Exercised By Lies

My morning workouts are some of the best minutes of my day.  Yes, I’m working my body by increasing muscle mass, trying to kill the stingy fat that seems to hold on for dear life since hitting 40 and strengthening my heart and lungs. 

During, this time my mind is able to open up, I routinely sort through problems I was unable to find resolutions to or this time spurs creative thoughts which allow me to improve myself and grow my coaching business.

This morning was no different until I became exercised by lies. What I mean is what you see in the picture above. This has hung in my gym for years but today something about it really angered me “Success Trains. Failure Complains.”

Let’s read that again, “Success Trains.  Failure Complains.

I love inspirational quotes. I love watching Rocky, like anyone else, seeing the grit and perseverance to keep going. I love reading inspirational stories, in fact, an old friend of mine, Minda Dentler shares hers.

When I read this, this morning I thought, ”Wait a minute,  I’ve gone through pretty painful things, I complained A LOT but that doesn’t make me a failure!”

However, there is some truth in this as well, “Success Trains”. 

I’m in 100% agreement with this, hadn’t I trained myself emotionally, mentally, and physically prior to these battles, I would have given up.  I would not have had the tools to keep moving forward, I would not have had the past experiences to draw from to give me courage and confidence.

However, in working with my clients I hear so many times, “I’m will always be a failure.” “It will never change.”  

We work to discover how they define their success but, on a continuum, not perfection and that's it!  Some days success is simply getting out of bed, others may be speaking to a crowd of thousands. Conversely, we define failure.  What truly is that? If you complain are you a failure? What does that look like for each of them? This allows us to create boundaries, these are verbal “goalposts” to determine where they truly lie on their personal continuum of life. Once we work through this process we find in fact, they are NOT failures, they have a permanence thought process.

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant in Option B, perfectly illustrate what permanence is.  This is where we get stuck saying “I never will…” “I will always be…” “This will be forever….” 

Creating a continuum success and failures isn’t enough, it also requires replacing those statements from always and never to sometimes and lately.  THIS builds resilience.

Failure is inherent to all our lives on this earth, however by training ourselves to discover our boundaries, overcome, learn from our mistakes, gain knowledge from others, and reframe permanence, we are rewarded with resilience.  

So, I’ve decided I need a new poster for my gym and it will read, Success Trains.  Failures Remain. Resilience Gains.

Today, ask yourself:  What is a success, how can this be defined on a continuum?  What is a failure for me? Finally, where do I use permanence thought, how can I reframe and build my resilience to find individual and unique success in all I do and am faced with?


Piper Harris is an entrepreneur, Leadership Success coach for women and women-led organizations, author, wife, and mom on a quest to create lives that drive, empower, excite and motivate through personal success, effective leadership, and organizational development.

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