Last Tuesday was a fairly busy day at work and I got off knowing it was a heavy squats day. I'd looked forward to it all day. I worked myself up to 195 lbs and did my ritual: I approached the bar, mentally told myself that it was "like a feather", inhaled into my belly, set it on my back, walked backward, and finally descended into a squat.
Failed not once but three times. Same routine, same determination to succeed but each time I threw the bar backwards. The problem with that is that the weight is manageable, I can do it. But once I reach a certain weight, I start to doubt my own abilities. Once I let a single ounce of doubt into my head, I set myself up for failure. Does that sound familiar?
At the end of the day, I went home and really thought about that moment. How the heck had I managed to do that weight before and now I had failed. Answer: it's all in my head. I remember watching a video of a competition meet in which a guy failed at his opening squat weight of something like 600+ lbs. Frustrated, he went back to his gym and did 700 lbs for multiple repetitions. It was all in his head too.
With anything in life and in my career, I take it as a learning lesson. J. K. Rowling said it best,
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I've met people who don't want to try for fear of failing.”
That weekend, I let my legs recover, made some adjustments, and went back at it again.