How to Deal with Mistakes
I write this article today, having gone through a number of difficulties in the past week, specially becoming injures and trouble with sticking to my diet. To be honest, it has taken a toll on my overall focus and drive to consistently make progress with the brand, in the gym, and with what I see in the mirror. Knowing that there will be mistakes, you can even call them epic failures, within your daily life is a battle many of us choose to ignore. Let's be frank, it is uncomfortable admit your failures and struggles not only to yourself, but also to your family and peers.
Let's begin with an example of a mishap this week...the injury to my leg. This happens to be a rather chronic adductor injury that flairs up several times a year, especially when I really begin to overwork it. It is something that often creeps into the back of my mind during strenuous workouts that can even effect my overall performance in the gym, more specifically, when lifting legs.
The injury often happens following an intensive workout paired with a night of restless sleep. (Apparently, I move quite erratically in my sleep, which can sometimes lead to waking up feeling like had just been in a street fight.) So in this case, I had woken up with a fair amount of soreness in my leg, which immediately caused me to prepare for the gym in a very cautious manner.
I spent the vast majority of that Saturday morning foam rolling, warming up, and making an conscious effort to properly hydrate. Having began to feel a bit better, I made the decision to hit the gym to try and struggle through the routine. Although I continued to warm up once I had arrived, during the very first rep of my first warm up set, I felt the throbbing pain shoot down my leg. I knew what I had done.
Before I had even began lifting, I knew there was a high risk of becoming injured that day. I thought about it on the entire way to the gym. I could've easily took the day off and just swapped my routine around to make things work...but I was dead set on progress. I had to pay for my decision.
In my opinion, you can typically look at a failure in two separate perspectives, the "What-If's" and the "Now-What's".
Going into the workout that day, there was a chance of me becoming injured, it was something I was very aware of as well as something I accepted. I was willing to take the risk.
At the same time, there was also a chance of making it through the workout uninjured given the fact that I had prepared accordingly with previous times I have injured myself. Although it my be seen as a gamble, I can honest say that I put myself in the best position that I could for that day given the circumstances.
Having injured myself, I have to be completely honest and say that I wasn't all that immediately devastated. I went to bed that night knowing that I had done all that I could in order to have a successful day other than take the day off, a move in which I saw to be a sure ticket to stagnation for the day. There were no "What-If's". I now have a better insight into knowing my limitations when I am presented with a similar situation.
Now this scenario may seem a bit drastic to some, I even admit it may seem somewhat irrational. However, I feel as if I am better for it. This principle can be applied to nearly any challenge you may face in your lifetime. Going to bed each night without the weight of the "What-If's" my be one of the most rewarding feelings a person can have. In the end, you will experience significantly less doubt in that you have lived your life to the fullest, one decision at a time.
As you may have noticed, eliminating the "What-If's" may be a stepping stone to continuously making progress in your life, but it comes at a price. Even in the most prepared situations, there is always the chance of failure. This is where the "Now-What's" come into play.
Continuously pushing your boundaries will, in turn, come with a lot of failure along the way. That often leads individuals with feelings of doubt and misdirection. These are the same feelings that caused me to slack off on this blog, and let the injury become such a distraction that my diet suffered as well. I didn't ask myself the most important question..."Now What?"
Asking that simply question after experiencing a failure is the first step to effective dealing with mistakes. Not only does this reflection provide valuable insight to prevent future failures, but it also may provide you with additional opportunities you overlooked.
After asking myself the question of "Now What?", this is the insight I was given.
- Although I may be recovering from the injury, I have the ability to share my insight with others to help prevent them from experiencing/help them overcome a similar situation.
- I know have a better idea as to what my limitations when I find myself on the brink of an injury.
- I have new information on how to properly prepare and recover from this nagging injury, with intentions of completely eliminating it in the future.
- I now have an article I can read that will hold myself accountable in order to prevent future time wasted due to dwelling on an unfortunate incident.
I hope that those reading this have a new insight as to how eliminating doubt in your life as well as learning how to deal with you mistakes. Whether its a tragic life event, a diet slip-up, or the fear of conquering a new adventure, I know you are capable of overcoming the task. I wish you nothing but progress and success in your future.