We trudge around day to day consciously and subconsciously creating a “safe” life and experiences to ultimately avoid both. Fear creates anxiety. Failure (as defined by self), fosters doubt.
And if we’re completely honest with ourselves, fear of failure has at some point leashed us to our comfort zone like a dog. Unable to move. Unable to explore the possibility of success. Unable to genuinely feel the power in our ability to overcome.
It’s unfortunate, and yet so common.
Sadly, this permeates every aspect of our lives. I see it in the gym more than you’d imagine, and I literally fight the urge to shake my clients by the shoulders.
It’s as though I am literally watching them slowly submit themselves, efforts, and drive to a lie. A lie, which ironically they have defined for themselves about failure vs. success in the gym. More often than not, people draw a line in the sand. One side is success, and one is failure. There is no between, no gray area, just an extreme high and extreme low. Try as I may, the difference between the two is often preconceived notions already formed by my client about what it means to succeed in a workout.
Let’s briefly explore this idea…
One of my favorite quotes starts with “Success is a self-satisfaction…”
I absolutely believe that. At the end of the day, despite noted accomplishments, we lay our heads down and either feel satisfied or disappointed in our performance. That is our reality. Accurate or not, its emotional grasp on our motivation to move forward is tight enough to be momentum forward or completely hold us back. Thus, the goal is to have a healthy and accurate perception of our personal abilities, potential, and vision of what progress looks like. Truth is, progress IS success. We cannot neglect victories along the way for the sake of long-term focus. Why? Because those smaller successes catalyst greater ones. They fuel our fire when we need it the most.
In addition, we must understand that STRUGGLE is necessary.
I’ll never forget the day a woman fought her way through a set of pull-ups, completed all 10, and then looked at me and apologized.
What?!?! I was blown away. She said she was sorry because it was “hard” and she “struggled.” I have to admit, I laughed in her face…(just before I explained I was in no way disappointed and we needed to have a come to Jesus meeting about what it meant to struggle in the gym). STRUGGLE develops your STRENGTH…physically and mentally. It is a necessary part of the journey that may take various forms from person to person, but still an unavoidable and beautiful opportunity to grow.
Bottom line: Experiencing success in the gym is completely contingent on our willingness to give ourselves over to the opportunity to do so.
It is in those moments of fearless struggle we are forced to exert strength, and daringly move forward into a greater self. Expect it to be hard, but expect to give everything. When the genuine belief you are capable collides with the effort to conquer, success IS your reality.
Notice I did not define “failure” in the gym.
There is no such thing.
The only failed workout is the one that doesn’t happen.