Before we talk about failing let’s talk about a major win:
Love Grown re-stocked our granola cupboard and both BIlly and I were jumping up and down singing our favorite granola song (that we made up one night when we were really tired) and talking about all of our future delicious granola and milk dinners for the next few weeks.
Today is another day that I decided sleeping in was way more important than running, like WAY more important. As I was hanging out at my desk during a break I started to dread my run after school. I could not figure out why… I love the endorphins, the temps are going to be nice and cool, my legs feel ready to run and my Jay-Z and Kanye album is waiting to be listened to.
I thought about it more and realized that I was not looking forward to my run because of the fear or failure. I was thinking about the possibility that I might not actually get out and do my run, maybe I wouldn’t finish and turn around early or call my mom to come pick me up and go for froyo instead.
Sometimes I don’t sign up for races that I want to because I worry about failure, sometimes I don’t write about something I have been dying to talk about because of the risk of failure and sometimes I don’t reach out to someone that I want to because I am worrying about not being liked back. Why are those things a problem…why does our fear of failure and not being good enough hold us back? (Below quotes are from Mind Gym.)
“The bottom line is you can’t be afraid to fail.”-Jerry Colangelo
“Really it comes down to your philosophy. Do you want to play it safe and be good or do you want to take a chance and be GREAT?”-Jimmy Johnson
“The fear of failure, more than any single thing, keeps people in sports, and in all avenues of life, from realizing their full potential. Fear of failure prevents more of us from succeeding than any opponent. Fear creates the conditions that keep athletes from winning.”
“Fear makes you play safe. Fear makes you play small.”
“Where does the fear come from? Oftentimes behind the fear of failure is perfectionism.”
“Procrastination is a part of perfectionism in some people. Those who procrastinate don’t do anything. By not doing anything, they can’t fail. It’s an inhibiting, self-defeating cycle.”
I love reading and learning about the mental psychology behind sports because I learn so much about myself and why I do the things I do. Judging from the quotes above, my idea that I might not be PERFECT at something means that I start doubting myself and telling myself that I can’t and when I don’t do something perfect I don’t try it again for the fear of falling again.
I don’t know about you but I think a lot of runners are perfectionists. Our splits, miles, pace, everything has to be perfect. But what if it’s not?
“Do you know how gemologists tell a fake emerald from a real one? The fakes are perfect. Real emeralds have flaws. None of us is Perfect.”
We don’t have to be perfect (or anywhere near perfect), it just isn’t possible. If we continue to let that critical voice bring us down when we fall behind and don’t reach that mark of perfection we will just continue to get down on ourselves and fail more and more and therefore fear failure even more.
On the other hand…
We will never do anything great in our life if we just keep playing it safe. If you don’t challenge yourself you will never know what you are capable of. What does that mean? It means we just TRY AGAIN and learn from our mistakes. To become the best YOU, reach beyond what you think you can do.
Try out that speed workout that you read about that scares you, run with that group of ‘FAST’ runners that have been begging you to join them, run up that hill that you didn’t think you could and heck turn it into a hill repeats workout. Let’s say you don’t hit that split that you wanted or have to walk up half the hill…that doesn’t matter, you will learn from it and become a stronger runner and get one step closer to reaching your FULL POTENTIAL.
“Look at fear as a natural part of growing and learning. People who succeed aren’t afraid to fail. Failure can be a better teacher than winning. Learn how to fail successfully. Hate to fail but never fear it. Learn to view failure as feedback.”
What about you… Does failure hold you back from being the best athlete/employee/student/spouse/friend/neighbor?!?! Does fear make you play it safe?
Do you think you are a perfectionist? How do you try to overcome that mentality?
Favorite flavor/add-ins of granola and favorite thing to eat it with?
What workouts do you FEAR the most?