In a perfect world, all of us would be able to progress our fitness levels without ever having to worry about something such as sickness, injury, or any other obstacle in life slowing us down. However, in the real world, setbacks on your fitness journey do happen. The real question isn’t whether or not you’ll have to face these challenges; it’s whether or not you’re going to overcome them.
I completely understand how exasperating it can be to experience a setback on your fitness journey. When you feel like all your hard work is going to waste, and you feel like you’re going to have to put in all this extra, unnecessary work just to get back to where you already were before.
So how do we deal with this frustrating situation? First, let’s discuss what we shouldn’t do. The worst thing you could do is adopt a “victim” mentality. This is where you have thoughts such as “I never get any breaks,” or “other people don’t have it as hard as me,” or “I could be successful if only I didn’t have these things happen to me.”
Having this mindset will get you nowhere. Whatever it is that you invest your thoughts into is what you will attract into your life. This particular thought process leads to a vicious downward spiral, where your negative thoughts bring more difficulty into your life, which results in you feeling like more of a victim, which repeats and intensifies the cycle. In order to turn that downward spiral into an upward spiral, you first need to change your thoughts, and then your actions and results will follow. This is accomplished by taking responsibility for your life. Believe that life isn’t happening to you, it’s happening for you.
There’s a common misconception that successful people are only successful because they’ve had it easier. The reality is that not a single person experiences a flawless life. Everyone experiences challenges, the difference is that successful people follow through with their ambitions regardless of what life throws at them. Rather than finding an excuse, or finding something to blame, they find a way.
Lately I’ve been having more conversations with the people in my life who I consider to be successful. In these conversations I mostly just listen and ask probing questions in an effort to gain a better understanding of their mindset. I’ve learned that there’s a certain quality that all of them seem to have. Some people could consider it to be delusional, but they can’t deny it’s effectiveness. It’s the stubborn belief that no matter what obstacles they face in life, they are going to make it.
One of them told me that before they had even started their career, when they were young, broke, and yet to accomplish anything of significance, they knew that they were going to succeed, and that it was only a matter of time before it happened. At that time, they had no visible reason to believe that. There was no physical evidence that they could show someone and say “this is how I know I’ll succeed.”
So how did they know? They knew because they understood who they were on the inside – not someone who is a victim of life, but someone who is the author of their own life story. They knew because there was an inextinguishable fire inside of them. A fire fueled by a sense of purpose so strong that it led them to resolve to never quit until their life’s purpose was fulfilled, regardless of any adversity or perceived limitation.
I believe that if you were strong enough to embark on your fitness journey, then you have that same fire inside of you. The day you started you were able to recognize a particular reason why you needed to do this. Therefore, as you face setbacks along the way, remember why you started, and use that as fuel. Don’t let any setback put out your fire.