Reframe How You Look at Failure

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Though we may not like to admit it, we have all experienced failure at some point. We can be particularly hard on ourselves when it comes to nutrition, physical activity, and goals for weight maintenance or weight loss. But, what do we gain by looking negatively at ourselves? What if we reframed the way we look at our so-called failures?

Thinking about “failures” as opportunities to learn and grow will improve the journey you are on to reach your goals. This describes a growth mindset, where we view ourselves as capable of change. Yes, we may face different bumps in the road, but we can reset, reevaluate our position, and continue moving forward.

Consider these steps if you experience “failure” or setbacks:

  1. Give yourself time to acknowledge your thoughts and emotions. It is okay and more than normal to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or discouraged. Allow yourself to feel and define these emotions. Then, give yourself grace. This is an opportunity to learn.
  1. Reflect and analyze the situation. What caused your so-called failure? What factors were in your control? What factors were outside of your control? You may find it helpful to talk through the situation with another person and ask for their feedback.
  1. Make a game plan. What are you going to do next to get back on track? Try to account for the circumstances that contributed to your setback. Even when it comes to factors outside of your control, you might be able to regain partial control through your actions.
  1. Adjust your goals. As you learn more about yourself through these experiences, you may find you need to alter your goals to better fit your needs. That is okay! Or, maybe you need to set smaller, short-term goals that will help you reach your larger, long-term goals. This can give you better direction and determination.

Don’t let setbacks discourage you! Unexpected situations or events will always come up, so use every experience as an opportunity to learn. Working past your failures will make you more resilient and more likely to maintain your goals once you achieve them.

For more specific tips on nutrition and physical activity, read our blog on Navigating Plateaus and Setbacks.

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