When you fail, two things can happen. You can sit there depressed asking God why did this happen, complaining it’s just not fair. Or, you can be motivated & driven to improve so much more than you ever thought possible. You probably looked at this picture and thought, “This guy seems like he’s in great shape, where’s the failure in this picture?” Well, two things happened in my eyes recently. Number 1, I entered an SNBF Men’s Physique competition in the best shape of my life. Number 2, after placing 2nd two years in a row, I placed 6th this time around in my 3rd year competing with this organization. Did that beat me up? Yea, it got to me for a few days. I’m competitive as hell, and I don’t train for 2nd place, let alone 6th! But hey, this year was a learning experience. I told myself before entering this show, win or whatever I placed, I’m proud of the body I built this year. That’s all that really matters.
When performing or doing anything, failure is just as much of an option as succeeding. Failure is ok. Everybody fails! Top level athletes, successful entrepreneurs, parents, kids, teenagers, and adults all fail at some point in their lives. A natural consequence of taking action is failure. No one is perfect. And if you’re looking to be perfect, it’ll never happen. You’re not Jesus!
People don’t want to be associated with failure. No one wants to talk about it. Usually, when people hit some sort of success we want to celebrate it. We can put them on a magazine cover, share them on a Facebook status, or call our friends & talk about it. The list goes on for the amount of excitement we want to deliver to everyone. You can be afraid to fail, or you can be willing to fail. When you’re willing to fail, you believe in yourself and you know success will eventually come. If you never take the shot, you’ll never score the goal. If you never make the risk, you’ll never reap the reward. If you never take action, you’ll never reach your dreams.
I would have thought that in the past two years, I was really training hard. I did push myself, I lifted heavy, I ate a lot of food, I gained weight and I also leaned back out. But for me, my view of this physique competition as failing to win was the driving force I needed to take my physique even further. I know there’s more I can do going into 2015 that I didn’t do in 2014. I know now exactly what I need to do to improve. I’m a personal trainer. I educate my clients on making better food choices. I teach them how to exercise safely with proper form while having fun. (You wouldn’t believe it, but sometimes my clients and I laugh when grinding through our hardest reps! We’re having a good time!) Competition always takes my body to another level. It brings out the best in me. When I’m in the zone, this spills over into my client’s lives. They see my drive and dedication. They see the persistent effort in building a healthy body. They want to feel, look, & perform better. If I’m at my best, I can show & tell them exactly how I did it. It’s easier for them to believe it can happen when they are witnessing someone make a transformation right in front of their own eyes.
The next time you experience failure, accept it. It can linger for a few hours or even days. Kick it to the curb shortly after that, and move forward. Learn from your mistakes. Apologies are not given by failure. The harder you fail, the greater you can become. Experience makes you wiser. See it as a challenge. Let it encourage you. Have it make you stronger. Don’t be afraid to fail. The ladder of success is for those who want it bad enough and do whatever it takes for however long it takes until they achieve it.
For all of you fitness buffs, I’ll leave you with this motivational video by one of the all time greatests in the sport of bodybuilding. (But not greater than the Legend and best of all time, Frank Zane!)