Tag Archives: failure

Your Failures are Behind You — Move on

16 Apr

“What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

At some point, we’ve all experienced failure.  None of us succeed at everything we do, all the time.

And one of the major obstacles to success — one of our biggest fears in life — is fear of failure. It’s the main reason that prevents us from realizing our full potential and achieving our goals. Fear of failure paralyzes us, limits us to our comfort zones, prevents us from moving forward in life, and hinders our chances of success.

Face it… defeat is a bitter pill.  There aren’t too many things that make us feel worse than facing failure. Failure often leaves us feeling bitter, miserable, and depressed.

It’s easy to see why most people are afraid of failing. We prefer to play it safe by remaining in our comfort zones and avoiding any risks. But playing it safe can also be detrimental. It takes us out of the game. When we choose to forgo potential opportunities and push ourselves into mediocrity, we restrict ourselves, preventing us from realizing our full potential.

Failure is a matter of perspective. We tend to think of failure as the opposite of success. But failures are actually the stepping-stones of success. Nothing worthwhile in life has ever been achieved without a series of failures.

We learn by trial and error.  Experience — the rewards and consequences of our actions — is the ultimate teacher, and our mistakes are a considerable part of that equation.

Successful people make mistakes… they fail.  But they don’t give up. Instead they stay the course. They overcome their fear of failure and are quick to learn from their mistakes.

There’s an endless list of examples of people who, despite facing defeat, did not give up on their dreams. They succeeded in overcoming their fear of failure.  Failure did not keep people like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Abraham Lincoln from achieving their goals and becoming extraordinarily successful.

Overcoming our fear of failure is a necessary step toward the achievement of our goals. Successful people are not the most intelligent, most talented, or blessed.  They are just ordinary people who view failures as temporary setbacks on the road to success. They are successful because they have developed the ability and willingness to learn from their mistakes, move out of their comfort zones, and take calculated risks.

Don’t allow fear of failure to prevent you from working toward your goals. The “secret” to success is not avoiding failure, it’s having the persistence and perseverance to overcome failure, learn from your failures, and use that learning to improve yourself.

“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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By Failing to Prepare, You Are Preparing to Fail

20 Jan

smb_081022_gjw_practice[1]“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Successful performance requires purposeful preparation.  This is true in school, sports, business, and life.  As an athlete, your preparation should be year-round, and include sport-specific skill development (for example, basketball ball-handling and shooting); strength and conditioning; and nutrition.

Sport-Specific Skill Development

The first step toward improvement is gaining an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses (I like to refer to them as “areas of opportunity”).  If you have access to video footage of your games, watch it — video doesn’t lie.  Sit down with your coach and have a discussion about what he or she thinks you do well and the areas in which you can improve.  Your goal should be to become a better all-around (complete) player.  The more you can contribute — on both sides of the ball — the greater your value to your team.  You want to be an asset to your team when you’re on the field or court… not a liability.  Don’t get caught up comparing yourself to teammates and/or opponents.  Focus on self-improvement — be better today than you were yesterday.

Strength and Conditioning

Improvements in strength, speed, agility, and athleticism can only benefit you as an athlete.  A strength and conditioning professional can help you develop a plan that is tailored to your needs and goals as an athlete.  Your strength and conditioning plan should be periodized, with phases to address the off-season, pre-season, and in-season.  Generally, as your sport-specific activity increases, your strength and conditioning activity should decrease (taper), and vice-versa.  Your strength and conditioning plan should also be progressive, gradually increasing in intensity over time to ensure improvement.  Don’t take the in-season phase off — it’s important to maintain what you’ve developed!

Nutrition

Learn how to fuel your body for optimum performance.  You can refer to several of my previous blog posts that discuss the importance of breakfast, pre- and post-workout nutrition, and sports performance nutrition.  Don’t underestimate the impact proper nutrition can make — it can affect your metabolism, energy level, and mental focus.

Goal Setting

It’s important to set some challenging but attainable (realistic) goals.  You’re probably not going to go from being a 50% free-throw shooter to an 80% shooter, overnight.  It’s fine for your ultimate goal to be 80%, but set incremental goals along the way.  Develop a plan (in writing) that incorporates lots of purposeful practice and repetition.  Decide how you will measure success, then align your plan with — and channel your efforts toward — your goal.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

15 Jan

failure[1]“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei  Ueshiba

“Success is 99% failure.” – Soichiro Honda

“I  can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not  trying.” – Michael  Jordan

There are lots of inspirational, motivational quotes on the subject of failure — more than I can include in this blog post.  If you view success as a process (and I do), and not aresult, then failure is a step in that process.  If you’ve ever tried or worked at anything, you’ve experienced failure.  No one gets is right the first time, every time.  Since failure is an inevitable consequence of effort, you’ve got be willing to learn from it and deal with it. Remember, in baseball, the best hitters “fail” 70% of the time; in basketball, the best shooters “fail” 50% of the time. The most important at-bat — or shot — is your next one.

