Failure: Advice from a Super Bowl Champ
No one wants to fail. We all want to be successful at what we do, however, we are all only human and must realize failure is a part of life. Without failure we could not have growth. The important point to make here is how we deal with failure. As I see it, there are two ways to deal with this crisis.
The first way to deal with failure is by allowing it to become a starting point for a complete breakdown in belief in oneself and what one can accomplish. Such a breakdown affects us both physically and mentally. While the physical effects are bad enough, it is the psychological effects that can have the greatest toll on our being. Failure causes us to see ourselves as not being able to cope with the situation, and thus doubts about our abilities begin to grow. Furthermore, anxiety, depression, fear and other negative feelings enter our thoughts and actions. This way of dealing with failure will ultimately take us down the road to constant defeat. It is a road marred with ruts and pits that, if left unchecked, becomes an abyss from which we will never be able to climb out.
The second way to deal with failure is to consider it an opportunity to discover what we are made of, what caused this debacle and realize it is a part of life. An important lesson to be learned with failure is that we all have weaknesses and will all fail many times in life. Rather than agonize about failure, we must rise above the circumstances causing this problem and be determined to overcome the foibles of failure to reach again to attain success. Failure is an opportunity to achieve character growth. It is a chance to test yourself against a devastating happening, climb out from the abyss to reclaim a belief in self, and move forward in building a life of confidence and success. There are no guarantees as to how many times failure will appear in our lives, but one thing is certain, it will occur. Our job is to look at failure as a prelude to improve, a way to build and a way to continue the path to growth.
Perhaps there is no other field of endeavor as fraught with failure as sport. Every time an athlete enters the arena of competition, the possibility of failure is present. A great piece of advice comes from Nick Foles, the 2018 MVP quarterback of the NFL Eagles, “Don’t be afraid of failure.” Fear can only bring you down and open your mind to the possibility of failure, which only increases the likelihood of failure occurring. Instead of fear and failure, concentrate on the task at hand. Mentally, an athlete needs to be totally consumed by what they are doing and only what they are doing. Contemplating failure at any time during competition will lead not only to a poor performance, but a lack of self-confidence in the future.
Once the athlete realizes that failure is only a temporary state, progress towards success is not far behind. Even though failure is always just a step away when performing in a competitive event, the athlete should never give in to failure. There is always room for evolution, perseverance and believing in oneself. Even if the athlete does not meet all of their dreams, they can be proud of the fact that they did not give in to the foibles of failure, but instead continued to pursue success and grow even when failure seems so pervasive.