Losing weight can be very challenging, especially if you aren’t prepared for trials along the way. Since everyone experiences trials and failure on the road to success, the best way to conquer them is to be ready for them. Luckily, most people struggle with the same challenges. Here are 5 of the 10 common stumbling blocks I shared in an article for Answers.com. Click HERE to read all 10 at Answers.com.
You can’t fix a problem you haven’t admitted to. This is why admitting your problem is the first step in addiction groups. If you can’t be honest with yourself, you can never overcome the problem you aren’t willing to admit you have.
2. Lack of support
If you had an alcohol problem, your loved ones wouldn’t keep alcohol around. However, people don’t think about having a weight problem as having a food problem. If you suffer from obesity, you likely have self-control issues with food and need more support. If you want success, share your concerns with your family and friends. Be honest with your loved ones about your weaknesses. Explain how much you need their support and protection against temptation. The more your family can understand your needs, the easier the process will be for you.
With everyone’s crazy schedules, you shouldn’t be surprised when fatigue strikes. Instead, you should expect the temptation to skip your workout. As soon as that thought crosses your mind, remember how energized your body feels after a workout. The same way laziness breeds more laziness, staying moving helps you keep moving. The best way to get energized is to get moving.
The easiest way to conquer temptation is to avoid it. It is difficult to eat junk food if there is no junk food around. Sadly, many people start a diet plan with all kinds of unhealthy foods still in the pantry. Even worse, many people continue restock the pantry with foods that aren’t on their diet. Even if your family is not overweight, junk food is unhealthy food and should be replaced with healthier options. Purge your kitchen of anything that would be a temptation for you. If it’s out of sight, it is easier for it to be out of mind.
People make mistakes. It’s easy to miscalculate calories, cheat on your diet and skip workouts from time to time. Regrettably, you can let one small slip keep you down if you aren’t careful. The best thing you can do is forgive yourself and plan your comeback. As the silent film actress, Mary Pickford, says “If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” Failure is almost inevitable, so expect to fail along the way. Your weight loss success will be determined on how fast you recover from each fall….READ MORE
OK, can I get a count by lifting your hands: Who wants to be weak? I’m pretty sure no one is raising their hand right now. No one is jumping up and down saying “Meeee! Meee!” No one wants to be weak. People want to be STRONG! And even if they are not strong, they want to appear strong.
What is required for strength? Well, in the fitness world, building strength requires lifting things that are quite difficult. It requires putting your body under great pressure. Our body doesn’t get stronger using the same 5lbs weights we started with. No, we have to keep moving up, keep trying heavier weights and keep challenging our body – many times to the point of failure (or perceived failure).
I personally HATE to fail. That’s why I hate pistol squats. I only can do so many before complete failure. Not only that, I can’t do them really well, and I can’t do that many of them. Even if I do as many as I set out to do, I consider myself a failure because they aren’t deep as I want, I’m not flexible enough to hold my dang foot out in front of me and I am not strong enough to pump that many out. I leave that exercise every time feeling like a big fat failure.
This is why I don’t like doing them. This is why I want to quit trying them. I stink at them. BUUUUT, I know I will NEVER get any better, any stronger or any more flexible unless I keep trying them.
Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
We must realize every success requires many failures. We MUST fail to succeed. Every failure teaches us what not to do, it tests our strength, it teaches us discipline, it challenges our poor attitude and it grows our character. The good news is with every failure, is also a mini-success. These smaller successes help keep us trying. BUT, without trying, we never experience the small successes.
No one likes to fail. In fact, people try to avoid failure at all costs. People don’t love, for the risk of a failed relationship. People don’t pursue their dreams, because of the risk of failure. Many people don’t even start a diet or workout program because they don’t believe they can succeed and don’t want to be a failure in that too. However, if you want to succeed, you need to be ready for many failures (big or small) along the way. Part of success is mastering the art of failing without it getting in the way of your goals.
Don’t give into your weaknesses. Decide to be strong today. Accept that failure is a part of life, and the more chances you have to fail, the more chances you have to succeed.
“When Is the Last Time You Attempted Something Great?”
