Many people assume that a lack of ability is the problem when they fail. In reality, there is usually something else going on. In this article, you will learn the real cause of most failures. Let’s begin with a quick story.
A Quick Story
I once wiped out while attempting a 42-inch standing box jump at my gym. If you are not familiar with a standing box jump, you start from a standing position. Then, you swing your arms and try to jump directly onto the top of a box. In this case, the box was made of steel, and the top of the box was 42 inches off the ground. That’s about as high as my belly button is when I am standing.
I had jumped onto this 42-inch box at my gym many times before. Normally, I jump in an area of my gym where there is a lot of space and a specific kind of gym floor that is ideal for jumping.
That day, the gym was more crowded than usual. I had to move the box to a different area where the floor is a bit slick. That made me nervous. Some negative thoughts swirled through my head: “Will I be able to jump as high on this surface? … Is it possible the box might slide on this surface when I land on top of it? … If the box slides, will I fall and land on my back?”
I should have known what would happen with that type of mindset. I didn’t throw as much force into my jump as usual. Immediately after I left the ground, I realized there was no way that I would clear the top of the box. The next few seconds were a blur. All I remember is that I ended up laying on the ground in pain.
Life Lessons from A Gym Blunder
My box jump failure that day had nothing to do with my jumping ability. It’s not easy, but I have jumped onto the top of a 42-inch box plenty of times. The day before my wipeout, I had actually been thinking it was time to find an even higher box to jump onto.
I failed on that jump because of self-doubt and fear. That caused me to hold back, and that caused me to wipe-out.
The key to a successful box jump (at any height) is to hold absolutely nothing back and commit 100% to the jump. When you try to jump onto a tall box, it is a psychological challenge as much as it is a physical challenge. The same is true for any other big goal.
The Power and Necessity of 100% Commitment
There is a direct relationship between your level of commitment to a goal and your capability to achieve that goal. The bigger the goal that you want to achieve, the greater your level of commitment needs to be. The Results Line in the image below provides a visual depiction of this relationship.
You cannot outperform your level of commitment and achieve a goal above the Results Line. For example, let’s go back to my failed box jump attempt. At that time, the maximum standing box jump that I was capable of was actually greater than 42 inches. I had cleared that height before with several inches to spare. With 100% commitment to a jump, my maximum capability at that time was probably around 48 inches. See below.
I failed to clear 42 inches that day because of a lack of commitment, not a lack of ability. In hindsight, I probably put somewhere around 75% of my best effort into my failed jump. Unfortunately, a 75% effort was not sufficient for me to clear a height of 42 inches. That level of effort only made me capable of clearing a height of 36 inches. See below.
Summary and Final Thoughts
The real cause of most failures is a lack of commitment, not a lack of ability. We hold something back, we distract ourselves with backup plans, or we give up too easily when we don’t succeed right away.
There is a direct relationship between your level of commitment to a goal and your capability to achieve that goal. It does not matter whether your goal is to jump onto a tall box, get into the best shape of your life, find your soulmate, land a book deal, launch a successful business, or something else.
The bigger the goal that you want to achieve, the greater your level of commitment needs to be. You cannot hold anything back if you want to achieve something extraordinary.
About the author: Pete Leibman is the Creator of StrongerHabits.com. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, executive recruiter, athlete, and peak performance coach. His work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com, and over 500,000 people across the world have read his articles.