” Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
When I was in my teens, I had a serious case of perfectionism and an almost crippling fear of failure. I allowed my fear of failure to run my life and ultimately lead me down a path of self-defeat and constant anxiety.
In school if i couldn’t write an essay that was perfect, i wouldn’t hand it in, i would cry over my grades in school if they weren’t up to my standards. If my body wasn’t in perfect condition or my muscles weren’t perfectly defined i would allow it to consume me in a very negative way.
When I played soccer, i had a performance fear and if I didn’t score or i let the team down I would be overwhelmed with feelings of being a failure. I had my fair share of ups and downs, attempting to train for a figure competition and not being able to go through with it and being disqualified from my first boxing match. When i started my first personal training job, I was told that my skill set wasn’t up to par with what the company was looking for. My ego took quite a beating, I took all of these experiences and began to see myself as someone who just can’t get it right.
After some years of living in this way, I decided I had enough and I knew that in order to grow as a person i had to embrace failure and take it as a learning experience. It wasn’t until 2 years ago, that i really had to dig deep and force myself to confront my biggest fear which was FAILURE.
The biggest step that I took was taking the entrepreneur route and starting completely from scratch. I thought to myself, if I made it through failing many times at building the body I want, overcoming an eating disorder and taking myself out of a very abusive relationship, then I can certainly build a successful business.
I didn’t realize the importance of failing hard and picking yourself back up again in order to succeed.
When I work with my clients, I coach them and teach them to accept failure as part of the process when achieving their fitness goals. It is inevitable that you may fail at some point on your fitness journey. Sometimes you may not follow your meal plan 100%, you may eat strict during the week only to end up bingeing on the weekend. You might fail at running 10 mins on the treadmill and only make it to 5 mins, that’s ok. You might not get the right form or be able to push out 3 more reps during the training session, that’s ok.
Why Failure is a good thing:
1) It builds character – To fail and persevere gives us depth as individuals and our character grows. We learn, we understand and we become empathetic.
2) Failure spurs our creativity – When i first started the business, I had a few failed bootcamps and marketing strategies, this forced me to try different methods and see what works. When I was told by my first boss that my training skill set was mediocre, i studied different styles of training until I found what I could do better to service my clients.
3) It teaches coping skills – It would be a lie to say that failing is easy. If it were easy, everyone would be able to bounce back and recover quickly. But to fail and learn to cope with it, to get up and try again is truly admirable.