ASAP Training Step 1

We all want to recover from failure and disappointment quickly, but we can only do that if we’ve trained as hard mentally as we have physically. The purpose of ASAP Training is to build mental memory in the same way we build muscle memory.

It’s simple, yet it can be really challenging. But just like any workout, if you work these 4 steps every day, I guarantee you will get stronger.

STEP 1. ACKNOWLEDGE FAILURE

The first step to Maximize Failure is learning to acknowledge the feelings of disappointment in the moment and never shrugging it off as unimportant. We all experience some type of failure, daily. While these disappointments are often minor and completely overlooked, these small failures can teach us so much about the strength of our mental fortitude and resilience.

As athletes, most of our life experiences are defined as wins or losses, failures or successes. Instead of trying to change this natural competitive nature inside of you, let’s work with it.

Change the way you define failure from something you did wrong into something you want to come back stronger from.

When we can transform the way we view it, failure can become a tool to help us grow. Failure (and growth opportunities) can be seen in situations, choices, feelings, and just about anything outside of our ideal outcomes.

There are three types of failure that affect us differently and, therefore, all require a different approach to recovery. By identifying the failure type, you can jump start recovery by applying tips & tactics that are prescriptive for that specific type of failure.

3 TYPES OF FAILURE
Hurdle, Shortcoming, & Loss

In Defense club, we explore failures by asking ourselves:

  • How does this failure affect me?
  • Can I can get an opportunity back by turning the failure into success?
  • Do I have control over the situation?

Here’s the catch:
The same exact situation might fall into one category for a one person and another one for a different person… it all depends on the bullet points above. Let’s learn more by defining each type.

Hurdles
These are challenges you face, hardships you may or may not have seen before. These hurdles impede your ability to move forward and achieve your goals. It takes confidence and tenacity – the very best you can offer – to overcome them.

A Hurdle might seem like the type of failure we can get over the quickest, but this is also one that can start wearing on us if we feel like we are consistently failing at the same hurdle.

Some examples of hurdles we face in our lives are:

  • Social anxiety
  • Slump
  • Lack of confidence

How they affect us: Hurdles challenge us to adjust our current habits. We can train to be better or let ourselves be consumed by how these make us feel.
Can we turn failure into success? Yes. (And I want to help you do this!)
Do we have control? It may feel like control is out of our hands, but perspective is everything when facing a hurdle. You have the power to change the outcome.

Ways to recover from a hurdle:

  • Practice at your weakness so that you build your confidence
  • Forgive yourself for your failure and build yourself up with positive self-talk

Shortcomings
No matter how much effort you put into it, shortcomings simply can’t be transformed into something you can change. In order to achieve your goals, you have to find new, unique ways to work around your limitations.

Disappointment in our skill level or lack of traits can be a source of anger or sadness. Maybe you have compared yourself to others and just don’t possess what other successful people have… and that gives the impression that we are shorthanded. Whether we can reason away if this feeling is warranted or not, whether it is self-inflicted or driven by societal norms, we can’t just wish that feeling away.

Dealing with our shortcomings is part of life.

Being aware of our weaknesses also makes understanding our strengths that much more important.

Maybe your way around a shortcoming will be taking time to develop a new way to look at yourself or at others. Maybe your way around will be to put yourself in a situation where your shortcoming won’t affect you as much. As athletes, giving ourselves the option to change our situation can feel like a failure in itself. Changing teams, changing your standards for your performance, or changing your role on a team may very well make you uncomfortable in the short term. But this is an opportunity to put yourself in a position to succeed, allowing you to achieve overall mental wellness – the most important in recovering from a shortcoming.

Stop giving power to anyone else’s definition of who you are and how you operate. YOU are the one that frames your expectations and what you will put value in. Choose a framework that lifts you up instead of tears you down.

Examples of Shortcomings:

  • You’re smaller than all of your teammates
  • Lack of a support system at home or growing up
  • Physical or mental disability

How they affect us: They make us feel less worthy than others or less capable.
Can we turn failure into success? No. We need to learn to develop another definition of success.
Do we have control? We have control over our perspective and staying away from a “victim” mindset.

Ways to recover for this failure:

  • Redefine what it means to move forward
  • Build your mindset towards your strengths instead of your weaknesses

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Loss
It’s gone, whatever it is: a championship, mentor, opportunity, friend, or scholarship. There are all types of loss. Facing a loss can be devastating and leave you feeling powerless, stuck, or broken. The finality of what it means to lose someone or something can be the hardest type of failure to recover from.

Our goal is to limit the amount of damage a failure can do to us by responding to it in a way that helps us learn and grow. You might feel pain and a lot of different emotions, but training your responses can help to limit the amount of time you are suffering with those and speed up your time healing.

The important thing to know is that there is no wrong way to feel about loss.

No one can tell you that your feelings are not VALID or unimportant. Your feelings are yours and you can feel however you want about the thing that you no longer have.

The most we can do to overcome loss is manage our emotions and explore how to bounce back from loss. Some tactics in accomplishing these things won’t work for everyone. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you and it definitely doesn’t mean you won’t ever recover. It’s all a matter of time. It might not feel like it, and it even sounds cliche, but time will heal all wounds. If you have the strength to give yourself time to heal, I promise you have the strength to bounce back and overcome the next thing to come at you.

Examples of Loss:

  • Losing a championship game
  • Death in the family
  • Losing a friend

How they affect us: Leave us without that thing we value and no way to replace it.
Can we turn failure into success? No. Our only path is to work on how we grieve and come back from the devastating loss.
Do we have control? We don’t have control over the loss or of our feelings, but we can give space to reflect and heal.

Ways to recover for this failure:

  • Give yourself space to feel
  • Get back on track with your “norm” by remembering your goals and your “why”

There are so many setbacks that have the potential to keep us from our big dreams – whether they are hurdles, shortcomings, or losses – you have the power to move past these difficult times and onto the next part of your journey.

Failure is inevitable in life. Your challenge will be to use it to fuel you instead of using it as an excuse to stop.

You can do this. Keep going.

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