By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
How often do you let yourself down? Every week? Every day? Maybe multiple times per day? Do you even know?
I have one major rule during all training sessions: no negative self-talk. It’s amazing how many people doubt, criticize and scold themselves without even realize it. Many of my clients admit to feeling like a failure, perhaps because they’re just used to failing or they expect to fail so that they aren’t disappointed if they don’t succeed.
Expecting to fail and throwing ‘disclaimers’ out there such as “I’ll try but I’ll probably do horrible,” or “I want to do this but I really don’t think I can,” are easy outs and, in my book, a form of negative self-talk that can, unintentionally, create a habit of setting a goal and expecting to fail.
You might not realize that you do this sort of self-sabotaging. In some ways, as strange as it may sound, it may be easier for people to fail than to be successful.
WHY FAILING IS EASY
• Failing gives you an excuse to back out of things. If you try and don’t succeed, you can always throw your hands up and say, “Well, I tried and it didn’t work so I’m done.”
• Failing keeps you “safe” and doesn’t come with any apparent risk because it keeps you in your comfort zone; so you never really change or grow, which can be an uncomfortable adjustment.
WHY SUCCEEDING IS HARD
• Success involves pursuing things head-on. Setting a new goal and trying new things will almost always come with failures, but success is failing and persisting despite the failures.
• Success almost always takes you either slightly out of – or wayyyy out of your comfort zone. Setting new goals may take you into uncharted, and even scary territory that can make you feel uneasy and insecure. This is GOOD!
HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL
1. Set Realistic Goals Set very small, achievable goals every week. Achieve them, then set higher goals that will cause you to fail more often than succeed. Of course, people who are somewhat fragile and may need extra encouragement and support certainly don’t need the added negativity associated with the feeling of failure after failure after failure. Setting achievable goals can help you earn your trust back.
2. Follow Through When you constantly let yourself down, you create an unhealthy relationship with yourself that is based on mistrust. What would happen if someone else kept promising you they would do something, but they never followed through with it? Would you trust them? This is what you do to yourself every time you don’t follow through with something you set out to do.
3. Be Persistent It is OK to fail. Failing probably makes up the majority of what eventually ends up as success! So don’t quit. I should rephrase that. You don’t actually fail unless you quit. It is OK to not be successful on the first or second, or even 50th time. Life is a process, and persistence results in success…even if it takes a lifetime to get there.
You’ve heard that with love comes trust, so if you don’t trust yourself to achieve your goals, what message does that send? Part of loving yourself is trusting yourself enough to take care of yourself like you would someone you love more than anything in the world. That takes commitment, honesty, and following through with the promises you make to yourself (aka: goals).
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.