Do you allow mistakes to take over? I know I do. It's embarrassing to admit but sometimes I allow them to take over for weeks at a time, chopping away at my self esteem. It's not intentional but I have a hard time letting go of them. What happens is, I make a decision to do something, I realize it wasn't the best decision & then I make more mistakes trying to fix that original mistake. And I end up getting in over my head. I am sure you can relate to this. Recently, I made a decision to do something that would hopefully give my workplace a better quality of life but what I didn't realize at the time was that I was breaking a new company policy in order to so do. I was mad at myself for not knowing. I spent weeks in a cycle of mistakes, one leading to another and eventually I received a write up. Write ups are my nemesis, they take me down a road, that includes a relentless inside voice telling me I am not good enough. Which in turn, leads to me to more mistakes because my self esteem has been chopped away at until there's not much left. I realize I have to stop this cycle. What I am going to share with you is how I working towards breaking this cycle.
I am reading a book right now, called Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss: Mastering 4 Core Eating Behavoris To Stay Slim Forever by Georgie Fear. I am completely in love with this book. What she is teaching me is priceless. A fitness journey is not just about losing weight or trying to change the way our body looks. What we really need to do is change the way we think about things & step outside our comfort zone. They don't call it a total transformation for nothing. In the first chapter Georgie addresses this issue of what she calls "slipups" and puts them into perspective. Of course, she is referring to slip ups in our eating habits but it can easily be applied to any part of our life.
Here's how it goes (this is the before): Screw up - feel bad about it so I screw up more - feel even worse about myself - keep screwing up - divine intervention or serious wake up call - get back on track for days or weeks at a time. Sounds familiar right? It's how I have always dealt with mistakes. It's how we all deal with mistakes, sometimes. But it's time to change that. My eyes are now opened and ready to tackle these mistakes in a better way. I just didn't have the tools to do so until now. There are 5 stages to dealing with "slip-ups" and as we progress into each new stage, we are teaching ourselves how to stop and think about these potential "slip-ups", let it be ok & get back on track without making more mistakes. Most importantly, we should be able to accept that we are not going to nail this 100% of the time. We are going to mess up but it's ok. For me, that's the hardest lesson because I am such a perfectionist. A perfectionist, who needs to also teach herself to release that word from her vocabulary because it's not reality. Here's are the steps to take to work through "slip-ups":
Stage 1: Screw up - feel bad about my screw up so I screw up more - feel even worse about myself - remember I don't have to keep doing this - get back on track without waiting for divine intervention or rock bottom (maybe the next day).
Stage 2: Screw up - feel bad about my screw up so I screw up more - see where this is going - remember I don't have to keep doing this - get back on track (possibly the same day).
Stage 3: Screw up - start to feel bad but realize it was just a mistake - realize I can stop now without making the situation worse - get back on track right away.
Stage 4: Start to screw up - realize (perhaps halfway into it that I don't really want to do this but doing it anyway) that I don't have to keep doing this - abort screw up and get back on track.
Stage 5: Consider screw up - remember this never works - decide otherwise.
If we can change the way we think about the "slip-ups" and revamp our approach, aiming for Step 5, more often than not, we are making progress. No matter what the scale says or how we feel about those skinny jeans. A fitness journey is about becoming the best version of ourselves. In this book, she hands us the steps above so that we can see that there's a better way and we can stop the cycle of continuing to beat ourselves up. And for me, this is how I am finding my peace of mind with my mistakes. As I have practiced these over the following weeks, I have been able to better control my internal reactions, alter my perceptions of my own fitness journey & realize I am making progress. I don't need to be so hard on myself or eat 5lbs of kale at every meal to be successful. Success is found anytime we step outside of our comfort zones, this book it taking me outside of mine and it's helping me become a better version of myself, one day at a time.