How This Olympian Nurtures a Winning Mindset: 'Never, Ever Personalize Your Failure' (VIDEO)

Former Staff Writer
30 min read

Resilience runs deep through the bloodline of Olympian Nate Carr, who won a bronze medal in wrestling during the 1998 Seoul Games. Growing up in a family of 16 children, four of Carr’s brothers were also All-American wrestlers -- an NCAA record -- and another brother competed in the ’72 Olympic Games in Munich.

Carr attributes his success in the cutthroat sport to never personalizing failure. “If you personalize your failure, you put yourself down…you just go into a pit,” he said in an interview with the Spartan Up! Podcast. “Make the adjustments and take what you learned from that and use that as a catalyst to catapult you to the top.”

Carr, now 54, is attempting to impart these lessons to his own children -- one of whom is also training to become an Olympic wrestler. Rather than focusing on discipline, Carr says he is a fan of positive reinforcement.

“No just means ‘next opportunity’ or ‘nearing objective,’” he says. “Yes is ‘you expecting success’ -- because you gotta have a ‘yes’ to where you’re going and a ‘no’ to anybody going in the opposite direction.”

For more wisdom from the fearless competitor, check out the interview in full above.

Related: Problem-Solving Pointers From the SEAL Who Helped Bring Down Bin Laden (VIDEO)

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