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.
Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this blog for more motivation!
Caitlin B posted her very honest and inspiring story in our BCx Forum at FitStudio.com. She probably doesn’t even realize it, but she gives some of the best advice in the business. As you read her post, take notice of the bold sentences and see if you get her tips.
“I’m starting another round of BCx Bootcamp. The last four weeks have been major improvement on my fitness. Let me first admit that I did not do every workout. I missed days here and there. Sometimes I could only get through half of a workout. But every Monday for four weeks I kept coming back and doing that Lower Body mission. For anyone getting discouraged by the difficulty (I wasn’t unhealthy, but I was by no means ‘in shape’ when I started this), just keep coming back to it. My times were horrible. And I took really long breaks between sets. Even if you skip a day, so what? After stumbling my way through four weeks, not only do I feel more energetic and stronger, but (most importantly!) my attitude towards exercise has changed. I’m not dragging myself off the couch to go workout. I’m actually looking forward to it. When I add up my times at the end of each workout, I’m not thinking “did it really take me that long?!” but “heh, go me, I just busted it for 50 minutes! Wahoo!”
If I just gave up after not doing so well during my first go through, then 6 months from now I’ll just be the same un-fit me, blundering my way through various fitness programs.
So I started a new round of BCx on Monday. I’m taking everything I’ve learned from the first round. I’m aiming for finishing all the workouts, no skips (unless I legitimately need to). So far, so good. Thanks Bonnie and Steve. I think I may finally be on the path towards fitness!”
What can we learn from Caitlin?
1. You may skip a few workouts. Big deal! A few workouts are better than no workouts. Caitlin obviously strived to do as many workouts as she could, but she didn’t always get them all in – and she still succeeded.
2. Your workouts may not be as long as you want. She admits she didn’t always complete the full workout – but BCx ain’t easy, and even half a workout is more than most people do.They key to success is knowing doing something is always better than doing nothing – and every little bit counts!
3. You just have to keep showing up. This is one of my favorite personal mantras and it’s also my favorite tip she shares. No matter how short, how few, or how ugly her workouts were, she kept showing up each Monday to start fresh. Way to go! Definitely the trick behind creating a lasting healthy habit.
4. You don’t have to be in shape to workout hard. Although BCx is a tough program for anyone, it’s not designed FOR the fit, it’s designed to GET you fit. Caitlin didn’t let her fitness level interfere with her effort level. Way to go!
5. You don’t have to be THE best, you just have to be YOUR best. She admits her time was horrible and she took long breaks to rest. But time is simply a measurement and is there to push you to perform at your personal best. Caitlin didn’t compare herself to others, she compared herself to her own prior performance and noticed she was getting stronger and faster.
6. You can get results despite how crappy you may think you’re doing. Caitlin’s hard work and consistency paid off. She got stronger and feels more energetic. Not only did she feel better but she was also learning to enjoy her workouts and not dread them. She stuck it out when it was tough and has discovered the more fit she gets, the more her attitude changes about working out.
We can learn SO much from Caitlin! What encouraging words to hear. You can fail, you can stink at it, you can even mess up repeatedly, and you can STILL get great results …as long as you JUST KEEP SHOWING UP!
Way to go Caitlin and thanks SO much for sharing your story!!!!
Now, let’s ROCK it this go around – it only gets better from here girlfriend!!
Here’s my mantra pic from my facebook cover. Feel free to steal it if you need a daily reminder to…Just Show Up!
To Join Caitlin B and do our 4-week BCx Boot Camp program online, sign up at www.FitStudio.com and join our program. Post your times and interact with other BCxers in our BCx Forum and connect with us on facebook and twitter too!
A child can’t walk on their 1st try. Success comes with practice – and many falls.
I woke up this morning thinking about failure and how our “falls” in life are necessary to grow stronger. It made me think of a child. When trying to get a baby to walk, if he or she could speak, I am sure the words that would come out of his or her mouth would be “but mom, I can’t” – but they CAN and DO!
Of course they only start walking after about a million falls, wiggle/wobbles and tears, but they eventually walk – and before you know it, they are so good at it you have to hold their hand so they don’t run off.
You can – and WILL
Fitness is the same way. When we have a brand new boot camper, the words “I can’t” often come out of their mouths. “I can’t run”, “I can’t do push ups”, “I can’t lift that” – and you know what? They CAN and DO. Read the rest of this entry