Make sure failure is part of your strategy.
There is a saying: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Pretty straightforward. Most people understand the need to plan. However, what about planning for failure? The fact is that even with a great plan, you will most likely face failure. Then what? How many people plan what they will do if they fail?
In the world of start-ups and high-stakes business, planning for failure takes the shape of a “premortem.” All the members of the team try to think of what is going to kill the business, and they do it before they launch the business or project. You can do the same thing for aspects of your life. What is going to kill my diet? What is going to kill my workout regimen? Then you can plan around the failure points.
This is not always as easy as planning though. Failure can be debilitating. It can take the wind from your sails. But it doesn’t have to. You can have a plan for dealing with failure. You can train your mind to recognize failure and take action to pick yourself back up again.
What might that plan look like?
Step 1: Take action
You won’t get anywhere if you don’t take action. Step one in dealing with failure is knowing that no matter what has happened in the past, you can continue to take action moving forward. Often the most dangerous thing you can do when you fail is stop. So keep going. Keep taking action.
Step 2: Analyze
Part of laying out the best plan is analyzing what works and what doesn’t. If you are struggling with your diet or fitness regimen, you can analyze what is working and what isn’t. You can break down the habits and behaviors to find the weakest link. If you aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend reading about the Fogg Behavior Model put together by Dr. B.J. Fogg of Stanford University. He breaks down all the components that go into building a behavior and gives you the guidelines you need to analyze what went wrong.
Step 3: Adjust
Once you have analyzed what went wrong, make the adjustment as best you can and then get back to work. No one can stop you if you don’t stop yourself.
Following this process takes mental strength. You have to be aware. You have to be strong enough to take action even when you don’t want to. You have to fight the voice in your mind saying you are bad for faltering. You are not bad for falling behind on your positive habits or behaviors. It takes work to break the cycle of criticism going on inside your head. I am here to tell you that you are not bad, you are not alone, and there is a way to get back on track.
Here are three statements that can help you get through the tough times. Build these into your strategy for success:
1. Victory goes to the vulnerable. Get vulnerable. Put yourself out there. You will be OK. If you can get vulnerable, the victory will be that much sweeter.
2. Be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. The more you practice getting uncomfortable, the more comfortable you will become with those feelings. So get out there and get vulnerable; it is uncomfortable, but it is worth it.
3. Compete! Don’t compete against others; compete to show up. Compete to never give up. You can always compete at that!
Take the time to get your mental reps in. Get your mind right, and you will be able to handle obstacles and challenges whenever and wherever they arise.
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