Have you ever had the feeling that things were going too good? Not just regular good, but good to the point where it didn’t feel like you were living your life anymore? If this were a typical day in the life of you, the big fail beast would be racing down the street at a breakneck speed to trip you up before you started to get too full of yourself.
That’s what went down in my life this week. Since last check-in, I’ve been 100% compliant with my workouts and nutrition with no struggle at all. I was so on point with everything that I was within 1lb of my goal weight 5 days ago.
But then it happened. On purpose.
I failed in a big bad way, and I loved every minute of it.
After a pretty decent workout, I decided to go on what will go down in the history books as a roaring rampage in the supermarket. Mac & cheese? Yes please. Cookies? Don’t mind if I do. Cake? Oh you’re far too kind! I still got in my regular amounts of fruit, veggies and protein, but when all was said and done I consumed over 5,000 calories. I was bloated and groggy for the rest of the day, and I wondered how bad the damage would be the next day.
Plus 7lbs from the day before. Perfect.
I know that it seems asinine to purposely mess up a good thing; that would be like stopping to do the James Brown 5 yards short of a game winning touchdown, but let me explain. It’s easy to be upbeat and positive when life is filled to the brim with sunshine and unicorns and you’re knocking out your objectives with a 1990s Mike Tyson level of ferocity, but what happens when you make one little mistake that deviates from your master plan?
You stumble. You begin to question your abilities and your resolve to achieve what you set out to do. You may very well even pack it up and call it quits right there.
If you’ve never seen a grown man beg then prepare to be stunned and stupefied because here it comes: I beg of you NOT to do this.
As with many things in life, looking at a situation in a different way is sometimes all you need in order to overcome it. Instead of treating failure as something that marks the coming of your doom, view it as a tool that will bring you closer towards success, even more so than always staying the course.
It’s inevitable that you’re going to one day fall short of the mark that you set for yourself. You’re going to miss some workouts, you’re going to not finish your product by the deadline, and you’re going to screw up on the path to greatness – a lot. You’re not perfect and if you were life would be no fun to live anyway, so it’s best to accept this fact right now because it leads to the next, most important piece: The horror of failure isn’t in the act of falling, but staying there.
When you find yourself down there on the floor of life, ask yourself this question: Will this kill me?
If the answer is no, which it always is, then stop feeling sorry for yourself, stand back up and start moving. Don’t put it off for later, because later never comes. Do it then.
Falling shows that you’re a human with faults.
Staying down shows that you’ve allowed yourself to embody and become those faults.
Getting back up again and again shows that you’re not going to allow these moments of imperfection to define and guide you; you’re better than that and you’re gonna prove it by moving forward and succeeding.
You learn more about yourself in failure than you ever will in victory, and failing on your own terms is one of the most powerful tools that you have at your disposal. By doing so you condition your mind to become that of a winner so that when the real thing comes you don’t even have to coax yourself to get back into the game, because now it’s automatic. – you’re back on your feet before your right buttcheek even hits the floor.
You’ll have trained yourself through experience to know that the world won’t end if you falter. As long as you choose to rise and continue to move forward with a purpose, you will get there. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably sitting on the ground, nursing their wounds as they watch you walk by.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
– Samuel Beckett
So, faithful readers and comrades, when have you failed and how did you handle it? Did you rise, and if so how awesome did it feel?
Photo Credit: Mykl Roventine