Overcoming Fitness Failures

The funny thing about life is that we are destined to fail numerous times before we achieve anything. When we first learned to walk we stumbled, fell down, and even hit our heads. The first time we took a ride on a bike we crashed into bushes and cut our knees. As we grow up we become afraid to make mistakes or “fail” so we stop trying. You may be experiencing this when it comes to your health and fitness. Whether you are still staring at those gym shoes or are a seasoned athlete you may be experiencing the fears of failure and being held back by it. I want to share with you a few steps to transcending your fear of failure into something that is supporting. With these tips, you can look at the word failure with a whole new meaning. You will start to think of failures as something that lift you up instead of hold you down. This way of thinking is one of the many ways to achieve Fitness Success.

  1. Recognize you are doing the best you know how to do. The mindset you have NOW or in the moment you failed consisted of all you knew. In other words, if you had better information you would most likely be making a better decision. Let’s say your back is becoming sore and your joints stiff and you know you should be doing some sort of exercise daily to help alleviate the issue. However, every morning you wake up and ignore yourself and proceed to drink 2 cups of coffee and smoke a cigarette instead. Instead of blaming yourself for your actions, you have to realize that you are doing this for a reason. Most likely, you are meeting more of your needs by NOT exercising than you are exercising. Nevertheless, this is only due to the information you have in your own mind for the moment. Accept it, then instead of forcing yourself to workout right now work on creating more excitement and gather better information for the right leverage to take action toward working out! 
  2. Recognize that you are still alive or have survived your temporary defeat. The fact that you are alive is a reason to be grateful and is an empowering emotion that will help you cope with the consequences of your previous or current actions. 
  3. As Timothy Farris says “Brain Vomit on Paper”. This means to write down everything going on in your head. A journal is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to achieving fitness and nutritional success. As we know by now, the correct information can be incredibly powerful. It will either move us forward or keep us stuck. If you can write down all your feelings and thoughts about your current failures, you will most likely figure out a solution to what went wrong and why. This also helps you look at your situation as a learning lesson instead of a pity party. If you can see your “problem” as an opportunity for improvement you will be further empowered to get the correct information or thoughts to take the action that will get you the results you desire.
  4. Ask others for feed-back. If you can ask others the question “How do you see me limiting myself?” You will likely get great insight you may be blind of. Something important here is to be thankful for this feedback. Do not take it as a put down but as valuable information. Remember, if you had the right answers you would already be achieving the results you want. By asking others for feedback and being thankful for it you will get one step closer to your goal. Sometimes all it takes to overcome a roadblock is to get out of your own head because at this point it is your own mind’s lack of information or misinformation that has produced the result. And lastly, you would be amazed at how much valuable help you could get from someone else when you ask for their perspective… welcome it fully.
  5. Take 100% responsibility. If you blame outside circumstances then you will always have an excuse. If you aren’t running daily because it rains for a month that’s only an excuse. If you really desire a fit body you will run rain or shine, no excuses. I know this sounds harsh but there is a difference between blame and taking self responsibility. Blame stops you and responsibility empowers you. When you are empowered you have the energy to clean up the mistake, put down the coffee and put on the running shoes, because you now know it is all up to you and the weather has little to do with it. You can always jog in place inside!
  6. Review your current or past successes. One of the best ways to adopt an empowering mindset and overcome fear or blame is to look at all you have achieved by doing what you are currently doing. Sure, you shouldn’t be drinking coffee or smoking and you should be working out. However, doing these things so far has helped you earn enough money to buy your gym membership or those new running shoes! Additionally, you probably needed the extra sleep those days you hit the snooze button and now you have built up your body to a point where you can now afford to wake up a little earlier. When you recognize these successes you become EMPOWERED and now all you have to do is refine a few little habits. Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift in the sail to reach shore.
  7. Refocus on your goals. This is where a journal comes into play again. It is so easy to get caught up in the process of your life that you lose track of why you got started in the first place. Perhaps you knew your first step was to buy a gym membership so you got a job to pay for it but now you are five months in and are so wrapped up in that process that you’ve lost track of the end result! Keeping a daily log will remind you daily of why you started in the first place. You don’t have to spend a great deal of time writing; unless you want to. You could simply write a few sentences; “I will lose 50 pounds by the end of one year” or “I will eat right and workout for 15 minutes everyday before work.” When you have your sights set on your goal daily you will be more likely to take some sort of action daily even if it’s baby steps. Refocusing or staying focused on your goal with a new set off learned lessons will help you refine your action plan. Perhaps you need a whole new approach because your first one didn’t work, that’s okay! You’re going to make mistakes, that is just part of the game. If you didn’t make mistakes you would never learn and to be quite honest, you would get bored really fast. If there was no challenge you wouldn’t have anything to live for. So unconsciously, you enjoy the variety in your journey, it’s the spice of life.


There is no such thing as failure, only lessons learned.

In good health,


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