Accepting failure may be one of the hardest aspects of life. If you’ve ever failed at something you know what I’m talking about. You feel horrible, you maybe feel depressed, and you’re friends may only make matters worse by poking fun at you and talking about it. But I’m here to tell you to GET OVER IT. Quit feeling sorry for yourself. Failure happens, it’s part of the game. Maybe your “big shot” friends have told you that they’ve never failed. But there’s no way that’s accurate, and if it is, that only means that they aren’t pushing themselves hard enough. If you haven’t failed yet, good for you, but if you have I want to share some of my advice on how to cope with losses.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed in life. Whether it be a disappointing hockey season back in high school, coming up a point short of an A on a big final, missing the game winning shot, not hitting a new PR, not breaking a plateau, missing the biggest buck I’ve ever seen, not losing or gaining a pound, or being sent down from Varsity to play JV, I have failed and continue to fail. But failure is what has put me where I am. If I wouldn’t have failed over and over again, I wouldn’t be here writing to you, I never would have had that burning desire to get in shape.
So how do you get passed the failure? First, you need to get over it and admit that you have failed. This may be the hardest part for some people but let go of your ego, failure is something that no matter how well you prepared, can still happen. What comes next is what separates the nobodies from the achievers. You need to use that anger, that frustration, that “hate” to get yourself up and convert that madness into sheer effort. “The wolf climbing the hill is hungrier than the wolf on the top the hill.” –Arnold. You may have not succeeded today, but you now have an advantage going into the next competition, you know what it feels like to fail and you know that you never want to have that feeling again. Use that feeling, remember that feeling, carry it over into your training and use it to motivate you to be better next time.
Everyone, at some point in their life, whether they admit it or not, has been knocked down -has failed. But not everyone has the strength to get up and fight back. People may tell you to “put it behind you” but I say keep it with you, remember that feeling you had when you failed and use that feeling as motivation to keep pushing. Go get it.
Jack Burdick is majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and along with hisweightlifting workouts, he competes in marathons and ultra-marathons (50 mile races) and is looking to earn a Cross-Fit title or to be recognized with The World’s Fittest Man title which is reserved for an ultra endurance power athlete.