When You've Been Failing Your Whole Career…

In Mental Toughness
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It was halftime of a game in college. 

We were losing big. Our opponent, the home team, has scored two big momentum-building baskets just before the halftime buzzer. 

Our coach stormed into the locker room. We all knew what was coming. 

This particular coach’s main style of “coaching” was to single out a player who’d made a mistake, and spend all of the halftime / in-game timeout / practice rant attacking that player not only for the one mistake the coach had seen, but also anything else the coach could think of to further bury the player. 

There were four or five of us who Coach cycled between as the moment suited him. This day, at halftime of our game, it was my turn (again). 

Coach pointed out how a guy had made a 3 pointer in front of me as the first half clock had wound down. 

He pointed out some other things I’d apparently done wrong, at least from his vantage point, in the first twenty minutes of basketball. 

All fair game. He’s the coach, and what he sees is what he sees. No use arguing against it. 

Then Coach went to his patented signature move: turning your isolated mistake into a referendum on your entire basketball and human existence. 

Then Coach went to his patented signature move: turning your isolated mistake into a referendum on your entire basketball and human existence.  Click To Tweet

“Look at you Dre. You’ve been failing your whole career…” 

I don’t remember what else he said in the locker room. No one does. When I’m around my old college teammates, that part of the story causes so much laughter that the rest of the tirade doesn’t matter. 

***

I thought of that scene today when I heard a business coach share something. 

The business coach said that he was at a round table event with an assortment of millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs. The question posed was, how many times did you fail in business, ie, lose nearly everything, before hitting on the project that made you rich? 

The average answer: 14 times. 

When do people fail? 

When you’re lacking skills. 

When you’re uninformed. 

When you’re in the wrong place. 

When it’s the wrong time. 

When luck decides to shit on you. 

When you’re ready — but the world isn’t just yet. 

When you have the right tools, but you’re using them for the wrong job. 

When you are one way, but the public wants to see you another way. 

When some unforeseen circumstances flips everything on its head. 

When you’re the last one to learn something that everyone else apparently already knew about. 

For these failures to occur, though, you have to be “out there” — active, trying, experimenting. Putting yourself in the line of success, which brings with it possible failure. 

Except for quitting, you can only fail when you’re doing something. 

When you have a career to be failing in

Though you may not be aiming for it, failure happens. 

The more active you are, the more often it’ll meet you. 

And if your work is open to the public, the spectators will see it. Like my coach, one of them may decide to let you know about it. 

Your only job is to keep playing the game. Unlike me playing in college, no one can bench you. 

Your only job is to keep playing the game. Unlike me playing in college, no one can bench you.  Click To Tweet

What was your last failure? The last one that someone pointed out to you? How did you handle it, internally AND externally? Reply and let me know — I read all responses. 

By the way, I’ve created several MasterClasses on perseverance and sticktoitiveness — here’s a few: 

#16: Obscurity, Uncertainty, Persistence

#743: How To Lock Into Persistence For Life

#677: How To Stick To Your Purpose Amidst Life’s [Possible] Distractions

#1038: How To Get Past The Toughest Gatekeeper In Life: Yourself

#941: How To Develop Mental Toughness

Get all these, PLUS another 1,300 MasterClasses on Discipline, Confidence, Mental Toughness & Personal Initiative, in the Game Group Membership. 

Start your FREE 14-day trial here: http://WorkOnMyGame.com/GameGroup 

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