Getting Past Our Failures

We all make mistakes. We all fail from time to time. It is how we face those mistakes and overcome that will define us. For some of us 2016 started with such enthusiasm and possibilities and as the year wore on we allowed our shortcomings and failures to define us and our year.

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Last night Rhonda Rousey lost her bout against Amanda Nunes in embarrassing fashion. The internet has been filled with spiteful messages, memes, and other imagery that try to define her by this and her last loss.

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Nevermind the fact that the vast majority of these keyboard warriors would piss themselves if they were locked in an octagon with Rousey, but many of them have either forgotten or are too new to realize that Rousey was responsible for putting women’s MMA on the map. She has only lost 2 fights in her entire career and she has managed to grow her brand well beyond the UFC.

It is not our mistakes that define who we are; it is how we recover from those mistakes.
 -Bo Bennett

If Rhonda chooses to move on from fighting to Hollywood full-time, years from now she will be remembered as a pioneer of women’s MMA and a movie-star. While the pain of the loss may sting now and in the short term it will be a constant reminder. She will move on and carry on.

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So if you are looking back on your 2016 as a year or broken promises to yourself and missed opportunities, here are some tips to help you move on to 2017.

1.Forgive yourself – None of us are perfect and we as human beings tend to see the faults in ourselves first. Realize that this is not how most people on the outside see us. We will fall and we will fail. Realize this, forgive yourself, and vow to do better moving forward.

2. Learn from the failure – There is a saying in Jiu Jitsu, you either win or you learn. There is no losing, only learning and discovery. Don’t dwell on your mistake. I train new cops and I tell them all the time, “make new mistakes”. When you make a mistake, analyze it and figure out how not to repeat it. But don’t beat yourself up because you failed in a new way.

3. Celebrate the small wins – Even when we fail, there is always a silver lining if we look hard enough. Failed at your weight loss goal….Did you lose any pounds? Did you have a streak of healthy eating or working out? I failed at my overall weight loss goal for 2016, however I don’t look upon it with regret, I didn’t gain any weight, was able to cut and make a lower weight class for two BJJ tournaments, ran a few 5k races, and have led a generally healthy lifestyle for the last couple years.

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