JK Rowling was rejected 12 times by publishers before publishing Harry Potter. Richard Branson founded 40 companies before Virgin. Thomas Edison created 10,000 prototypes for the light bulb before succeeding. These stories of success capture the themes of resilience and fearlessness that inspire others today. Your weight loss story can also be one of success after many failed attempts. Maybe you’ve tried multiple times with other programs to lose weight and failed. Maybe this is your fifth try. Whatever the case may be, you’ve had your experiences with failure, and choose to try again. Here are tips to use past failures positively to pave the way for weight loss success.
1. Embrace your emotions.
Failure can embody a gamut of negative emotions including: hopelessness, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Instead of denying these feelings, embrace and acknowledge them. You might think, ‘Wow, that sucked, I’m disappointed that didn’t work out.’ This is totally normal, because you can use these feelings to motivate you and find better solutions on how to succeed later on.
2. Examine negative beliefs about failure.
If you let your feelings overwhelm you, you may actually start thinking negative beliefs about yourself and failure, instead of just feeling them. For example, thinking ‘I am a failure’ and ‘I will never succeed’ are irrational beliefs that can dictate behavior. Start catching yourself thinking these thoughts and prepare to change them.
3. Develop positive beliefs about failure.
After examining your negative beliefs about failure, reframe and replace your thoughts with positive affirmations. ‘Failure is a sign that I am stretching my limits and challenging myself,’ or ‘It’s only failure if I don’t try again. When I try again, I am resilient,’ are a few examples of how you can reframe negative thoughts into positive ones.
4. Learn from your past failure.
Think about what you could do differently this time. What mistakes did you make that you can avoid? Did you snack too much and succumb to an all-or-nothing thinking, ‘I might as well ditch the diet, I’ve already eaten this bag of chips.’ This time you could give yourself more grace and pick up where you left off instead of quitting in the short-term.
5. Create a successful weight loss vision.
Take the time to imagine the exact outcome you want from your weight loss journey. Journal the possibilities and life changing differences weight loss will make. Create a vision board with your vision of the future, and revisit it every day to motivate you. Once you have a clear destination in mind, your journey can begin.