Failure affects us all.
How we handle failure and what we do as a result is what makes the difference in our lives, now and forever. Or until we change.
Success is a mindset. So is failure.
Which holds sway in your life? Changing your present and future can be as simple as changing your mindset. That’s the first step and it’s as close as your next decision.
For entrepreneurs failure can mean the life or death of a business.For your career, it can be the difference between promotion and excelling versus stagnation and dissatisfaction. For relationships, failure can mean unresolved issues that cannot be discussed calmly, without emotions interfering. Lack of resolution can lead to the dissolution of relationships, for these nibble away at chunks of affection and dump them as inverted roadblocks to relational harmony.
Thankfully we all make many mistakes. Yes…thankfully. Ask any successful entrepreneur and he will tell you he’s learned more from his mistakes than successes. Can you relate? We’ve all made mistakes experienced as failure. It’s goes with the territory called life.
The difference is our attitude toward our mistakes, and subsequent actions. How we view and respond to failure makes the difference in the course our lives take, the success we enjoy and how we feel along the way.
“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to, failure.” John C. Maxwell, in Failing Forward
In her book, Mindset, Carol Dweck cites research on how those most likely to succeed see mistakes as puzzles to solve and limitations to overcome. They are motivated to discover why they failed so they can work to get it right. Those who see failure as something to shrink from, reduce their chances of success and are more apt to become increasingly overwhelmed at every obstacle they encounter as they go through life. Dweck calls the first group: Growth Mindset and the second group, Fixed Mindset.
Failure is the fuel that can feed success. In fitness, failure—working our muscles to fatigue and failure—is what’s needed for muscles to grow. Sprinting in high intensity intervals or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is required for our cardiovascular capacity to expand and for our bodies to release the human growth hormone (HGH) that stimulates muscle growth and helps skin and body retain it’s youthful suppleness.
But what is it that many of us do when we make a mistake? What do you do?
The most typical reaction is to deflect, defend, and shrink back…to contract into ourselves in a defensive or defeatist posture. Yet, we don’t start out that way.
Little kids are not afraid of making mistakes…until they are taught to be. Think about a baby becoming a toddler. As they’re learning to walk they falter, fall, and fail many times before they’re independently able to walk and then run on their own. Then, when they do walk and run, how do they feel? We know because we can see it on their faces and in their entire body language: they’re delighted, exuberant, pleased and triumphant, (which leads to the terrible “terrific twos”.
Then they go to school and are taught to fear failure. We all were. It’s sad, but true. Getting a ‘D’ or ‘F’ on a report card is bad. Teachers tell us so. Parents tell us so. Failing is just not acceptable. Time to unlearn and un-teach that one, don’t you agree?
In Mindset, Dweck describes the ‘Growth Mindset’ as embracing challenge and the Fixed Mindset group as resisting and avoiding challenge.
So looking at yourself, where in your life do you feel defensive or resistant? Are there any failures that you’re shrinking away from or maybe even avoiding facing or admitting? If so, start there. Start with the first one that comes to mind and begin to unravel it like a Rubik’s cube or Sudoku puzzle. In other words, look at it with intrigue and inquiry. Approach it with the mind of an objective problem solver; such as you might do if your best friend came to you for advice about the same kind of issue you’re facing. If they did, what would you tell them?
Start there. If you need help or guidance, and would like to schedule an appointment, contact me; serving you would be an honor. Coaching@MyTrainerFitness.com