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“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

There’s a sort of taboo that revolves around the word or idea of “failure.”  However, in the sport of CrossFit–where we’re constantly exposed to new elements of fitness–and essentially in our lives, it’s something we have to learn to make friends with and appreciate from time to time.

Here are a few thoughts about failure…

FAILURE is an event.  When there is a moment where you have deemed yourself unsuccessful or sub par, it is not because you have necessarily failed.  Okay, so you didn’t make a lift, or you didn’t PR; you didn’t necessarily fail, but you just didn’t meet the goal or expectation.  Adjust those expectations and learn from the event.  You know next time what you are capable of, and you will come back at it stronger and smarter than the first time.

FAILURE is subjective.  We’ve all heard of the “glass half full vs. glass half empty” philosophy.  A similar philosophy applies to what one might think of as “failure”.   Either it becomes the ceiling on your potential–for the rest of the WOD, day or week–or it becomes a hurdle that you keep your eye on for jumping over in the next go-around.  Don’t let failures hinder you; use them as a fire to keep you going.  Foster a growth mindset, not a fixed one.

FAILURE is necessary.  On the contrary, if we thought that we were always 100% successful at what we did, we would always be content with mediocre outcomes.  Sometimes allowing yourself to admit that an event, an experience was a complete flop will help you reflect on what needs to be done, and what needs to be changed.

Fear not the failures that will happen.  It’s inevitable in life.  We’re human, and we’re also our biggest critics.  Be mindful about balancing what pushes you to keep going in the box, or in life.  Reflect on your progress and process.  Set the bar higher, and keep aiming for success…even if you come across a failure.


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