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Learning From Your Failures

josh-spencer-baseballFrom being a successful Beachbody Coach for over 2 years, there is one thing that I have come to discover in both the people that I coach and the coaches on my team, and that’s that the majority of people don’t learn from their failures. In fact, I would say that about 90% of people tend to give up after failing just once! New business venture? Fail and done. New diet and workout program? Fail and done. Instead of failing and quitting, why not learn from your failures and try again? If not, you’re never going to succeed in life.

When I look back to when I was growing up, there were many things that I failed with. In fact, I can think of one year in particular with baseball that I just flat out couldn’t do anything right, and eventually I was benched. I had to sit there on the bench, feeling ashamed and embarrassed, and watch other players play the game that I loved. To be honest with you, it was one of the worst feelings in the world! I knew I had failed and could have easily quit, but that’s not how I am geared because of how I was raised. My parents always taught me to NEVER quit, no matter how many times I failed! I had seen many players come and go because of this exact situation, but instead of becoming a statistic, I knew what I had to do in order to get back on that field and enjoy playing the game of baseball again. I carefully analyzed what exactly I was doing wrong, came up with a plan to correct the issue, and then worked my tail off every single day to make sure that I didn’t fail because of the same thing again. The next season I came out ready to play with increased confidence, and wouldn’t you know it, I had one of the best seasons of my life.

Baseball is a game of failure, and has really taught me a lot of lessons about life in general. In fact, it’s a failure sport! What do I mean by that? A great hitter fails 7 out of 10 times at the plate. If you can’t handle failure and don’t learn how to adjust, you are an average player at best. The majority of hitters will strike out the first at bat and then let it effect them the rest of the game, and they end up going 0-4. The GREAT hitters will strike out their first at bat and then have 3 hits to finish off the game. What did the great hitter do differently? He didn’t let failure slow him down, but instead quickly analyzed why he failed, made adjustments, and continued moving forward instead of backwards.

I can think of another specific time I failed in baseball while back in college. My freshman year in college I started center field, but unfortunately blew out my shoulder the first game of the year. Having about a 90% choleric personality, I tried to ignore the pain for about 8 games until it reached a point where I couldn’t lift my shoulder. It ended my season. When I came back the next year, I struggled greatly because I hadn’t been in a live game for quite some time. I ended up getting benched for some time until I could get my act together and play like I knew I could play. Instead of sitting on the bench and accepting failure, during every single game I hit in the batting cages off the tee until my hands bled. I wanted to get my muscle memory to the point where I didn’t have to think while up to the plate, and that’s exactly what happened. When I came back my junior and senior years in college, I ended up getting all-conference, all-region, and national honors! My success in baseball is because I learned from my failures and improved.

I know this post is getting long, but I want to talk about one more example because I think it will help anyone who owns their own business. Back when I started as a Beachbody Coach, I knew the potential for it to become something amazing for me. In fact, once I realized the potential for it to become my full time job, I put forth a ton of effort in order to get to that point. So much effort that I was spending many hours late in the evening after I got home from work working on building my Beachbody business, to the point where I exhausted myself. After about 10 months as a coach, I was putting in a lot of hours, but my return wasn’t nearly where I needed it to be. It was frustrating and I knew I had failed. My income from Beachbody stayed the same for many months on end, and that’s the point where I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working. Instead of getting frustrated and quitting, I reevaluated what I was doing, stopped being stubborn and sought help, and then made the necessary adjustments so that I continued moving forward with my business. To make a long story short, about 6 months later I made coaching my full-time job, and am now one of the top coaches in the country, a 3 Star Diamond Elite Coach, and in the Top 10 in the Chairman’s Club, the highest honor that you can receive this year.

Hopefully this post has opened some of your eyes and helped you understand the importance of learning from your failures and looking at them as stepping stones for success. EVERYONE fails, but the people who succeed are the ones who know how to rebound from those failures.

3 comments

  1. Well said. I myself “failed” with my diet just yesterday. My initial thought was to scrap the rest of the week. Instead, I go up this morning and made a breakfast and lunch that was on Plan and I have dinner lined up for the rest of the week.
    Failure for me is often followed by regret. In my past I would have let that beat me… but now I realize I have a choice.

    “THE JOY OF DISCIPLINE OR THE PAIN OF REGRET, WHICH WILL IT BE TODAY?”
    -unknown

  2. Good stuff brother!

  3. I know exactly what you mean. I think that I would fall into the group of people that just quit. My whole life I have never finished anything. After reading your posts for a few months now and reading the book you suggested, I have had a personal re-birth. I have recommitted to my workouts and just recently signed up to be a coach. I want to change my life and not be a quitter anymore!! Thanks Josh!

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