[Reading time: 2 minutes]
As you know in climbing and in our daily life we are likely to put people or things into groups according to what type they are and to what they do. Did you climb your latest route? You are a winner. Did you fall off just before the top? You are a loser. We often categorize our activities as either a success or a failure. Labelling things that way is useful if we need to make sense of our activities, but relying on such a strong dichotomy can have drawbacks as well as benefits. In this article I show you the professional climber Theo Moore’s point of view to explain how he has refined the distinction, and how this has enabled him to have fun during a climbing session and boost performance at the same time.
The feeling of excitement deriving from achieving a goal is awesome and a little bit addictive. It is often associated with the size of the goal achieved – Moore explains – and with how much energy we have spent, and we can identify a lot of emotions and satisfactions that come with success.
Nevertheless, the opposite feelings occur when we experience the failure. Failure can cause feelings of disappointment, self-disapproval and negativity that do not encourage climbing to improve.
According to Moore, if we consider our activities as either a success or a failure, and we link positive emotion to success and negative emotion to failure, then when we do not succeed we feel sad. The negativity that comes with looking at failure inside the black and white dichotomy of success or failure can be detrimental to our enjoyment, the enjoyment of our friends, and to our climbing session.
However, if we look at our climbing in terms of progression, we have actually been pretty successful on your day of what would in general be regarded as failure.
The achievement/progression distinction gives us a new perspective on the false dichotomy of success/failure. Thanks to this distinction between achievement and progression Moore seems to reconsider what we see as success and failure. This allows us to see room for improvement in our climbing which was earlier overshadowed by the joy of success, and to take satisfaction and get rid of negativity from what was previously regarded as failure. In a nutshell, changing our attitude enables us to enhance our climbing and to enjoy it more.
If you are interested on this topic visit the interesting articles on UKC blog and leave a comment 🙂