement.
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
As you work toward a new skill, you will probably be terrible at it initially. Think of how many times an infant falls down before he finally stands on his own. Think of an infant’s first steps. Does she stride out confidently or are those steps wobbly and haphazard?
We’ve created a culture that makes failure a problem. Failure is only a problem if it doesn’t also bring you closer to your goal. You learn and improve in failure. So you didn’t get your chin above the bar for your first pull-up. But you learned that if you rotate your shoulders a certain way you can pull harder on the bar. You’re now closer to your first pull-up.
When you set your fitness goals, there will be many things you will struggle with. You’re going to fail many times on your path. But don’t let it get you down. It’s about your perspective. This is also why you should learn to love the process. I have a goal of doing a strict muscle up. I’ve tried many times to pull off some kind of muscle up but I’m a long way from a strict muscle up.
What I have learned over all my attempts is how to break down the movement of a muscle up so I can better train to get my first one. If I just got upset that I couldn’t do a muscle up and assumed it was impossible, then it would be. I talked yesterday about taking responsibility for your goals. This goes hand in hand.
If it’s something you really want, understand that it will probably be challenging and require sacrifice and commitment. Balancing skills come to mind immediately. There will be a lot of falling off the balance beam and wobbling around ungracefully when you start training these skills. But keep at it and the skill will gradually refine until your extremely accomplished.
Understand What Failure Really Is
When you fail at something, you should be happy. You just found a weakness. You’ve found the edge of your capability. The edge could be physical, mental, or emotional. Now that you know where the edge is, if you can figure out what created that edge you can work to push past that edge and create a new limit.
I used to love working on motorcycles and I was reading a book on motorcycle performance when I read a quote from someone that I can’t remember now. It said,
“The best motorcycle tuners in the world stand head and shoulders above everyone else because of the pile of broken parts they’re standing on.”
Don’t be afraid to fail. Push your boundaries, achieve your goals, and grow!