I believe that it’s important for people to realize that failing is not a terminal condition. Failing is a process. How we interpret failures and act upon them ultimately determine if we persist in, and exist in, failure; or overcome our temporary obstacles to become a success.
- What do I mean by “failure is a process?”
Failure is not a permanent condition unless we let it become a permanent condition. Let’s look more specifically at “physique failure.” This is a condition in which you feel like you look terrible; your workouts and your diet just aren’t going anywhere. You may even lapse into a period during which you get depressed, gain weight, lose motivation, and generally get “de-conditioned”.
You could choose to persist in this mode for a while. But, instead of staying in failure, you can try again, perhaps with a different approach. Your new approach and some tenacity may help you to succeed. But if you think of failing as a terminal condition, you’ll never get to where you want to go.
I’ve mentioned the term, “failing forward” which I have borrowed from author, John Maxwell and is taken from his book of the same title. It’s an excellent book, which I strongly recommend. Maxwell stipulates, “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”
When achievers fail, they see it only as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. And, it’s not personal. Because you encounter a failure, you, yourself are not a failure. Faced with adversity, rejection, and failings, winners continue to persevere despite setbacks, and this is how they become winners, by refusing to think of themselves as failures. There is no famous person, nor anyone that has achieved anything of significance in any field, that has not failed at one time or another. It’s how they have dealt with failure that has made them a success.
Never tell yourself, “I am a failure.” Instead, tell yourself, “I have failed at something. But, I am going to do something about it.” There is simply no achievement without failure. The question is not whether you will have problems, because you will; it’s how you deal with your problems when they arise that will determine your lot in life.
Sure, sometimes we have curve balls thrown at us by life. But, it is how we deal with those curve balls that makes us or breaks us. Some see the glass as half full, others see the glass as half empty. The real path to success is in always looking for the opportunity in the inevitable little failures along the way.
I akin it to the process of taking two steps forward, then one step back. We’re going to fail from time to time (i.e., one step back). But as long as we don’t view failure as permanent, we try again and accomplish (two steps forward). The end result is that we continually make progress. We continually improve ourselves. And, by improving ourselves, we find the happiness that we’re looking for.
The Lean Body Coach and Lean Body Challenge
Over the last six years, I have sent out over 300 editions of my e-newsletter, The Lean Body Coach, to over 60,000 readers worldwide. The Lean Body Coach is a wealth of training and nutrition information that I share freely with my members. In return, I ask them to spread the word, turning others on to the LBC and helping others get into great shape. I have become a “fitness evangelist” trying to convert others into fitness evangelist also.
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Every year, I invite my Lean Body Coaching Club members to enter the Lean Body Challenge. The Lean Body Challenge is the world’s first Internet-only physique transformation contest. The competition is broken up in categories organized according to age group. We get people from all walks of life—everything from bodybuilders to newbies. The neat thing is that entrants compete against themselves to see how much improvement that they can make.
After the results of the Challenge are in, I post the winners, their stories, and their pictures to the Past Winner’s Page. I like to share motivating “Success Stories” with my readers to fire them up.
The stories I like the best are those of people who have made it by overcoming incredible odds. Often times these people are at a point in their lives where they could just throw in the towel and give up on themselves. But they don’t. They respond to failures differently than most people, and go on to become successes.
Now, my question to you is this: what if these people had, after their first failure, simply thrown up their hands and said, “I quit!”? The answer: they would have become a statistic. They would have become part of the hapless majority that is perpetually “lost.” They would truly have become what we call, a “failure.”
Your Lean Body Coach™