As of late I have watched a lot of successful people fail. I have watched my favorite lifters miss lifts, I have watched one of my athletes bow out of a race, and I have seen my own failure in many of my training attempts– and I could not be happier.
I am thrilled at the idea of failure. I don’t enjoy watching an athlete fail, I enjoy watching the attempt to get back up. The attempt at success following failure is what makes the athlete. The determination, the will, the burning desire to get that lift, complete that race, move on past that failure to success is the part that makes failure all worth while.
Success is not what makes us better; completed lifts and won races do not make us want it more. Instead, it is what we have not yet achieved that pushes us past our current level. We cannot expect to grow in a lift, a sport, or life without going through some sort of failure, without getting to a sticking point, without falling in a rut. If it was as easy as saying you want it, we would all be elite level Olympians and no one would have health problems.
Why would you go into the gym and continue to do what you are comfortable with day after day, never adding more weight on the bar, never trying to get faster, never trying a new skill or pose? This in and of itself is failure. It is the failure to want to be better. It is the failure to grow and evolve into something more, something you could become if you just put yourself out there and failed. You have to look at failure as a fork in the road, you have two possible options. 1) You accept that you have been defeated and take the clear path looping back around and losing all ground you have gained to find something new that you think will be easier for you to obtain. 2) You take your failure as a lesson, you overcome the obstacle lying in your path, you learn from mistakes made or functional errors, and come out a better athlete.
So when you find that sticking point, when you miss 70% of your lifts, when you bow out of a race, don’t let it hold you back. Let it push you–because success is just around the corner. You are at the tipping point and if you quit now, failure has won.
“You never truly fail until you stop trying”. Think about this as you go into the gym today, let it motivate you to be better than you were, and know that your hiccups today will make you better tomorrow!