Gym Lesson #1– Don’t Fear Failure

It is in failure that we grow both mentally and physically.  Reflecting on 2012, this is probably my favorite lesson learned, inside and outside of the gym.  My trainer drives this point home and celebrates in those moments that I cannot do one more pushup and have therefore collapsed.

fear of failure and dreams

Failure is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the lack of success”.  It seems like a terrible word and one that I would typically do all that I could to avoid.  In Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding”, he states, “Failure is not what hurts the aware: it is the fear of failure that most often gets in the way.  This prevents you from really trying hard, from releasing all your energies, from summoning up total motivation.  In fact, it often helps to seek out failure!”  Now that’s what I am talking about!

Have you ever let the fear of failure stop you?  Gosh, I have and cannot even count the times.  I am so self conscience and scared to look silly that I will not join into any event where I have to be in front of people.  This can be as small as the corn hole tournament at work or as large as competing on stage.  (I just read that line and thought, “How much am I missing in life because of this fear?”)

jkrowling failing quote

I can reflect on my life and name successes by a list of degrees, certificates, etc. But which events truly gave me the greatest satisfaction of achievement?  None were the ones that came easily.  It was the time something went wrong at work and I had to bail myself out by trial and error; it was the time that I cried at my dining room table because I simply couldn’t figure out some statistics equation; it was even after a failed relationship that I had to take a good look at who I was and assess if that was who I wanted to be.  It wasn’t the time I strutted into the gym and easily lifted the weight.  Instead it was the time that I simply couldn’t lift the weight and failed but didn’t stop.  Once I tried again (and maybe not on that same day) was when I knew I had just given myself a great gift.

It was a gift of perseverance.  It was the gift of not listening to anyone, including myself say, “You can’t do this”.  It was the gift of not letting failure stop me but instead it opening the door and leading to a greater success.

mj failure quote

With this gift I head into 2013 with plans to break those more intimidating and scary barriers!

“The satisfaction and confidence that come from stepping over your supposed limit is enormous, but it never comes to those who fear to test their limits.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding”

  2 comments for “Gym Lesson #1– Don’t Fear Failure

  1. December 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Great post, well said!! It’s so easy for us to embellish our own troubles and problems, which ultimately anchors/pulls us down in all of our ambitions and aspirations. “I can’t” can be so detrimental, just as you said, but through perseverance, encouragement, and positivity, we can all accomplish everything and anything we put our minds to; it’s just that first step of getting past our own worst enemy, ourselves.

  2. December 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Thank you so much. You have such an amazing way with words, I am honored by the compliment. When we open our eyes, it’s incredible to see what we are being taught.

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