Youth Worlds 2018. The most important competition in the season for you. You trained really hard, gave everything before. And then, well, it didn't go as planned. You didn't feel good. You already got pumped while warming up, your muscles felt tensed, you didn't feel in the right mindset. The consequence: The results weren't what you expected or wished for.
HOW CAN WE DEAL WITH FAILURE?
Allow yourself to feel your emotions, don’t try to suppress or hide them. If you are angry, feel the anger and stamp on the ground. Next, try to understand your emotions. Why are you feeling angry?
For example: Did you disappoint yourself or somebody else by not reaching your goal, did you make a mistake which was avoidable, did you fall back in an old habit?
What is the emotion telling you? Should you have prepared more properly? Should you have listened to yourself instead of somebody else?
Try to figure out what exactly was bad but also what was good about your performance. There was certainly something you have done well or better than other athletes. Be proud of the good parts! After evaluating the competition and thinking about where and how you failed, make a plan for the next one. How can you avoid the mistakes you did the next time? What can you learn from the performance you are not content with? Being defeated is a chance to grow, to learn and to improve. Remember: if you win a competition you won’t learn as much as if you fail! It is a great opportunity to evaluate your behaviour and to get a closer look at yourself. By that, you can find new ideas to become a greater and at the end more successful athlete!
It is very important that you as a person don’t feel like a failure. It was only a very small part of you, a part of your behaviour on a certain day, which was not exactly as you imagined it. Try to separate the failure from yourself. There is you, a great athlete, who tried the best and there is a behaviour like climbing, which can be easier and harder sometimes.
The best climbers also failed during their career, they went through ups and downs but they always stood up after failing and learned from it. We are all humans or no machines, and it is manlike have better and worse days, to fulfil one’s goals and to sometimes fail them.
Take a closer look at your goal setting. Did you fail because you set your goals too high? Maybe a re-evaluation is necessary.
Social media doesn’t make it easier to deal with the lack of success. Athletes usually post pictures of great things, of success and improvement because they want to tell their fans, supporters or friends what they have accomplished and that hard work will pay off. It is hard to post about failures because showing weakness is not demanded in the social world. But there is a chance to grow if you tell the social world that you tried the best you could, that it is human to not reach set goals sometimes and that you have learned from it. People will understand you and even give you support and empathy. Moreover, people will notice if you are honest and authentic or if you fake something.
Did this help you to better deal with failure? Let us know by leaving us a comment or message!
Last but not least, here's a motivating video to teach you that falling only makes you stronger. (In my opinion, the best ad ever made). Tip: turn on the volume on your computer when watching it.