Encouragement for when you Fail
Three Perspectives To Help Pick Yourself Up
Confession: I haven’t been moving my body much recently.
I’ve been writing about movement and the benefits it brings this month... and I know I’ve significantly reduced my physical activity. 🤦♀️
Ordinarily, I’d be beating myself up for something like that.
“Gosh I should have gone for a run today, I’m super lazy.”
“Can’t be bothered to even walk around the block – I am too tired and I’ve hardly done anything!”
“Why can’t I keep such a simple and easy routine?!”
But I haven’t been having those thoughts. (Yay for learning some self-awareness and compassion!) Instead, I’ve been connecting with the bigger story and the truths there.
If you are struggling with routine, inconsistency or self-talk, maybe consider these perspectives:
I am learning about failure and realising that it never has to be the end of the story.
So I forget my routine, I break my streak or I don’t move my body for more than two weeks. Ok, maybe that looks like a failure because I didn’t achieve my goals. But the truth is that I’m still alive and there are plenty of chapters ahead of me. I don’t have to write myself off because this month I fell off the wagon. Next month, next week, even tomorrow, I have the opportunity to begin a new chapter. And maybe I keep starting a new chapter every single month – all good! Just like New Year’s Eve inspires us to start fresh, you can cultivate that as often as you need. More than keeping up a movement routine, you are learning how to get back up again. You are learning how to face failure and keep going.
I am learning persistence, about how to start again (and again), wherever I find myself.
Each time I decide to get back up again, to dust myself off and restart, I build a little more resiliency. It begins to build a reaction muscle – one that says, “I’ve stopped! But I know I’ll start again today/tomorrow/next week.” That is persistence. It starts by suspending judgements about why we failed and what it says about us (lazy, hopeless, you name it). Sometimes it is helpful to analyse why we failed, but sometimes it is more helpful to remove the goal of perfection. Wherever you find yourself today, accept that place, and start again from there.
I am learning about my capability, each time I try again.
Every time we try again, we teach ourselves about ourselves. We learn that day three is the hardest to persist through, or maybe that we feel amazing the hour after we’ve moved, or that starting small is the best way to restart. Every time we try again we are reminding ourselves of our capabilities. We are building up our confidence, our trust in ourselves and our sense of agency. “I have done this before, I can do this, and I’ll keep showing up.”
I want to encourage you (and myself!) to give yourself enough grace to learn without harsh judgements. To keep showing up with a fresh-start mindset.
And bonus! Physical activity naturally builds our sense of self-worth, confidence and sense of control. This means it is a reinforcing, positive feedback loop - woop woop!
We got this!