It’s an incredible feeling when you’re working toward a goal(s) you’ve set for yourself and you’re actually seeing progress. You note where you’re growing, and you may even hear encouragement from others who notice your achievements. It can multiply your motivation to keep pressing forward.
But what about the times when we fail to reach our goals? We said we would do something and we simply didn’t do it. Or we stated we would be at a certain point in our health journey by a specific date, and when that date arrived, we found ourselves short of our goals. What do we do with that?
Learning to handle our failures and shortcomings well is actually an important part of our growth. Our failures can show us something very valuable as we journey toward making our Wellness Vision a reality.
Reframe the way we see failure
Why is failure so hard? It can be quite a humbling experience. It doesn’t feel good to admit that we haven’t done what we said we would, or to face the thought that maybe we set a goal we couldn’t reach. If we don’t reframe how we think about failure, we may find ourselves reacting in ways that are counterproductive to overcoming setbacks and pursuing our goals once more. Instead of examining the failure for what it can teach us, we might zoom past it, trying to forget it even happened, or worse, we might give up pursuing our goal altogether.
What if instead of thinking about failure as a purely negative thing or experience, we start to see it as a guide to teach us? What would be possible if we could embrace failure as a normal and necessary part of our health journey, and learn to listen to what it’s trying to tell us?
Listen to what failure is telling us
Failures and setbacks can be such great teachers. Why? Because they can elicit such strong feelings when we experience them, we can’t help but pay attention. Additionally, failure can show us areas on our health journeys where we need to pay more attention.
Have you noticed you’re missing workouts you said you would do when the winter months come along? Why is that? If you immediately put the failure out of your mind, or you give up and say you’ll no longer workout during the winter months, you’ve lost the chance to learn the reason why the winter months are tough.
Instead, if you put this failure in front of you and really examine it, you may discover some creative solutions to continue working out when the weather gets cold. Maybe a run out in the cold doesn’t sound enjoyable or the lack of sunlight in the winter zaps your energy. When you recognize what is actually going on that causes the failure or setback, you’re able to address it and move forward.
“Our greatest glory consists not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recalculate and move forward
You know how a GPS says “recalculating” over and over when we make a wrong turn as it attempts to find us another way to our destination? That is what failure can do for us, too. When we see failure as a guide and listen to what it is telling us, we’re able to come up with different solutions, ask for help, or possibly reconfigure our goals to be more suitable to what we want and what we need during our current life stage.
How about you? Are there failures or setbacks you’ve had in the past that you’ve used to propel you forward toward your goals? If so, how did those help you? If you’re currently experiencing a setback, how can you use that to launch you forward on your health journey?
Written By: Brittni Paris, SFC Blogger