Whenever you take up something new - a course of study, a new skill, a hobby, a habit or practice you want to develop, there is a continual pattern of trial, error, and course correction.
This is natural and how we all learn.
When we learn something new we are literally laying down new tissue, new neural pathways through repetition until that new skill or practice becomes well learned and natural.
If you think about the first time you lifted weights, threw a punch, threw, hit, or kicked a ball, or did anything requiring precision, control, and coordination, you were shaky and imprecise. This is due to a lack of neural mapping for that task. This is why precision in practice matters. You want to build the right pathway for that movement.
Once we realize how the process works, we see that mistakes and failure along the way are not just a natural part of the process, but necessary to the process for continued learning and growth toward mastery.
As we strive to perfect the new thing, the mistakes and failures show us where the weaknesses lie - the areas that are holding us back and, if not addressed will only further hinder us down the road - perhaps in ways that matter more than they do now.
It's easy to be hard on yourself. I'm hard on myself , so I know.
I also know that creating expectations without strategies that you can act on can be disastrous physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Being hard on yourself in a self flagellating, abusive way creates the mindset and attitude of a quitter.
Hold yourself accountable for what you say you'll do and what you've chosen to undertake.
When you falter or fail - don't get angry or lose heart, and don't let it become an end state.
Instead, let it be a fluid state - one you move out of and away from quickly.
Identify the why and how of the shortcoming and become a problem solver. Work to understand the root cause of the failure, and create a strategy to overcome it.
Don't beat up on yourself, don't doubt yourself, and don't internalize the criticisms of others.
In the end, no one cares about the naysayers or the critics. No one remembers the people trying to sow doubt and discouragement.
There are no great stories written about them, and no cool movies or shows based around them.
What we do love, however, are those who strive and overcome. The ones who face difficulties, challenges, and, yes, failure - sometimes over and over again, and continue to push until they breakthrough and find success.
The only way you can be unsuccessful is if you quit. So don't give up.
Eric Chasko is the head of Redemption. He is a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Certified Underground Strength Coach, and Progressive Fighting Systems Full Instructor. From young athletes to busy professionals, he helps people develop the physical, mental, and emotional strength to win on the field, on the street, and in life.