Here are some tips to provide perspective on dealing with failure:

  • Change your point of view; don’t view failure as negative. Think of it as a learning experience that will help you grow and improve.
  • Separate the action from the person —  just because your efforts didn’t meet with success doesn’t mean you are a failure.
  • Realize that not everything is under your control. Understand what you can control, and what you can’t. Impact/influence what you can, to the best of your ability, and don’t stress about the rest.
  • Take some time to reflect on what have you learned, how you will improve, and what you will do differently next time.
  • Avoid blaming anyone or anything else. Be accountable and consider what you could have done differently.
  • Don’t get caught up worrying about what others say or think. Believe in you. Stay positive.
  • Have a plan and write it down. Be specific about goals and action steps.
  • Try again… don’t give up. Give 100% effort; work hard and smart.
  • Be patient. Change takes time. This, too, shall pass.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

When the Going Gets Tough…

2 Feb

the_fox_and_the_grapes_by_alexmax-d4ys8zz[1]You’re going to encounter some adversity.  You’re going to experience some hardship.  Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but it’s inevitable.

Recently, I’ve had some challenging (and enlightening) discussions with a few student-athletes that reminded me of Aesop’s “The Fox and the Grapes” fable:

     One afternoon a fox was walking through the forest and spotted a bunch of grapes hanging from over a lofty branch.

     “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he.

     Taking a few steps back, the fox jumped and just missed the hanging grapes. Again the fox took a few paces back and tried to reach them but still failed.

     Finally, giving up, the fox turned up his nose and said, “They’re probably sour anyway,” and proceeded to walk away.

The moral of the story: It’s easy to despise what you cannot have.

When faced with adversity in their sport of choice, there are some kids (and, perhaps, parents) who apparently feel that it’s better/easier to give up than continue working to improve.  I hear comments used to justify quitting, like, “There are more important things in life than sports,” and “It’s not like I’m going to be a professional athlete.”

Of course there are more important things in life than sports — and very few of us will become professional athletes, but that doesn’t mean sports aren’t important.  Using that argument, you can rationalize any shortcoming.

You can make a case that there are also more important things in life than school — studying, doing homework, getting good grades, ACT scores, etc.

I suppose there’s also more to life than working — learning a craft, managing some aspect of a business, earning money, etc.

At any given time, you can add just about anything to to the “there’s more to life” list: faith, friends, family, and any other obligation/responsibility — or choice — you care to name.

I find it ironic that you rarely hear these types of comments from people who are committed to succeeding.  Certainly, they also know that whatever they’re doing is not necessarily the defining aspect of their lives.

What these folks have learned is that success is not only about the end result.  True success is also about the process.  It’s about learning and practicing and working through adversity.

What do you do when the going gets tough? Do you rationalize failure or do you strengthen your resolve and work harder?

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Your Failures are Behind You — Move on

30 Jun

shutterstock_42835210[1]“What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

At some point, we’ve all experienced failure.  None of us succeed at everything we do, all the time.

And one of the major obstacles to success — one of our biggest fears in life — is fear of failure. It’s the main reason that prevents us from realizing our full potential and achieving our goals. Fear of failure paralyzes us, limits us to our comfort zones, prevents us from moving forward in life, and hinders our chances of success.

Face it… defeat is a bitter pill.  There aren’t too many things that make us feel worse than facing failure. Failure often leaves us feeling bitter, miserable, and depressed.

It’s easy to see why most people are afraid of failing. We prefer to play it safe by remaining in our comfort zones and avoiding any risks. But playing it safe can also be detrimental. It takes us out of the game. When we choose to forgo potential opportunities and push ourselves into mediocrity, we restrict ourselves, preventing us from realizing our full potential.

Failure is a matter of perspective. We tend to think of failure as the opposite of success. But failures are actually the stepping-stones of success. Nothing worthwhile in life has ever been achieved without a series of failures.

We learn by trial and error.  Experience — the rewards and consequences of our actions — is the ultimate teacher, and our mistakes are a considerable part of that equation.

Successful people make mistakes… they fail.  But they don’t give up. Instead they stay the course. They overcome their fear of failure and are quick to learn from their mistakes.