This is a very powerful question. I believe many of us avoid attempting great tasks to avoid experiencing great failure. There comes a time you have to ask yourself, “What is worse? Attempting something great and possibly failiing, or not attempting anything great at all and succeeding?”
I’ve recently been asked to do some pretty scary things – scary to me at least. My first instinct was to say “no”. Then I had to ask myself why I was saying no. Was it because it would hurt me? No. Was it because it would hurt anyone else? No. Was it because I was afraid to fail. The answer was yes – but that should NEVER stop me from trying something. When it boiled down to it, I had no other choice but to decide to do it because I really had no good reason not to at least try.
Sadly, many people never really ever try to do something great simply because they don’t want to fail. I believe we are looking at success all wrong. Success is not reaching your goal without opposition, struggle, failures or setbacks. Success is reaching your goal, or getting closer to your goal, despite all of that. Success is also not just doing what you are good at. You can be successful in just trying. You can be more successful attempting success, even if you fall short of your goal. Your goal may be in trying alone. Let me explain…
The Success In Trying
Someone recently suggested my mom be in the Ms. Senior Pageant. She thought long and hard on it and decided it was time she step outside her box and do it. Her goal was not to win. Her goal was to get out of her comfort zone and to experience personal growth, as well as encourage the other ladies there. Her goal was to show up.
Her dress didn’t come in time but she didn’t stress (I admit I would have freaked!). She could have easily used that as an excuse to back out. She could have taken that as an omen, “well it’s just not mean to be”, but she didn’t. She pressed on. She was scheduled to be out of town for work a lot, and she could have used that as an excuse for poor timing, but she found a way to fit it all in. She had never done a pageant before and struggled with the perception of being in a “beauty pageant” but she focused on what good could come out of instead. She had plenty of really good excuses but decided to not use one of them.
Just showing up for her was a big win. We were all so proud because we knew she was way out of her box. She was proud of herself. She said she would sit there at practice thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” As I watched her on stage, I marveled at her bravery, knowing it wasn’t easy for her. I gleamed with pride and reflected on my own need to step outside my comfort zone. She not only did it – to her surprise, she won.
What If You Fail?
What if she failed? What if she didn’t even get to be a runner up? Would she really have failed? Absolutely not. She met some amazing ladies and she could celebrate the victory of stepping out of her box. The moment she said “Yes, I’ll do it” she succeeded. The moment she stepped on stage, she was a winner because she attempted something great. She practiced and performed her song. She memorized her philosophy. She learned how to walk, dance and prepare for such an event. She walked away with more experience, more confidence and more ways to encourage people. Whether she walked away with a crown on her head and a sash across her chest or not, she would have left a better person, a more fully developed person with one more great experience under her belt. Victory was inevitable.
I want to challenge you today to try something great. Don’t just attempt to lose 20lbs, attempt to lose the full 50 you need to lose. Ladie,s don’t try to just get any man, aim to find the BEST and GREATEST man for you. Don’t settle for a job you are miserable, keep applying for the job you’ve always wanted. Don’t settle for an average marriage, work hard to develop a phenomenal marriage. In every single attempt, you will likely see much improvement whether you reach your desired goal or not.
“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” (Les Brown)
I recently heard 7 powerful words that I will never forget: “Nothing you’ve been through will be wasted“. These encouraging words mean even more as we approach the new year. Pastor TD Jakes totally turned the tables for me. No failure, no mistake, no loss, no pain, no hardship or no experience (no matter how bad it was) has to be wasted – and instead, it can actually be USED for good.
Yes, you heard right. Any mistake you made or any failure you experienced (EVEN if it was your own fault) can be used for your benefit, for others’ benefit, and even for God’s benefit. How? Here are 3 ways the failures of 2013 can be a success in 2014.
