As soon as I got to the bottom of my rep, my legs started to shake and my back fired a signal to my brain: “The f*ck you trying to do, kill me?”
As much as I really wanted to squat that weight for five reps, I knew it was against my better judgment. It just wasn’t worth the risk of injuring myself. So I re-racked the weight, took off a few plates, and did my set.
If something you’re doing isn’t working at all, it would be foolish to persist with the same approach. But it’s important not to confuse choosing to change up our strategy versus giving up.
When I used to play online poker (don’t judge me!), I’d sometimes move up in stakes and get absolutely crushed by better players. But what made me a winning player wasn’t that I was better than everyone else, I just knew when it was time to move down until I was ready to take another shot.
The same thing happened when I was first starting out with photography. I’d muster up the courage to ask well-known local models to shoot with me. Some of them never responded, even though I knew they saw my message. But I didn’t give up, I just took it as a sign that I needed to keep improving until people appreciated my work.
Maybe you’ve been trying to accomplish something and you’re not quite there yet. Ask yourself: is it time to change things up?
There’s no shame in going back to the drawing board. Stop feeling like you’ve failed! You’re just smart enough to be scientific about things. Keep doing what works, toss out what doesn’t, and keep pushing until you’re where you want to be.
I want to close this post by putting a word in your conscience: Grit.
Grit, as defined by Wikipedia, is “a non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.”
That’s a long, fancy way of saying “grit means you’re resilient as f*ck”. So keep that in your mind when you’re thinking about how you’re going to achieve your goals. Don’t let a temporary setback knock you off the path. Change your approach if you have to, but keep.moving.forward.