The importance of failure
As I said, I need to do better in the Zangief mirror match. I found people deliberately going for the headbutt to stun, rather than using it as a defensive tool like I've been doing. Evidently, this can be used as an offensive tool in this matchup that favors heavy hits more than grabs. I'll try to incorporate that into my gameplay as well as trying the green fist (or "glove" as I now like to call it) to get behind and counter a predicted headbutt. I've actually got to work around the headbutt now, and that's a scary concept.
Secondly, I need to work on more than just Zangief. My Gouken play was actually cleaning up very well. It didn't go up against any Zangiefs, but it was still practically unstoppable. One observant player went for a lot of grabs as I tried to parry a lot of attacks, so I definitely need to work on predicting that attempt more. I'm not capable of thinking fast enough to go reactive in that situation. Gouken has been giving me a lot of losses online, but I think it's about time I embrace that and keep going. I've shied away from the losses because I have a hard time learning from them. There's so many factors going into a match that it's hard to identify any particular thing I needed to focus on.
Most importantly, if I'm going to compete, I need to practice so much that I get sick of the game. I need to play extremely often, essentially at any given opportunity against as skilled players as I can find so that when it comes to crunch time, I have enough familiarity with the game that I can focus more on my opponent's style.