#1 The Lesson
First, we can LEARN from our mistakes. If you tried 10 ways to diet in 2013 and failed, you’ve successfully know 10 diets that are not for you. You probably also learned a few things along the way. You might have learned how many calories are in your favorite cheat meal – or you discovered a low-calorie snack you actually love. You may have discovered a workout you love, but now realize you can’t compete with what you eat – and now you know you need to try the same workout with new eating habits. Either way, you still have learned something.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
#2 The Testimony
Second, we have a more powerful testimony when we DO succeed. It may seem like some people succeed with ease (and they may). However, when someone succeeds in an area of their life that was truly challenging, THAT person can make even more of an impact on others than someone who easily reaches their goals. Whether your struggle is with your weight, or something else, when you finally do succeed, just think of the encouragement your story will give others who are dealing with the same stuff you have conquered. Your testimony can help someone have the courage not to give up.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
#3 The Understanding
Lastly, our experiences allow us to see life differently, in order to relate to others. If I never struggled with my own weight, or struggled with laziness, weakness, injury or failures, you may not even listen to me right now. You may be under the impression that I couldn’t possibly understand what you may be going through. You may even believe it’s just easier for me than it is for you. You might even be tempted to think that what works for me cannot work for you too.
That is why I try to make it very clear in my blogs and posts that I am one of the laziest people I know – so you realize if I can do it, anyone can. Do I look lazy? Maybe not, but do I have to fight my lazy lame flesh every single day, and drag my sorry butt to the gym? Almost every single time! Hopefully, that encourages you! Hopefully, you will see that fitness isn’t a feeling or the result of insane motivation, but that it’s a decision. It’s a commitment, like a job, – and it pays off BIG TIME!
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” Booker T. Washington
Sure, you can waste your experiences by not learning from them, by not sharing them, and by not helping others who are going through the same thing you have gone through. OR, you can realize your experiences can make you stronger, wiser and better – and they make you a more effective leader to impact others in a way unimaginable.
1.) Make a list of your 2013 failures, struggles and mistakes.
2.) Write your response on what you should have done differently.
3.) Make notes of how you can use those experiences to help you reach your goals in 2014. Focusing on USING your experiences (instead of WASTING them) may be the only thing that motivates you to not fail – and that may be exactly what you need to succeed!
4.) Journal your feelings, failures, victories and progress daily. Pretend you are going to write a story of your success. Even if you never write a book for millions to read, your story can help you stay on track, never forget what you learned and help you share your story with others in a special way.
Too many people let their past failures define them. They dieted before and failed, so they believe they are doomed to never lose weight. They joined a gym before and quit going, so they fear they’ll just waste their money again the next time. They have a tendency to be lazy, selfish, and lack self control, so they fear they will always be lazy, selfish and lack self control. This type of thinking uses past failures to sabotage tomorrow’s successes.
My grandmother once quoted Barbara Johnson, an encouraging author known for helping women have hope and joy in discouraging times, saying, “Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Focusing on past failures causes us to worry about continuing to be a failure, and Barbara reminds us worrying wastes time and interferes with tomorrow’s opportunities.
Free From Failure
What we think about is a choice. We have the choice to think about all the mistakes we’ve made, and what mistakes we could make in the future OR we can think about changing our actions, breaking the cycle, becoming the person we want to be, learning from our mistakes and succeeding. Sure, it’s easy to look at the facts. Believe me, I know about failure. I remember paying for a gym membership for 2 years and never going. Did that stop me from joining a gym again? No. The next time I went a little more than the first. I continued to join gyms until I found the one that kept me going, and I learned to make working out a part of my life, and not an option.
Of course, this is just one type of failure. There are much worse failures than just wasting a gym membership or quitting a diet. However, the application applies to all failures. Just the same way you can list off all the good reasons you’re sure you could fail again (where statistics could help prove your point), I can shoot off some statistics of my own that prove you could succeed.
Aim for Success
I have countless encounters with people who have never had weight loss success who joined our gym, or did a boot camp, and got the results they wanted after many failed attempts. I could remind you of all the failed relationships who decided to never give up and who made it – stronger and better than they ever hoped. We can look at all the countless men and women in history that led lives of failure, but are remembered for their great successes because they didn’t let their failures define them or stop them from continuing to try to become a success.
No matter what your struggle is today, decide now to accept your failures as HISTORY. You can be a failure yesterday and be a success today. Be a success for several days in a row, and before you know it you ARE a success.
No matter how bad you were on Thanksgiving, no matter how much you’ve let your workouts slip, no matter how many poor mistakes you’ve made with your finances or relationships, decide to stop making the mistakes that haunt you, decide to think about the possibilities if you succeed, and and decide to make this week a successful week!
