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Success, Failure and Growth.

There are three elements that play a role for competitive athletes: success, failure, and growth.

These elements constantly intersect with the athlete's journey. They reach success at certain events and experience failure at others. However, growth is the vital element that keeps the athlete striving. How would you define success—winning, performing well, improving your personal stats? How would you define failure—poor performance, not making the finals, scoring low? Growth, however, accompanies us all the time. It is an internal reality that we need to cherish and learn from. Growth is the source of our internal power; it is invisible but essential. It is the internal feeling that you are in the right place at the right time in life. This is subjective, of course, but it is what matters. It is the belief in the value of your efforts that allows you to become a better person than you were before—a better person than you were yesterday, last month, or even last year.

People win and lose, and we do not all enjoy equal opportunities. Some have better horses, some have more money, and some are born into privileged circumstances, riding the best horses available. But no one can own your journey or your happiness. The pursuit of happiness is not in the competitive field or the monthly paycheck but in the question of living: Are you living the life you deserve? If yes, keep going. If not, make a change. But don't ever fight your peer or compete with your biggest competitor. The chase will never end and will only make you tired. Your peer may not be playing the same game you are, so stop. Stop feeling that you have to be the best and instead become the best version of yourself. The journey of growth is an inward one that plays out externally.

What is growth?

Growth is experiencing positive change. It is the outcome of processes that individuals or communities go through. The process is not necessarily easy, comfortable, or fun. In many cases, it is hard, painful, and challenging. However, individuals who experience the process and reflect on it can see what they have gained. Personal growth is expanding your internal “toolbox,” making you a stronger person who can better handle different challenges in the present moment.

Growth is the perspective you choose to observe life, which is more mature than your observation yesterday. It is your ability to see the world differently and contain the reality you live in, in a way that makes you and your surroundings happier.

In the end, the true measure of an athlete—or any individual—is not solely in the trophies won or the records set but in the personal growth achieved along the way. Embracing growth means continuously evolving, learning, and striving to be the best version of oneself. This journey of self-improvement and internal development can be the most rewarding pursuit of all, shaping not only our capabilities but also our character.

Our goal at Mental Athletics is to help you condition your mind to execute high-level horsemanship and achieve peak performance. Join us in the Peak Performance Mindset online course or send us a message - Gil will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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