14 Dec You Will Fail, but You’re Not A Failure

failure is an event, not a person

Do you fail? Are you a failure?

Congratulations if you’re reading this article, as it likely means that you fail! You fail because on occasion, it’s an inevitable outcome of striving to learn and grow.

I Fail Every Day

On a routine Friday afternoon, I had my usual lunchtime workout with my personal trainer. In the middle of the workout, he had me do 4 sets of 15 repetitions with my most dreaded exercise: Bulgarian single leg squats with dumbbells. During the third set, I failed to achieve 15 reps.

My trainer said, “These are tough, aren’t they?” I breathlessly squeaked out, “And that is exactly why I hire you.” I thanked him for making me fail at least once during every workout. I told him that I may fail, but I’m not a failure. He looked at me with surprise and said, “Wow. I’ve never looked at failure like that before. I’m going to use that to help motivate my other clients.”

Failing Is Short-Term, Failure Is Long-Term

Later that afternoon, I had a major aha moment. The more you fail, the more you grow. A great leader will challenge you to fail in order to help you grow. I want my trainer to help push me past my limits.  Experiencing failure in order to grow goes well beyond the gym and encompasses many areas of life. Failing helps you to stretch yourself beyond your own limits. This doesn’t, however, mean that you’re a failure.

Failing is a bump in the road. Failure is an outlook. Failing is getting uncomfortable daily. Failure is giving up forever. Failing is constructive feedback. Failure is crushing defeat.

Click to Tweet: Failing is temporary. Embrace it. Failure is permanent. Exclude it. @derekdeprey #movetogrow #shiftbook

The Opportunity to Keep Trying

I’ve failed often.

During my first time rock climbing, I failed to reach the top of the wall because I’m afraid of heights.  I am not, however, a failure. I had tried and managed to make it over halfway up the wall. Nothing worthwhile will ever come easy. Try again.

During my 12-week muscle-building program, I failed to complete weeks 2 and 4 because I was “so busy.” I’m still not a failure. I had the opportunity to extend the program and redo weeks 2 and 4. Setbacks are inevitable. Find the root cause and bounce back.

After a cardiovascular workout, I failed to clean the pieces of exercise equipment that I used because I wasn’t focused. In fact, I even received a “Suggestion Card” from a customer that said, “Mr. GM, You need to clean your equipment, too!” I’m not a failure. I’ll never forget to wipe down the equipment that I use ever again. Embrace your mistakes. Learn from your fails.

During a hectic month, I failed at blogging for 3 weeks in a row. Again, I am not a failure. I wrote zero articles for the first 35 years of my life, and 40 articles in the past year. Change your perspective. Stop being so hard on yourself.

I failed at getting one of the key endorsements that I wanted for my book. I’m not a failure. I ignored the people who said, “Those people will never help you.” I decided to be a happy loser. I received one big yes for every two nos. Take action. Do ‘It’ Afraid!

Reaching Your Highest Potential

I failed to finish my book by my 36th birthday. By April 14th, 2017, my 37th birthday, I will celebrate the publishing of my book, SHIFT: Move from Frustrated to Fulfilled, with a live and virtual launch party. Don’t quit! How close are you to “success?”

Your Proudest Accomplishment

Write down your proudest accomplishment. Think about your journey to achievement. Did you fail along the way? I sure did, and still do. Mistakes are inevitable. The best things that happen are often the most difficult. Thomas Edison once said, “I haven’t failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

There Is No Manual for Life

Failing will always be a part of your life. The key is in how you react to failure. Embrace the rough draft of your life. Just as you overcame your “fails” to achieve your proudest accomplishment, use that same positive attitude to overcome the obstacle that is standing in the way of your next one. Regret is worse than failure. You have the ability to break through that wall. You’ve done it before. It’s time to do it again.

So what if you fail?

ACTION: Think about the next “big thing” that you want to accomplish. Write down all of the negative consequences that might occur if you fail. Now, write down all of the positive outcomes of succeeding at the task at hand. Next, compare and contrast both lists. Does the success of accomplishment outweigh your fear of failure? If so, welcome the fear and take action so that you can ultimately live the life of your dreams. 

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