What if he quit trying?
“This was a man who failed in business at the age of 21; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president of the United States at age 52.”
This man was Abraham Lincoln.
“I have failed over and over, and that is why I succeed” Abraham Lincoln.
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In this mantra I say “failure is not final – unless you give up” but in reality, failure isn’t final until your dead.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I tend to be brutally honest. In a world filled with diet and fitness companies promising the sun, moon and stars, I feel people are in desperate need for honesty – and that’s not just with fitness. Make-up companies promise to make your skin look flawless (yeah, right!), clothing brands lead you to believe you NEED their clothes to feel great about yourself, and food products make you think you will bite your way into happiness if you can just taste their newest creation.
Out of all the advertisers in the world, fitness brands are absolutely the WORST. They will do anything it takes (lie, cheat & steal) to convince you that their gimmick will work for you and it will be easy to succeed – and that’s why I think it is SO important to be honest with people. You need to know the truth. You need to have realistic expectations. Sometimes the truth is encouraging, and sometimes is may be discouraging. In this case, it’s a little of both. The discouraging truth is: You Will Fail. The encouraging truth is: You can try as many times as you want. There’s no limit to the number of attempts you can make – AND the more you try, (like the LOTTO) the more chances you have to succeed. Except with fitness, the odds of success are in your favor.
Quitting Doesn’t Have To Be Forever
OK, so we all fail. But, if you really think about it, we have all been quitters too. Even if we wouldn’t call ourself a “quitter”, we are all quitters at some point and time. Most of us have tried something and quit something. Does that mean you won’t try again and give it another shot? No, it just means you quit for a period of time. Your success just depends on how long you decide to quit for, and how long it takes you to recover from each failure. Some people fail and immediately try again the next day. Others stay down for weeks, month and sometimes years before they try and get back up again.
In the diet and fitness world, failure is going to happen. BUT, as SOON as you try again, you are no longer a failure or a quitter.
You may be sitting in front of the computer reading this as a quitter. Maybe you tried the latest diet and it didn’t work for you. Or, you didn’t workout this week, or eat as well as you wanted to. Maybe you have already called it quits (at least for this week) – or, maybe you haven’t purposefully quit, but you just quit trying.
Maybe you tried all week (and failed), so you are “quitting” this weekend. Meaning, you didn’t quite do what you set out to do this week, so you are not even going to try to workout or diet over the weekend because you plan to start over Monday. Even though you haven’t quit for good, you are quitting for the weekend.
Quit Quitting! You still have 3 days left – today, tomorrow and Sunday to make this week a success – and not a failure. Decide today to allow less time to lapse in between failures and to keep trying over and over and over again. Because, as long as you don’t quit trying, you will never be a failure no matter how many times you fail.
“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” ― H.G. Wells
What you did, or didn’t do, yesterday has nothing to do with today. TODAY, is fresh and new. TODAY, you get to make better decisions. TODAY, you can use what you learned from prior mistakes. You don’t have a disadvantage today. If you really think about it, you have an advantage today.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison
“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” ― Joel Osteen,
You Missed Your Mark, So What? Try Again
“You can suffer the pain of change or suffer remaining the way you are.” ― Joyce Meyer
When you aim for a target and miss, you have a chance to try it again. You have a chance to make corrections. If you didn’t hit your target because you were aiming too far to the right, you aim a little left. You don’t just beat yourself up over missing it or give up. You keep trying. You keep practicing. You keep correcting. Even if you completely stink at it, you CAN get better – with practice. The only thing worse that feeling like a failure because you aren’t always hitting your mark, is feeling like a failure because you are not even trying to hit your mark.
“A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
You know your weaknesses. You know your strengths. You have a chance to correct mistakes. If you ate poorly yesterday, you can eat good today. If you skipped a workout, you get to workout today. You have a chance to leave the past in the past and just do what is right and good today. Today is literally the only thing you have control over.
“I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.” ― Abraham Lincoln
If you focus on your past failures, you will let those failures affect today. You will let them cause doubt. You will allow the feeling of defeat ruin your today – to the point you might not even try to arise today. You have the chance to forgive yourself. You have to chance to start over – everyone does. We’ve all failed, we just don’t all keep trying.
