You can learn to defeat your mistakes, before they defeat you.
But first things first, you must acknowledge the mistake. This is important.
If you don't do this, nothing else will work - you have already lost.
We all make mistakes don't we? While others learn from them, some of us seemed destined to make the same mistake again and again. Maybe you know someone like this, or perhaps you are that person.
If you are someone who is struggling to follow a fitness training plan, or fail to stick to a diet, then I'm sure you will nod your head in agreement when I talk about that feeling of disappointment, or sense of failure that can eat away at us.
You know that feeling, that automatic tendency to beat ourselves up, when we fail to live up to our own expectations. Lets be honest, it can be devastating right?
I have made many mistakes in the past, and no doubt I will make many more in the future. This is natural. But I soon came to realise that we need to learn how to defeat our mistakes, before they defeat us. That's what I want to share with you today.
Did you know that there are different types of mistakes?
REAL MISTAKES - this is when the wrong process is carried out.
BLACK OUTS - Occur when part of the process is forgotten.
SLIP UPS - When the right process is carried out incorrectly a slip up is often the result.
Did that make sense? Can you recognise where you may have made one or more of these type of mistakes in the past? I bet you can!
Now not only are there different types of mistakes, there are also 3 different levels of mistakes.
Now that I've pointed them out to you, I'm sure it all seems like common sense right?
"Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave."
But before we start celebrating and sounding our victory horn, here is a snippet of the various factors I want you to consider. These additional factors can often be critical in making mistakes happen in the first place. What are they?
The X- Factor
So what can you do?
This is where some useful strategies come in handy, I've chosen two simple, but powerful ones for you.
The first one is the Circle of Influence. If you are not sure what that is, you can [click here] to see it on my instagram page ( and remember to "follow" me if you found it useful).
Got it? Good.
The next steps are pretty simple, map out what type of mistake is was. Then, what level of mistake it was. Below, I've given you an example of a case study, with some pretty common features. Take a look.
Goal: Weight Loss & Body Fat Loss
TYPE: Real Mistake
Wanting to lose weight Jane followed a low fat, low calorie diet, high in carbs (predominantly from gains). She stuck to her "5 a day" and followed the governments Eat Well plate.
Jane lost weight initially in the first 4 weeks. Her weight loss has now slowed down, and seems stuck. Plus she is not feeling full of energy. Her body has shrunk,in size but her "shape" hasn't changed.
LEVEL: Knowledge Based
Jane didn't know that the weight loss in the first month is usually due to things such as water retention, and adjustment of hormone function which regulates metabolism. Calorie restriction only lasts for a short period before your body goes from starvation into "survival mode" and your metabolism actually slows down, and your body attempts to preserve energy stores. The Eat Well plate guidelines had some limitations.
What Jane didn't also realise, was that diets high in carbohydrates (via grains) can often trigger inflammation responses in those with intolerances, that can actually promote weight gain.
Jane identified that the process was wrong for her as it wasn't getting her the results that she wanted. She also checked and examined carefully to see if the information she had was correct, and if there was a knowledge gap she needed to bridge in order to take her to the next level. There was.
How does this fit in with our Circle of Influence Model?
Here's how, rather than allowing her feelings of dispondency to overwhelm her and stop her from taking effective action, Jane looked at the 3 circles
Circle 1: What I Can Control
Armed with her new information Jane can now adjust her nutrition intake for the right type of foods, in the correct ratio and the right amount for her body and activity levels.
She also decided to introduce a weight training program into her routine to help promote fat loss and increase her lean muscle mass - altering her body shape for the better.
She also decided to meditate for 5 - 10 minutes daily in the morning, to set herself up for the day. Jane also used this time to recite positive body image mantra's.
Circle 2: What I Can't Control
The past. There is no point in beating yourself up over what has gone or your mistakes. So Jane decided she was wasting her energy beating herself up, and instead focused her energy on, what she could control and influence.
Circle 3: What I Can Influence
Jane realised that while she could not control all external factors, she could influence them and set herself up for success with better meal prep, so when at work she didn't fall off the wagon.
She didn't want to make a song and dance about her new nutrition program, so when meeting up and deciding to eat out with friends and family, Jane tried to make sure that she organised it so she could choose places with healthier eating options, or at least made (strong) suggestions.
Jane also knew that right action was going to make the difference. That she needed to take consistent action in alignment with her goals if she wanted to achieve them. She fully understood the cornerstone of the WPU Code #1 Deeds Not Words .
Jane set up a weekly action plan of only 4 actions points she would take that week (less than one a day). This was to keep her moving in the direction of her goal, with doable steps that didn't overwhelm her. She chose one friend that she trusted, to hold her accountable to this. Each week she stacked her wins so that success became a habit.
When we make mistakes, it's easy to let fear or paralysis by analysis and overthinking thwart our goals. It can truly dent our confidence if we let it. But now that you have some concrete strategies, and gained a deeper understanding, you can master your mistakes and grow in the process.
Think of some ways in which you can apply the tools and strategies in this article, to a problem you are facing at the moment. A past mistake, that if you could break it down, would lift a weight off your shoulders.
Now if you are still reading, I'm guessing you found this useful to you. If so, I invite you to [click here] and follow me on instagram where I will be posting short videos and tips just like these.