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Failure is Required to Succeed

September 17, 2012 –

I don’t like to fail. I just don’t like it. And it seems the older I get, the more I wince at the thought of it. Why is it that when we are kids, we have no problem with failing? Go ask a 5 year old to sing you a song, draw you a picture, play make believe, shoot a basketball, or run around the house as fast as they can. Kids don’t have any fear of failure. They show you their scribblings with absolute pride. To them it is the next “Mona Lisa”. But as we get older, we get more timid. We start comparing ourselves to others. We find our niche and we stick with what we are good at. We stick within our comfort zone.

However, the little secret in true success is that you must fail. In fact, you must fail alot. Here is a short little video on some of the most famous failures.

Failure is not something that is well accepted by society. Who applauds failure? However,  Success is hoisted up and you are hailed as victor over all creation. But the truth is that that person’s success was probably the result of countless failures.

When you are really training hard and pushing your body to its limits, you must fail. Going to failure is what makes your muscles grow. You need to push to failure. So if this is true for our physical state, why not for the other parts of our being?

The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If we want different results, we need to do something different. We need to break away from our conventional thinking and our daily routine. We need to break away from our…gasp…comfort zone. And then our brain tells us that if we do that we might…gasp again…fail. Well, let’s not do that then. Who would want to fail?

We  have countless examples of people throughout history who decided to step outside their comfort zone and fail over and over again until they finally succeeded.

When I first started P90X, I couldn’t do pull-ups. My whole life I have not been able to do pull-ups. And now I know alot of people who are much better at pull-ups than I am. But you know what? Now,  I am pretty good at pull-ups too. But I had to go outside my comfort zone and keep trying over and over and over again.

There is a veil between failure and success. Unfortunately, we don’t know where it is. Is it after the 5th failure? Or like Colonel Saunders, is it after the 1,009 failure? That’s right! Colonel Saunders heard “No” 1,009 times for his chicken recipe before someone said “Yes”. How many times would you be willing to hear “No”. I can tell you that my limit would be way before 1,000!

So remember that in all things you do, failure is not optional. It is required if you really want to succeed. You just need to persist long enough to step across that veil.


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2 Responses to “Failure is Required to Succeed”

  1. KimberlyB32 says:

    Hi Mike! This is a great post! I was giving this some thought earlier…for a few reasons – both personal and professional, so this really struck a cord with me today. On the personal level it is because I am starting week 5 of Lean Beast and have been really dialing up my weights to reach failure. I don’t like the feeling – but I know its good for me. I like being able to complete all of my reps – because completion is a sign of SUCCESS, right?! :) So, today I’m going to fail (at least a few times) during Bulk: Chest. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. All the best, Kimberly

    • Coach Mike Coach Mike says:

      Hi Kim! Completely Agree! Completion = Success. This is the same way my brain works. Need to retweak it to remember, I must fail to move forward! Are you liking Body Beast so far?

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