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There’s a beginning and end to every journey, a starting point, and an end goal. But that journey is never a straight line from point A to point B, there are stops along the way and experiences you have to overcome as part of the personal growth that the develops and unfolds as you journey on.
Fitness goals and fitness journeys are not often viewed in the same fashion. Society has blinded us with an onslaught of messages like “30 day rapid weight loss” and “quick fix, lose weight now” type of messaging. The truth is, nothing worth it comes easy and health and fitness is definitely one of those things that continue to challenge your patience and trust in the process of change.
I got serious with my fitness goals just a little under 2 years ago and since then I’ve never looked back at the life I once lived. However, there are moments in my journey where I’ve had minor setbacks and moments where I’ve wanted to give up and give in. Before starting my fitness journey in 2013 I felt like a complete failure. I viewed myself as lazy and apathetic, someone who just didn’t have what it took to surpass fitness goals that I had set for myself. That perception I had of myself was detrimental and destructive to actively pursue the vision I had for myself. Sadly, for years I viewed myself as a failure and it took changing my mindset to really propel myself forward.
At some point I realized, I was setting my fitness goals based on major life events, or unrealistic expectations. For example, after my daughter was born, the biggest fitness goal for me as an adult, was to get into shape for my wedding. But once the wedding dress was off and the concern to “look my best” in my wedding dress was gone, the weight quickly came back. Once I tried to lose 10lbs in a month, which was not a realistic expectation for me during an extremely busy period in my life. Looking back at my past goals, they were always set with the mindset of achieving and seeing myself in a certain way versus feeling a certain way. Once I identified what I truly wanted, how I wanted to feel, I was able to embrace the changes that needed to happen.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Failure is a step towards your ultimate success. It’s a lesson. A challenge. A chance.” – Tiny Buddha.
As a busy career mom, constantly juggling and balancing a fitness focused life, learning to accept some of life’s setbacks is a really big challenge for me. I know that one of my own weaknesses is that I’m really hard on myself when things don’t go according to plan. Part of self acceptance and self love is learning how to be more forgiving to yourself. This also plays a huge role in changing your own perception of a setback. They say that true champions aren’t built by winning, but what they do when they lose. This is also true for yourself, its not about the setback or failure, but what you do to overcome that will determine the outcome of your success. If you find yourself falling off track, what do you do to get back on track? Can you learn to love yourself a little bit more, not be so hard on yourself for not being 100% in the game, and come back out of this setback stronger than when you fell into it?
So now I bet you’re asking how do you turn failures into success? It truly starts by changing your perspective and mindset. We embrace failure easier than we embrace success and I believe its because we have grown accustom to this feeling more than we have success. We understand and know what it feels like to fail because it happens so much more frequently than success in every aspect of life. As adults we begin to calculate and analyze risk in all choices we make instead of leaping forward blindly with faith. A fitness goal is viewed in the same similar manner. We stand on one side of a cliff knowing what’s on the other side, but there’s this canyon of unknown that we have to leap over. One the other side could be a happier you, a healthier you, but its often our fear of failure that holds us back from taking the first step.
Everyone knows what they need to do to get into better shape, eat better and get your body moving. Its as simple as that, but we so often choose comfort versus challenge, and its really hard to begin. Instead of over analyzing and battling complicated emotions, what would happen if you removed your fear out of the equation and just gave it a try?
Always remember this: use your setbacks as opportunities to redirect your mindset. Don’t dwell on your setbacks, dwelling does nothing but waste time and cause regret and remorse. If you have a setback in your journey, try again and keep going until you get it right. You may make several mistakes, but you haven’t failed you only found several ways that didn’t work.