Failure and Mind Games

Do you know what failure is really about? Mind games.


Failure is not about doing something wrong, making incorrect choices, missing an obvious roadblock, ignoring advice, poor strategizing, or lack of effort. All of those things cause failure, and the list of other possible causes is infinitely long.

But, in the end, who cares what causes failure? Nobody is doing things with the intention of failing. Consequently, most people are already trying to avoid the causes of failure. The reasons why you are failing might not be as important as what you do with the inadvertent failure you are experiencing.

Of course, you should find out why you are failing so you don't continue doing things that consistently lead there. Rather, I want to challenge you with understanding what failure is all about -- mind games. Conquet the mind games, and you conquer failure because you are no longer afraid to fail. 

When I was on my way to failing in my attempt at Mud on the Mountain, when I was in the middle of failing there, after I had finished failing there, I had to deal with mind games. They were horrible, worse than the cramps. My mind was telling me I was dumb, weak, ignorant, soft, a quitter, an all-talker no-walker, a wimp, overrated, fake, irrelevant, ignored, unloved (where did that come from??!!?? -- but my mind did try to make me think that as I watched my wife and friends continue on without me -- absurd!).

Truth: I got cramped up. I didn't train. I failed. More truth:  I had fun. I was happy for my wife and friends. I was proud I had tried, fallen, and tried to get up again.

Why was my mind playing games with my psyche in an effort to make failure have a long lasting, overwhelming effect on how I viewed myself as a person? Because that is what failure does. It creates mind games to get you doubt, fear, and cower. That is failure's purpose.

Do you understand that last sentence? Think of failure as a person. Every person has a destiny and purpose. That is why people exist, and what they strive to do each day. Same with failure. It exists to try to keep you down. It strives, everyday, to destroy you. That is failure's purpose, its reason for existing.

Here's something awesome. Things designed to hurt us can be used to make us better. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger (cliches - love 'em).


Picture Bruce Lee for a second. Out of the dark of the room, an enemy charges forward dressed all in black with murder in his eyes. As he delivers his deathblow, Bruce Lee calmly removes his head from the impact zone, grabs his enemy's wrist, and uses momentum to throw him to the floor where Bruce drops his knee downward in a merciless, rib-collapsing blow to the chest of his grounded enemy.

See? What was intended to destroy the Kung Fu Master was used to make him victorious.

Make no doubt. Failure will bring mind games. When someone plays a mind games on you, it stinks. When you let failure play mind games on you, it is worse. You are playing mind games on yourself then. What is worse than that? What is harder to beat than that? What is more destructive than that? Not much.

Take the deathblow that failure is trying to deal you in the form of self-imposed mind games and use it to make yourself better, victorious, and strong. Reverse the move. Let your hatred of failure's purpose cause you to make that extra phone call, try your manager's advise, or change up your sales call. 

Don't let the mind games failure brings destroy you when you could use them to propel you to something victory.