Perseverance: How to survive the setbacks and thrive on failure

You've made the plan, you're gonna workout everyday this week, you're gonna stay strictly on that diet, you're gonna hit that goal, get to that weight you want to lift, that number of pushups you want to do in one set, you want to be able to see your abs in the mirror, you want to lose those pounds.

And then it happens, you stay up too late the night before and miss a morning workout. You give in to a tub of ice cream or a packet of sweets and break your diet. Even worse, you do everything right but still can't quite hit your goal, you've eaten what you should've, worked out and given your all but you're still a few kilos shy of what you wanted to be able to lift, you're not quite there, at your goal. This last one can be one of the most devastating setbacks in fitness.

After something like that, it's easy to pack away your equipment, stop doing your stretches and stop eating healthy. The reason why is simple: People think in terms of streaks, not ratios.

Setbacks are setbacks, no matter how you look at it, but when it comes to recovering from them, it's about your worldview.

What do I mean by that?

Most people, when they suffer a setback, think of it as a broken streak. "I went 12 days on that diet, but I broke my streak, back to day one!". This is the wrong way to look at it.

You should look at your setbacks (and successes) as a ratio.

It's that simple.

So when you go 30 days sticking to your workout plan, but then unfortunately suffer a setback, you have a ratio of 30:1. Not bad.

In this A:B ratio, you want A to be as high as possible, and B as low as possible. Rather than encouraging you to stop, like a streak does when it's broken, this encourages you to get started as soon as possible to keep that "B" number LOW.

And just like that, a setback no longer becomes a failure, just a setback. Easy to deal with by getting back on track and getting that ratio optimised.

It's also important to think long-term, which most people are painfully bad at. We as humans have a tendency to focus on what's in front of us, what's coming up in the next hour, or day, or week, rather than the next few years or months. When you suffer a so called setback, you think "Damn! I've messed this day up!". In the short term, this is significant. One day is a 7th of your week! If you have a setback (like a break in your diet) that lasts 3-4 days, that's half your week!

If you think about it in terms of the next five years though, one day is 1/1800th of that time period, so your setback doesn't matter! As long as you keep that ratio up, in the long run, it doesn't matter, and no one's going to judge you.

So there it is, the simple way of solving that feeling of post-setback defeat. Change the way you look at it.

We hope you enjoyed this post! Share with us some of your setbacks or comment them below! Don't forget to share this post so your friends can learn this method as well!


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