One of the biggest stumbling blocks I see people make is letting a few mistakes completely take them out of the game. They’ll make statements like: “I messed up my diet this meal, so today is ruined. I’ll just get back on track tomorrow.” Or “I didn’t make it to the gym for the last three days so I’ll start over again next week.”
When I hear this stuff, to me it’s the equivalent of someone saying “I wasn’t able to take a shower today so I might as well not even bother showering for the rest of the week.” If health and fitness is a habit/lifestyle (as I encourage people to make it), mistakes are to be expected as both part of the process of learning and growing as well as part of being human.
I’m going to share with you my simple process for not only overcoming the fear of making mistakes, but to actually welcome them and use them as a way to get even more motivated and excited.
The first step is simple acceptance that you will make mistakes. The second step is to re-frame mistakes as potential successes in learning. A lot of the world’s most successful people, whether in fitness, business, or other areas, were successful because they A) made mistakes and B) learned lessons from those mistakes they could have never otherwise learned had they not been willing to fail.
Tell yourself right now “I’m going to screw things up, and that’s ok! A mistake isn’t the end, it’s just an opportunity to learn how to do better going forward.”
When a mistake is made, some empowering questions to ask are: “What can I learn from this?” “How can I prevent this from happening again?” “Why is everything still ok?”
Your success is not determined by how many times you fall down, but by how quickly you get back up. And the more times you fall, the more “practice” you can have at getting up quicker each time.
Another way to handle mistakes is to realize it’s not about the end goal as much as it is the process of striving for your goals that really matters. “It’s about the journey and not the destination” or “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” are statements that have unfortunately become cliche, but they express a profound truth.
Another quote that really sums it up for me comes from Zig Ziglar who says “what you get by reaching your goals is not nearly as important as what you become by reaching them.”
Some people are so obsessed about reaching their goal that seems so far away they feel like they can’t be happy until they’re there. But I’ll let you in on a secret, there is no “there.” There only is and ever will be now. You can only be learn, be happy, or experience anything else in this present moment.
If you can embrace and focus on what you enjoy about the process (which will include both mistakes and successes) of growing and developing into your fullest potential, you’ll find you can be happy and motivated each and every day regardless of your body’s current condition.