There’s an endless list of examples of people who, despite facing defeat, did not give up on their dreams. They succeeded in overcoming their fear of failure.  Failure did not keep people like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, and Abraham Lincoln from achieving their goals and becoming extraordinarily successful.

Overcoming our fear of failure is a necessary step toward the achievement of our goals. Successful people are not the most intelligent, most talented, or blessed.  They are just ordinary people who view failures as temporary setbacks on the road to success. They are successful because they have developed the ability and willingness to learn from their mistakes, move out of their comfort zones, and take calculated risks.

Don’t allow fear of failure to prevent you from working toward your goals. The “secret” to success is not avoiding failure, it’s having the persistence and perseverance to overcome failure, learn from your failures, and use that learning to improve yourself.

“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.” – Mia Hamm

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

By Failing to Prepare, You Are Preparing to Fail

8 Feb

smb_081022_gjw_practice[1]“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Successful performance requires purposeful preparation.  This is true in school, sports, business, and life.  As an athlete, your preparation should be year-round, and include sport-specific skill development (for example, basketball ball-handling and shooting); strength and conditioning; and nutrition.

Sport-Specific Skill Development

The first step toward improvement is gaining an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses (I like to refer to them as “areas of opportunity”).  If you have access to video footage of your games, watch it — video doesn’t lie.  Sit down with your coach and have a discussion about what he or she thinks you do well and the areas in which you can improve.  Your goal should be to become a better all-around (complete) player.  The more you can contribute — on both sides of the ball — the greater your value to your team.  You want to be an asset to your team when you’re on the field or court… not a liability.  Don’t get caught up comparing yourself to teammates and/or opponents.  Focus on self-improvement — be better today than you were yesterday.

Strength and Conditioning

Improvements in strength, speed, agility, and athleticism can only benefit you as an athlete.  A strength and conditioning professional can help you develop a plan that is tailored to your needs and goals as an athlete.  Your strength and conditioning plan should be periodized, with phases to address the off-season, pre-season, and in-season.  Generally, as your sport-specific activity increases, your strength and conditioning activity should decrease (taper), and vice-versa.  Your strength and conditioning plan should also be progressive, gradually increasing in intensity over time to ensure improvement.  Don’t take the in-season phase off — it’s important to maintain what you’ve developed!

Nutrition

Learn how to fuel your body for optimum performance.  You can refer to several of my previous blog posts that discuss the importance of breakfast, pre- and post-workout nutrition, and sports performance nutrition.  Don’t underestimate the impact proper nutrition can make — it can affect your metabolism, energy level, and mental focus.

Goal Setting

It’s important to set some challenging but attainable (realistic) goals.  You’re probably not going to go from being a 50% free-throw shooter to an 80% shooter, overnight.  It’s fine for your ultimate goal to be 80%, but set incremental goals along the way.  Develop a plan (in writing) that incorporates lots of purposeful practice and repetition.  Decide how you will measure success, then align your plan with — and channel your efforts toward — your goal.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

6 Feb

failure[1]“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei  Ueshiba

“Success is 99% failure.” – Soichiro Honda

“I  can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not  trying.” – Michael  Jordan

There are lots of inspirational, motivational quotes on the subject of failure — more than I can include in this blog post.  If you view success as a process (and I do), and not a result, then failure is a step in that process.  If you’ve ever tried or worked at anything, you’ve experienced failure.  No one gets is right the first time, every time.  Since failure is an inevitable consequence of effort, you’ve got be willing to learn from it and deal with it. Remember, in baseball, the best hitters “fail” 70% of the time; in basketball, the best shooters “fail” 50% of the time. The most important at-bat — or shot — is your next one.

Here are some tips to provide perspective on dealing with failure:

  • Change your point of view; don’t view failure as negative. Think of it as a learning experience that will help you grow/improve.
  • Separate the action from the person —  just because your efforts didn’t meet with success doesn’t mean you are a failure.
  • Realize that not everything is under your control. Understand what you can control, and what you can’t. Impact/influence what you can, to the best of your ability, and don’t stress about the rest.
  • Take some time to reflect on what have you learned, how you will improve, and what you will do differently next time.
  • Avoid blaming anyone or anything else. Be accountable and consider what you could have done differently.
  • Don’t get caught up worrying about what others say or think. Believe in you. Stay positive.
  • Have a plan and write it down. Be specific about goals and action steps.
  • Try again… don’t give up. Give 100% effort; work hard and smart.
  • Be patient. Change takes time. This, too, shall pass.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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