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Why Do We Fail? And Why It’s OK.

Posted in: Sports Nutrition  on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Do you drive or are you driven? And, when you are driven to do something and you fail, how do you respond? Ask any successful person and they will be the first to admit that their drive for success was related to past failures.

We all can look back and recall instances where we failed at something! How did we react to the failure? What caused us to fail and how did we recover? Did we use this situation as a learning tool to improve our circumstances or did we throw in the towel and walk away?

People don’t normally set out to intentionally fail. It seems that while the goal and the intention may be strong, outside interferences seem to work their way into the equation and wreak havoc on our best laid plans. Here are some identifiable traits that can lead to failure if not recognized up front or addressed.

Lack of Purpose. You can’t expect to be successful if you don’t have a main plan or a definite goal to aim for. I see so many people who somewhat decide on a goal then kinda/sorta take aim and halfheartedly begin their quest to achieve their goal. The end result? Zilch.

Lack of Ambition. If you can’t muster up the oomph to achieve your goal or get ahead in life, then success will be scarce and failure will dominate.

Lack of Self Discipline. I read somewhere once that, “If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” Discipline begins with self-control. Competitive athletes, like myself, deal with this daily. If you can’t control the negative thoughts that are lurking around you and within you, then it will be tough to manage conditions that lead you to success.

Procrastination. One of the most common causes for failure. Many people will wait for the “right time” to do something worthwhile like, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow.” If you continue to procrastinate, there will never be “the right time!” There is always a boatload of excuses to delay pursuing a goal, a desire, or a dream. Don’t wait! Use the resources you have at the present to get what you want for the future.

Lack of Persistence. Failure cannot compete with persistence. Many of us are good starters but end up being lousy finishers. Why? Because, we are prone to give up at the first signs of resistance or defeat. There are two lessons we can learn from being persistent. One, there is at least one reason why we fail, and two, we can rebound from that failure with persistence. I recently won my IFBB pro card. It took me four years to accomplish that task. Finally, at 60 years of age, being persistent finally paid off!

Long term, we need to see failure as a lesson in order to grow individually. We initially set goals hoping to change ourselves for the long term. Those goals are set destinations, showing yourself and the world, who you want to become and what you want to achieve. Failure is a part of this process.

Being able to recognize a failure just means that you will be more prone to reevaluate and make better decisions, turning that failure into something more likely to succeed the next time! Take that failure as constructive criticism! Don’t let that voice of uncertainty whispering in your ear deter you from chasing dreams or pursuing goals!

Allowing yourself trial and error phases will eventually bring you success and peace of mind. Staying true to yourself, believing in yourself, and not beating yourself up when things don’t go as planned will always triumph over failure in the end. It worked for me and it will for you, too!

By Helen Fritsch, IFBB Pro