“You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying. To the best you can do everyday.” ― Jason Mraz
So, next time you want to have a pity party about how you messed up – get over it! Let that mistake stay with yesterday. Today can be as successful as you want it to be.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
“Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.” ― Ben Carson
“It is not as important how we start (our past), but how we finish.” ― Joyce Meyer
Joyce Meyer said “If you aren’t willing to get hurt, you can’t love”. Another words, love requires risks – and that same principle applies to fitness, because it too requires the risk of failure. If you aren’t willing to experience failures from time to time, then you will never experience success in anything you attempt to do and do well.
Although Fred Astaire could have totally given up (see above quote), he didn’t let that judge stop him. Wikipedia describes him as “a successful American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer, musician and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films.” As Kelly Olexa says, “Booyah!” Take that Mr. Judgey boy! He sure showed you!
Failure Doesn’t Have to Be the End, It Could be the Beginning
Failure isn’t the end, it’s part of the journey. Quitting is the end – and it’s simply not an option when it comes to working out and dieting. Failing is just part of life, if you plan to do bigger and better things. Failing, at times, is inevitable.
Think about it. How many times must one strike out before they learn to hit a ball? Failing is part of practicing and fitness takes practice. Diet takes practice. Weight training takes practice. Running takes practice. And, learning how to manage calories going in and out takes practice.
Here are some of my favorite “failures” on the way to success featured on the Business Insider:
JERRY SEINFIELD: The first time Jerry Seinfeld went onstage, he was booed away by the jeering crowd.
WALT DISNEY was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
ALBERT EINSTEIN Albert Einstein didn’t speak until age four and didn’t read until age seven. His teachers labeled him “slow” and “mentally handicapped.”
R.H. MACY had a history failing businesses, including a dud Macy’s in NYC.
COLONEL SANDERS, Harland David Sanders, the famous KFC “Colonel,” couldn’t sell his chicken. More than 1,000 restaurants rejected him.
DR. SEUSS‘ first book was rejected by 27 different publishers.
HARRISON FORD: After his first film, Harrison Ford underwhelmed the producer and was told he would probably never succeed.
OPRAH WINFREY was fired from her television reporting job because they told her she wasn’t fit to be on screen.
Don’t quit, don’t stop …success maybe right around the corner! #getafterit
How do you handle failure? Do you fall apart? Do you quit? Or, do you get so mad you do something to change it – to change you?
I CAN Get Better
I can’t change my circumstance, but I sure as heck can change me. I CAN become better. I CAN learn from each and every mistake. I CAN continue pressing on no matter how much I’ve failed, no matter how others view me, and no matter what odds are against me.
I CAN Get One Step Closer
Will I become everything I want I hoped to? Will I achieve every goal or dream? I don’t know but, if I try, I can definitely become BETTER. I can get closer to my goals and dreams if I keep pressing on. But if I quit, I don’t just stay the same – I actually become worse, weaker, and further from my goal every single day I neglect to chase it.
I CAN Let Failure Fuel Me
One thing I know is I will use every ill word, every lame opinion, every frustrating obstacle and every negative comment to FUEL ME to become stronger and better. I will not let it destroy me, or my spirit.
I CAN Face Our Fears
I will not let my own doubt, insecurities, failures or fears paralyze me. I will face my fears head on and trust that God will give me the strength to handle everything that comes my way so that I can become everything He has designed me to be.
I CAN Press On
Today I decide, once again, to “keep showing up”.
As we approach the New Year, it’s not only important to look at what you WANT, but it’s crucial you look at what you DON’T want. Maybe failure is not about what you are doing, but what you are not doing.
Moving on, in many ways, means saying goodbye. The problem is, goodbyes are often hard, even when the place we are headed may be a good place to be. I don’t know why it is so hard to let go of the past, but it is. We prefer the known over the unknown I guess. Ironically, we often prefer the known even if the known is in prisoning us.
It may sound crazy, but I believe many of us don’t get to experience a lot of great things in life because we have such a strong grip on the past. This issue can also affect us when attempting to make New Year’s resolutions – especially when it comes to weight loss. Read the rest of this entry