As an Olympic wrestler, I am fascinated with the concept of mindset and how it can affect outcomes. For example, two people might have the same capabilities, and mindset can be the difference between winning/losing, success/failure, achieving a goal/not, making progress in therapy/staying in pain.
One of my favorite quotes as an athlete was "success is never ending and failure is never final." It took me a long time to understand this quote but when it finally made sense it made a big difference in how I approached successes and challenges.
Let's break it down:
"Success is never ending". We've all met people who get a little taste of success and it goes straight to their head. Staying humble is important if we want to keep growing. Realizing that no matter how successful you might be, there is always room for improvement means that you have room to be even more successful!
"Failure is never final". A lot of people are afraid of failure and view failure as a bad thing. I do not! Failure is never final, meaning that if you fail at something it is not the end of your journey. True, it may be a big bump or pothole on your road to success, and it is rarely an enjoyable experience. However, if you view failure with this perspective, as just a learning opportunity to improve, then it makes you more willing to try something new, because you aren't afraid of failure anymore.
There's a misconception that people who are successful have one smooth ride to success.
The reality is that all achievement has ups and downs. In my own career I had very significant failures which seemed catastrophic at the time. Looking back those were some of the most important lessons and acted like a springboard to allow me to achieve greater success later. I believe this is because the failures that I endured, which were painful to go through, were in fact critical learning lessons for my mindset and future success.
Failure is never fun. But I encourage you to try and find the silver lining in order to make the best out of a bad situation. What went wrong with whatever challenge you might encounter in your life whether it's in business, school, sports, or otherwise. Find out what you can learn so it doesn't happen in the future and you will set yourself up for future success.
Matt Gentry, DPT
Sports Performance, Orthopedics and Pediatrics
Matt grew up in Oregon and attended Stanford University on a wrestling scholarship, where he received a degree in human biology. After graduation, Matt coached Division I wrestling at Stanford while also competing internationally on the Canadian Olympic team which culminated in representing Canada at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. After retiring from competition following a fifth place finish in the London Olympics, he and and his wife relocated to the Midwest.
Matt received his doctoral degree in physical therapy from Governor State University and was nominated by the faculty for the Alpha Eta Honor Society which is the Allied Health Professionals' national honor society for academic and professional excellence. Dr. Matt has an interest serving clients with sports performance needs, orthopedic conditions, and pediatric clients with neurological conditions. He now resides in Manteno, Illinois with his wife and three small children.