When it comes to fitness, feelings of failure can be one of the biggest barriers to progress. Confidence and fitness go hand in hand. When you work out, you feel more confident. When you feel confident, your workouts are better. But if you lose your confidence, for whatever reason, it can be hard to get it back. Overcoming feelings of failure about your fitness is challenging, but can be done.
Why are you feeling failure?
An important step to overcoming feelings of failure is to identify where these thoughts come from. For many people, they might feel like a failure because of insecurity around their level of fitness. Or maybe, you feel bad that you struggle to find time to get to the gym when it seems like everyone else is always working out. Negative feelings can be triggered by almost anything.
Even total fitness junkies sometimes feel like failures too, though. If you’re a gym rat and you’re there 6 days a week, you might find yourself getting frustrated when you hit a plateau. You could be feeling down and wondering why it just doesn’t seem like you’re progressing when everyone else is smashing new records every week.
No matter whether you’re a total beginner or a fitness nerd, there’s a common driving force behind feelings of failure: comparisons. In the hyper-connected world we live in, full of social media and fitness influencers, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others.
If you’re struggling with an aspect of your fitness journey, the last thing you want to see is videos and pictures of others showing off their ripped abs or boasting about their latest fitness achievements.
Overcoming feelings of failure
First of all, stop comparing yourself to others. This might mean unfollowing fitness influencers, or putting a little distance between yourself and your most competitive friends. It can be hard, but remember that your fitness has little or nothing to do with anyone else’s.
Focus on your own why. Take some time to think about why you’re doing this. Hopefully, you have some internal fitness goals as well as external. Physical goals are great, but mental and emotional goals will keep you driven for longer.
Then, try to put your feelings of failure into perspective. Your insecurity is likely triggered by what’s only a minor setback on a long journey. Comparing yourself to others and feeling like a failure won’t make any difference to achieving the goal in the end. Your journey towards your goals is an individual venture, and the pace doesn’t matter – just enjoy the journey.
Using negative feelings to drive success
Okay, so you feel better. You know it’s just a little setback, and you can keep moving forward. But before you totally forget about these feelings of failure, think about if they can be of value. Failure, and feelings of failure, can hold important lessons.
Experience is the best teacher. So, if you’re feeling like a failure because your deadlift isn’t improving, think about why. Maybe it’s because you aren’t eating enough, so you aren’t building enough muscle.
Use these feelings of failure to motivate you to work more calories and protein into your diet. Any time your motivation drops in the future, remember the feelings of failure you feel now. Use the memory to drive you towards success.
Remember that on any venture, whether related to business, fitness, or anything else, failure is an inherent part of it. You’ll always experience setbacks of some description. The setbacks don’t matter. What matters is how you deal with them.
Don’t forget that fitness is meant to make you feel good
At the end of the day, a fit and healthy lifestyle is meant to make you feel good. If you’re experiencing chronic feelings of failure, you should re-evaluate your routine. Maybe you need to be less hard on yourself. Maybe you need to turn to your family and friends for support, or take a break from the gym.
The longer you let your negative thoughts run wild, the harder overcoming feelings of failure becomes. Be kind to others, and yourself.