Do You Fear Failure or Success?

Keep up the drive. Your best life may be simply a matter of not giving up.

This past weekend, my oldest, the young man in the first picture and the baby in the second, thanked me for instilling in him a deep appreciation for the value of being physically fit and eating well. It made my day.

In the 14 years that I’ve been training, I’ve met and helped hundreds of people live a more healthful lifestyle. It’s a blessing to have work that means so much to me and I realize that few people can say they wake up each day looking forward to going to work (even Mondays!)

I try to keep in touch with former clients and class students, and a good number have kept up with what we started, some even getting their friends and family interested in and committed to a healthy regimen of cleaner eating and regular exercise. But some have wavered, drifting in and out of a preventive approach to managing their own health and living a robust, vital life. Some have just given up altogether.

The reasons for dropping exercise and healthful eating habits range from the predictable schedule/work/family competing priorities to a quiet surrender of will once the program’s difficulty breaks them down or simply becomes too much to manage.

But it can also be a fear of either failure or success. Obviously some will drop out to avoid the risk and potential disappointment of challenging themselves and coming up short of their own self-imposed objectives. But why would anyone fear success?

The lure of the familiar, even if limiting and out of accord with your dreams and hopes for your self can be oddly comforting. So it’s just easier to avoid the work that leads to success if it will only lead to more work to sustain that success. And there’s the matter of the emotional growth that always attends success based in hard work and risk-taking. That growth can move you to a place where peers and loved ones feel displaced, intimidated or even threatened.

But succeeding at living more healthfully, while requiring effort, discomfort, risk and a life-long commitment has no equal when it comes to quality-of-life benefits. I and my fellow fitness and nutrition professionals help people live better, plain and simple. There is no question about it and no way to truly measure the value.

Something deep within your wisest, most compassionate and genuine self is telling you that what I’m saying is the truth.

I will never give up on my clients and students, and they remain my concerns forever. I will never give up on you, either. When you’re ready, I’ll be here.

So don’t give up on you either.


Dan is a nationally certified personal fitness trainer and former continuing education faculty member of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. He is the owner and head trainer at Tri Valley Trainer in Pleasanton, which provides personal and small group fitness training and nutrition guidance. He can be reached at Dan@TriValleyTrainer.com.

Angela K. Banke October 04, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Great article Dan!


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