Failing sucks. It spurs such negative feelings and thoughts that most of us strive to avoid failing as much as possible.
Today after training I realized that I need to become more comfortable with working to failure. I always stop myself short of failure. Today’s example of this comes from trying to find a 3-rep max for deadlifts. I did a set of 3…had to really fight for that 3rd rep and was left with all muscles shaking after the set. I thought, “Well, there’s the most I can lift for 3 reps.”
But here’s the thing…I didn’t even try to lift more. I took some weight off the bar to get my working weight and carried on. I didn’t fail at that heavy set of 3. I did successfully lift it. So why didn’t I add some more weight and try another heavy set? Because I didn’t want to fail. I should have added more weight and tried a heavier set. If I couldn’t have completed a heavier set…so what? But maybe I could have lifted more!
My new personal challenge is going to be trying to find a place where I can be comfortable with failure. The easiest place for me to start with this is in the gym, where I can regularly push myself to the limits of my strength and ability. I think I’ve gotten good at pushing to the limit. But now I want to push beyond.