So You Screwed Up, Now What?
“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.”
~ Nikki Giovanni
Have you ever committed yourself to something and only a short time later find yourself sabotaging it? Maybe it was indulging on cookies late one night while watching a movie (after swearing you wouldn’t do that anymore). Maybe you skipped a workout to go on a needless shopping adventure with a friend (after promising to make exercise a priority). Of course you have, we’re human and we all make these types of commitment mistakes. The key is to know how to respond to these mistakes when they happen.
The worst thing you can do after a mistake is beat yourself up about it to the point of completely quitting on your goal or commitment. Unfortunately, this is a common response for many people. They use this mistake as an excuse to justify giving up on a “futile” quest and revert back to their old ways. It’s like they use the mistake as proof of failure. “See, I knew I couldn’t do it. I might as well quit.” The truth is, with this type of mindset, you failed before you even started.
Mistakes are part of the journey. As mentioned in the post, Avoid the Linear Progression Mindset, progress and success have ups and downs. A baby falls several times before it learns how to walk. Can you imagine they would give up after falling? All of us would be crawling around on the floor right now. As perfectly imperfect beings, we are designed to learn by failure. Without failure, we would never accomplish anything. Yes, you may not know how to _____ (fill in the blank), but if you fail over and over again consistently and persistently enough, you eventually will.
Another response to mistakes which is typical is more of a short-term sabotage. In this response, you make a mistake and decide you might as well make it big. “I told myself that I wouldn’t have any cookies this late at night and now I just had two. Enough is enough, this has to stop. I am resetting again and tomorrow no more cookies. However, since I already screwed up, I might as well eat the whole box of cookies tonight. This way I will finish them and not be tempted tomorrow.”
It’s not just with diet but with exercise too. “I was supposed to workout today and I missed it. Okay, I’ll skip the rest of the week and start fresh on Monday.” This mindset is sneaky and deceiving. The mind can logically justify anything by arguing like a super, cunning lawyer. “It’s okay to screw up big now because at least you will fix everything later.” But this is a lie. Habits are formed in the present not in the future. There is no better time to follow through and act on your commitment than now. Instead of eating the whole box of cookies, stop at one. If you missed a workout today, don’t take the rest of the week off and find time to get it in.
The next time you make a mistake, know that you have the power to get back up and try again and again until you succeed. And if you are ever catch yourself trying to justify screwing up big after a mistake because you’ll make up for it later, stop it dead in its tracks and take the appropriate actions which reflect your goals immediately or as soon as possible.
Your V10 Health Coach,
P.S. If you are interested, I also make a coaching video for each of these posts on YouTube. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss out on any of the valuable content I share. Here is the link for this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwlSxV1KL5A