Failure and Guilt: Our Biggest Pitfalls
Oct 10, 2018
Any coach worth a damn will tell you what I'm about to say; you cannot screw up, it's just not possible.
You will stumble, you will fall, and it will be hard; but no matter how long you are down for, if you choose to get back up, it's my job as a coach to be the hand you reach for each and every time.
Too often I see people delay the "getting back up" phase because of some deep seeded feelings of guilt.
Guilt is like this horrible pit of quicksand, the longer you wallow in it, the deeper you sink, and the harder it can feel mentally and emotionally to climb out of. It's hard to break free of this relationship we as a society have created with feelings of guilt, especially when it comes to fitness.
Everywhere you turn, you are constantly bombarded by "Gurus" and magazines telling you there is such a thing as "good food" and "bad food", and trying to tie your self worth to how jacked/toned/skinny you are.
Too many times I have seen clients of mine fall off the fitness wagon and go radio silence for long periods of time, and sometimes forever because of these feelings of guilt.
Whether it’s binge eating high calorie foods with very little nutritional value, to missing a couple of workouts because life and work got hectic, those same old feelings of guilt come creeping back in.
Maybe they are expecting that I will shame them because of what has occurred. As if I would ever give the a hard time for living their life. HA!
Yes part of my job is to help you hold yourself accountable to your goals, but notice what I just said their. Help you, hold yourself, accountable to your goals. I did not say my goals for you or whatever goals some fitness magazine says you should have.
Guess what, it’s also ok if those goals change over time. As real life changes around us, so do our priorities, and sometimes getting those six pack abs are not as important as say making sure we’re spending enough time with our families.
As I stated before, you cannot screw up.
Because this is your journey, and it doesn’t end until you take your last breathe.
I will always be your safety net when you fall, the hand that helps to pick you back up off the ground, and the person who helps to dust you back off. That is what I as a personal trainer and coach have committed my life to. It’s what I love.
In fact, because I want to end these feelings of guilt and shame some of you may know all too well, here are a few strategies you can use to kick those same awful feelings right in the ass:
1.) Once you've realized that you may have strayed from your original goals, first reexamine them to make sure they are still what you want. If not, set new goals for yourself and go after them.
In fact, set mini attainable goals for yourself that will lead towards that future big goal. For example, if you can only commit to working out 2x/week, then going 2x/week is the goal you focus on for that week.
Just one goal at a time, that’s it. Once you've done that and feel confident you can get in a 3rd workout per week, then you add that, but only take on what you know for sure you can do. Nothing more.
2.) Keep track of your successes and be proud of them! If you do falter on your path, don't beat yourself up about it but instead tell yourself if you can do it once, you can do it again!
3.) Learn to ask for help.
This is always the hardest thing for people to learn. It's hard because we are vulnerable, and that is a really scary thing. I get it, I've had to ask for help too. Find people you trust, that won't shame you for falling down, but rather help to support you and encourage you.
It's time to stop feeling guilty, and instead lets help to empower you.