Last Updated on May 4, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
Not everyone can deal with a failure in the same way. While some seem to shrug it off, others start a downward spiral that appears to get worse by the minute. Myself, I am somewhat on the fence when it comes to such failings. There are days where staying positive is relatively easy. Then again, there are days when I sink into a fairly deep depression. It’s all a matter of how you look at the situation and what you’re willing to change.
Why You Need to Focus on Staying Positive
In reality, I don’t believe in failures, only lessons to be learned. It’s through failings that humans gain a great deal of knowledge. Whether it’s fitness or life in general, bad things that happen teach you how to adapt. It’s up to you whether you want to learn the lesson or repeat the same mistakes. Here are a few reasons why I believe staying positive is in your best interest.
Avoiding Future Mistakes
If you can keep a positive mind, you can see the faults that caused the failure. Like I said above, it’s all about what you take away from the circumstance. A true failure is when you don’t learn in order to prevent future mistakes. You’re only human; there will be times that you will have severe problems. It’s the lessons that are learned that can make you a stronger person. Just like the Phoenix, you can rise from the ashes of even the most devastating of situations.
From a fitness perspective, it could be as simple as realizing what triggers you to eat more. For example, I have a tendency to snack late at night. If I go into the red on my calorie intake, it’s because I didn’t recognize my failing in time. When I gorge myself one day, I pay closer attention to what triggered the problem for the next. I don’t consider it a failure, but more of an experience that helps me train my mind for proper health.
Reducing Esteem Issues
Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to keep your chin up. Personally, I’ve been diagnosed as having a manic bipolar disorder. For people like me, it’s a condition that can prevent us from seeing the positive. In either case, things can go wrong if you dwell on the negative of any situation.
Negative Snowball Going Downhill
When you’re in a negative frame of mind, it can seem that everything around you is going wrong. In many cases, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re expecting bad things to happen, so they will. While many people will blame Karma, take into consideration that your negative emotions are influencing your judgement. It’s like the moth to the bug zapper. You know that flying into the light is going to hurt, but you’re fixated on the negative outlook and can’t veer away.
Avoiding a Viscous Cycle
I occasionally have this kind of a problem. There will be days when I am stuck in a rut and say, “to hell with it” and fill up on Taco Bell. Once my mind has been cleared, I feel bad about myself – starting the cycle all over again. The trick is to not feel bad about yourself. Sure you screwed up, but that just means you need to work harder the next day. By staying positive, you can take steps to avoid such viscous cycles that could be detrimental to your success.
Increasing Your Capacity to Learn
When you’re in a negative frame of mind, it can be more difficult to learn from your mistakes. For what ever the reason, your mind is too involved in feeling low while you’re wallowing in self-pity. I know how this feels all too well. However, I’ve been retraining how I process information and avoiding feeling negative when I screw up. This makes the situation much more clear allowing me to focus on how to fix the problem.
Taking Steps to Avoid the Cause
When you fixate on the positive aspect of the circumstance, it’s much easier to analyze what triggered the so-called failure. Instead of hating myself for pigging out on fast food, I take a closer look at what I can change in order to avoid that situation tomorrow. Currently, I load up my bag with food for the day instead of worrying about picking up lunch. Right now, there is a can of Progresso Creamy Tomato with Penne staring at me.
Analyze and Adapt
Another example is noticing I barely squeaked by with 65 calories in the green last night. What I learned from this is that I need to get more physical activity. I haven’t been exercising like I wanted, only increasing my walking throughout the day. Increasing my steps isn’t a bad thing, but I want to slim down my core. I will be able to do that quicker by increasing my daily workouts again while staying positive.
If your plans for fitness go awry one day, or anything else in life for that matter, don’t wallow in the negativity of a failure. Instead, take a closer look at how you can fix it for tomorrow and keep hope alive. If you live one day at a time, you can focus more on what can be done in the present to alter your future. Remember, it’s only a failure if you don’t learn anything from your mistake.