The pain of failure or disappointment spares no one, nor can it deprive us of future opportunities for love, happiness, and success.

Our mindset determines our reaction to failure. Whether that failure will spiral into defeat or provide for the opportunity to learn and grow is a choice we can make.

Many people will go through life with their mindset on fitness hopelessness, having convinced themselves that they can’t succeed in improving their health and fitness because they have tried everything and failed

The mind is hard to change once it becomes convinced of our fitness failure.

If this has happened to you, give fitness and health another go. This time, be conscious of breaking the negative belief before it begins with the following strategies.

Goals, results and giving up

It is very natural to feel demoralized and defeated after a failure to reach a fitness or health goal.

Sometimes the problem of goal setting is that it systematically ignores the emotional effect of failure in achieving objective results.

For example, a well-formulated goal to lose 5 kg in 6 months seems “do-able” with a new life style diet and exercise plan.

If six months go by and the circumstances in our life see us no closer to achieving those results, we naturally become disappointed.

The painful sense of failure and severe self-reproach reinforces a negative helplessness for our fitness.

Under these circumstances we give up on our fitness and health plans, and resign to the subjective “facts” that we are somehow disabled for fitness success.

However; by continuing to work through the pain of disappointment with a simple exercise plan (like our online 9-minute circuit) coupled with a healthy whole food diet, will make fitness defeat impossible.

Managing disappointment and failure

Failure and disappointment are not necessarily a  “bad” thing if we think of them as private teachers, health coaches or mentors.

We, therefore, need a system that we can work with to mitigate the psychological damage failure can cause if it is left to control our mindset.

Dr. Guy Winch, is a licensed psychologist, in New York City and author of Emotional First Aid.

He writes of 7 systems that can help us ease our way through the pain of disappointment and move onto success.

They are as follows:

  1. Give yourself a limited time to feel bad for failure, and then move on.
  2. Deflect pointless rumination about what might have been and focus on what can be.
  3. Avoid self-pity it is a destructive self-indulgence, choose a real indulgence like a massage or a facial.
  4. Use self-compassion and counsel yourself like you would a dear friend.
  5. Put failure into perspective and reflect on being grateful for your achievements no matter how small.
  6. Spend a few moments identifying how you can try again to get better results.
  7. Always remember: fitness success does not equal happiness.

I believe that happiness is a state of mind, and success is a sincere belief in our self-worth.  It is independent of our goals, results or desired outcomes.


This week’s homework

In the comments below, let me know how you have moved through disappointment. Did you use any of  Dr. Winch’s  systems or do you have a unique system that you can share with us?

I would love to hear your thoughts and together we can move through disappointments in fitness and onto fitness success easily.


Live well with fitness