I hope this post finds you well and that you’ve been enjoying some pretty spring weather!
East Texas (where I’m from) was hit hard with severe storms over the weekend, but as I write this, the weather couldn’t be lovelier – not a cloud in the sky and all the birds are singing.
It’s a wonderful metaphor for life, isn’t it? The storms, dark, fierce, and threatening, are what usher in the bright green grasses, the life-giving crops, and the bursting blooms. They make us stronger, more productive, and infinitely more grateful for days devoid of sinister gloom and thunder.
Last month, I shared a few of my top tips on how to ignite your fitness fire, and this week I’m back with another! But first, let me recap what’s been established thus far.
To ignite your fitness fire:
- Establish Clear Goals
- Don’t Just Think – Take Action
- Don’t Be Driven By Vanity
- Never Stop Learning
- Never Arrive
This month, I’m sharing a tip that I wholeheartedly believe is one of the most important because any time we let fear influence our decisions, we almost always wind up hindering our progress and extinguishing our fire.
Here’s the tip:
Don’t be Afraid of Failure
“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” – George Burns
Let’s face it. It’s human nature (unless you’re an adrenaline junkie) to stay put on terra firma where it’s safe. A fall from thousands of feet up can kill you, after all, whereas falling a mere few feet will probably just leave a few scratches. Most people never reach for the stars or walk out on a limb because the distance away from their comfort zones is just too great; the fear of falling – of failing – holds them back.
I posted a quote on my fitness-related Instagram account that says, “Every failure is a lesson. If you are not willing to fail, you are not ready to succeed.”
Failures are part and parcel of success.They lay the foundation of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding we need to realize the dreams fluttering around in our hearts.They fortify us with the character necessary to manage success humbly and gratefully.They teach us invaluable lessons which we will call upon in the future to ensure we don’t make the same mistake twice.
On-fire people know that there is no success, nor satisfaction, apart from failure. Therefore, they don’t see failure as a foe, but rather as a mentor figure, a Yoda or Mr. Miyagi if you will, whose job it is to rough us up a bit and instill in us the discipline we need to truly thrive and persevere.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan
This no-fear mentality applies to just about every area of life, including our fitness journey. I’ve seen fear of failure get the best of many people seeking to grow stronger and get fitter.
They fear they’ll throw in the towel.
They fear they’ll fail to reach their goals or meet others’ expectations.
They fear sore muscles and new eating patterns.
All in all, they fear they’ll disappoint themselves and, if they have one, their workout partner or trainer.
The truth is, anyone who’s ever set out to become fitter has failed in one way or another.
I tried Zumba for a week and “failed” miserably in that I was a terrible dancer, utterly hated it, and wasted money by not continuing to go despite having paid for a month’s worth of classes. In CrossFit, I’ve failed multiple times in multiple ways. I’ve quit during workouts because I grew mentally fatigued and frustrated. I’m still trying to get cleans and bar muscle-ups down, and I’ve been doing CrossFit for almost six years!
Failing at something doesn’t mean you are a failure. On the contrary, it’s evidence that you’re a pursuer, that you’ve pushed yourself, that you’ve tried something new. It’s also a sign that you’re headed in the right direction.
We only truly fail when we quit for good. When we stop trying to improve and reach our goals.
For me, I will fail if I refuse to try to take on new challenges. I will fail if I habitually allow a bad attitude to cut my workout short. I will fail if I let negative thoughts and fear-based decisions get the better of me.
This month, I encourage you to let go of the fear of failure and instead embrace faith for the journey.
Becoming fitter mirrors our spiritual walk in many ways, one of which is that it requires us to welcome the good with the bad, the easy with the challenging, the pleasures with the pain. All of it is being used to shape us mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Failure isn’t something to be afraid of. It’s something to be prepared for, certainly, but never feared. Humbly accepting failure and not allowing it to embitter and harden us, but rather teach and soften us, is a major part of growing as human beings and children of God.
As C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” They don’t stand in the way of our goals and dreams; they’re stepping stones to reaching them.
What has a fear of failure been holding you back from lately? I encourage you to spend a few minutes praying about it, and asking God to remove that fear and lead you back toward a life propelled by confidence and faith and trusting obedience.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”- 2 Timothy 1:7
I hope you’ve found this post helpful! What are you going to change this week to fan your fitness fire? Reply to this email or tweet me at @dandersontyler and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
If you need some extra motivation and fuel for your fitness fire, check out my Perfect Fit books, available in both print and e-book formats here on Amazon!