A Pro’s Guide to Overcoming Setbacks

Post Written by Josh Elsesser

contact: josh@coachd.fit

In your quest for better health and fitness, it is inevitable that eventually you will sustain a setback. What I mean by setback, is anything that seems to get in your way of the new behaviors that you have been developing and has the potential to derail your efforts if you let it.

A sick child. A deadline at work. An injury. And many other life occurrences can seem to make achieving your results almost impossible. It’s not a matter of if you will have a setback, but when. Buut more importantly how you choose to respond.

I help my clients overcome setbacks all the time. Hell, I have setbacks that I must find ways to maneuver around. There are two ways to deal with it.

  1. Let it define you and use it as an “excuse” for failing. Give up. Take the easy way out.

  2. Learn from it. Evaluate the circumstances around the setback, how you feeling, and find new ways to overcome it. Reboot your motivation and understand that we are all human and we all make mistakes.

So assuming that you are still reading this because you are not giving up, I am going to give you some strategies that I use to help you kick any setback to the curb.

Acknowledge and Accept

You can only learn from setbacks if you spend the time to understand why you allowed yourself to have the setback to begin with. There are very few things that are out of your control. You have to own it to move on from it.

Acknowledging it allows to take control and realize you actually have that control. Remember, if it was easy, everyone would be skinny and in perfect health. You are undoing years of bad habits and that isn’t easy.

Eliminate Blame – Own It

Blaming yourself only works to make you feel worse. Instead of blaming yourself, recognize yourself for the hard work you have done this far and the results you have achieved.

Don’t blame anyone else either. Just start to understand that you are working toward a goal of changing your life. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

Positive Self Talk

Tell yourself “This was only temporary” or “I have come so far.” Write your favorite self-pep talk on a post-it note and put it on your mirror, or refrigerator, or the dashboard of your car. Read it out loud daily. 10 times a day or more. Say it until you believe it.

Give Yourself Time

If you came down with the flu, it is not going to totally de-rail everything you have done so far.

Injuries can be very demotivating, but they happen. Beating yourself up leads to making bad food choices and binging.

Change is Scary

You have been stepping out of your comfort zone for a little while now. It is much easier to go back to what is easy and comfortable rather than keep pushing forward. There is no straight line to your goal.

So when that setback hits you in the face, and you think about quitting, remember that everyone that has ever attempted to change has had to deal with adversity and struggle. If we didn’t, then we wouldn’t really ever change.

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