Pushing Beyond Failure

When you lift weights, the last rep is often the rep that causes you to fail. You’re not strong enough to push the weight one more time. But it is your final attempt that causes your muscles to tear, repair, and eventually grow.

Eventually, you are strong enough to lift the heavier weight. Again you fail on the final rep. Sometimes you can get stuck, and you plateau at a certain weight. No matter how hard you try to push the weight, you struggle, and you fail again.

But you never judge yourself a failure because you couldn’t lift a heavy weight. Instead, you keep trying, and you keep pushing yourself. You know at some point that you will have a breakthrough.

In other endeavors, you attach some negative meaning to failure. You believe that failure somehow defines you. In some cases, you don’t even want to try again.

But this analogy to weightlifting is more accurate than any negative meaning you might attach to failure. It’s simply an event. Failure is how you get stronger. It’s how you learn some of the most important lessons that you need to succeed.

Every time you lift weights you push yourself to lift a little bit heavier. You try to do a couple additional reps or even an additional set. You believe that you get stronger by pushing past failure. You believe that this is how you grow, and you are right. But this same idea applies to every other area of your life.

Are you pushing yourself beyond your perceived limits? Or are you doing the same things over and over because you are comfortable?

Filed under: Failure

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