We have had some great weather here in Colorado the last few days, and lucky for me I have had lots of double workout days to enjoy the sun. I might have just enjoyed the sun a little too much as I am sporting a pretty nice burn with some great sports bra lines.
I've been thinking more this week about that crazy track workout I had last week. You know, the one that could be construed as being labeled A Failure of a workout.
We all know that we learn more from our failures, than our successes. It's pretty much cliche in the athletic world. What about "chalking up your failure to experience learned"? Have you heard that one before? Yea, you're not the first. I could go on and on with quotes about how we should learn from our failures. Why don't I?
“There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.” - Tom Krause
“Success builds character, failure reveals it”. - Dave Checkett
“A man may fall many times, but he won't be a failure until he says that someone pushed him.” - Elmer G. Letterman
Need I say more? Because I could... But you know, I think as athletes we all realize that the we need to learn and grow from our mistakes/failures.
Here's the deal. How? How do you actually take an experience that you were well intentioned in and dissect through it to discover the lesson? Usually when you are in the process of failing you are emotional making it difficult to remember what you were doing or how your body was feeling at the time. Just as our greatest successes are often hazy and hard to put together, so are our failures.
Taking a step back and trying to learn from a difficult situation is one of the toughest processes I have tried to negotiate through as an athlete.
Here are some steps that have helped me
- Start thinking...Review the situation with as much of a birds-eye view as possible.
- Understand the circumstances surrounding the event. Are you in a position to do your best or were there other things at work?
- Don't spend time justifying your mistakes. "It was so and so's fault because...". Just don't go there.
- Think about how you would have felt if you had succeeded, how about if you hadn't even taken the challenge that resulted in failure? What emotions would have surfaced?
- Try to pinpoint when the failure started to happen and think hard about what you were feeling at the moment. Play in your head how it could have gone differently.
- If the same situation happened tomorrow are you confident that you would or would not make the same mistake? If yes, keep thinking, if no, you have probably learned what you needed to learn.
- Don't stew. At the end of this process you should throw your hands in the air and say "That's marvelous, now I know". Keep a smile on your face.
Hope this helps!