I have a friend who is following my example and getting healthy. This person put their mind in the right place (which is the first and most important step) and is beginning to shift eating and movement patterns to live a better life. However, right as they were beginning, they went off-plan and ate a cookie! Impulsive and available, the cookie called out to my friend as my friend passed the plate in the work room.
“I feel like such a failure!” my friend said, agonizing at the thought of the broken personal commitment to health.
I know I’ve felt that way and I’m pretty sure you’ve felt it as well. The dreaded ‘F’ word: Failure. So how can we overcome those feelings of failure? As with anything, we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Here are three mind renewing truths to help you overcome the feeling of failure.
Failure is feedback. When you change your belief about what you call “failure” and see it as an opportunity to learn, that’s when the power of life-change can happen. As I coached my friend through this earth-shattering event (read sarcasm), they began to identify why they ate the cookie and how impulse in the past should be redirected in the future. As one begins to lose weight after applying the steps in Break Through Weight Loss, one begins to recognize how foods (and snacks) affect health control and management.
Failure is an event, not a label. The problem with saying negative statements as, “I’m such a failure,” or “I failed again,” is that you are hanging a sign around your neck when it should be hung on the event which didn’t go according to plan. Being negative about an event can keep you stuck. Listen … You are not a failure. You failed at something. You still have value. You still are loved. Some of you need to linger on those last four phrases. Write them down. Put them in your car, your purse or wallet.
Most failure is not final. If my friend continues to dwell on the event of ‘failure’, then that event holds power in their life until its broken by a mental shift. Once the cookie processes through the bodies system, it’s gone. Now, the consequences may be an extra workout or more water or having to eat more vegetables the next meal, but most things in life are redeemed by how we respond to them.
I can’t stress enough these three mental responses to ‘failure’. Again, the war in in your mind. The battles come in your choice of response and in your patterns of belief.
(By the way, if you are going to take the health journey, DO NOT compare yourself to anyone else. You are you [deep thought]. You are created in a certain way. Do your best and find others to help).