“I screwed up. I had planned to train this morning but didn’t get out of bed in time. I don’t know why I let myself down like this, perhaps I’m just not as motivated as I thought I was”.
Ever had this conversation with yourself?
I bet everyone has, at one point or another.
It turns out that it’s not the failure that lets you down; it’s the way you respond to it.
Let me explain…
Psychological research has discovered a tendency in the human brain known as the “What the Hell – effect”. The What the Hell effect describes what often takes place subconsciously when we fail to stick to a plan or goal. An example would be the person that is on a diet to lose weight and one day sneaks a chocolate bar. The internal conversation goes something like, “well, I’ve broken my diet, so I may as well eat whatever I want for today / this week / this month and start again later”. In other words “Ah, what the hell, I’ve been bad so I may as well not worry about trying anymore”.
The research tells us that we get far better results in our challenges if we aren’t so hard on ourselves when we fail. A more productive response to ‘falling off the wagon’ is to say, “It’s ok, you slipped up but that happens to everyone from time to time. Now focus on your goals and remember why you wanted to achieve this thing in the first place”.
There are so many things in our lives that can contribute unnecessarily to our stress levels. While stress is largely a controllable factor, a lot of the stress we take on is self-inflicted. The way we read a situation and respond mentally and physically is the result of learned habits. So, if we have the habit of getting stressed or frustrated by things, we can also theoretically build the habit of acceptance and respond with something more appropriate like reflection and renewed determination.
Your mind is by far the most powerful and incredible creation you are ever going to come across. The most amazing thing about it is that you have the ability to control that power and wield it serve your needs.