Each morning, at the end of my night shift, our manager comes in to touch base with the staff. Each morning, she asks the same question… “Anything I should know about?” Each time, staff shares stories about what happened on the night shift… what went wrong, what problem needed to be solved, who screwed up… As I drove home in my bleary eyed, awake-way-too-long delirium, I made a discovery. While this is an attempt to connect with staff, know the happenings in the department, all it really does is focus on the negative. What went wrong, what can we fix, who screwed up.
Why I am sharing this with you is because I realized that this relates to life as well. Especially our health and fitness life. As much as anyone, I get caught up focusing on the negative. My thoughts center around whether I hit my macros perfectly. I was short on protein. I didn’t train 5 days last week. What am I missing? What can I do better? The list could go on. While it is crucial to constantly strive to improve, the best way to go about that is not to focus on the negative. Ever heard about the adage of giving at least 3 praises for each criticism? Even the most well-intentioned criticism can undermine self-confidence and initiative. We need balance. We need to talk to ourselves in a nicer voice.
So, what can you do? For me, my confidence in myself kind of ebbs and flows. One day, I think I’m right on track, feeling good and doing amazing. Next day, I am down on myself for not being perfect, for not making gains, hitting a plateau and (worst case) comparing myself to others who are farther along in their fitness journey. STOP!
This is the kind of funk I have found myself in the last week or so. I think I’ve hit a little plateau. Rather than seeing that for what it is, my mind immediately shifts to the old mindset of “nothing works for me” “why am I not making gains” and feeling frustrated. However, what should I really do? I am going to readjust and refocus.
Therefore, the best way to break out of the negative is to focus on what is GOOD. Where your focus goes, energy flows! (It is always true) Look back and realize how far you have come. Take a real look at where you are and be realistic about what is working. And change what is not. If you’re not getting the results you want, what could you be doing differently? Sometimes, the most difficult part about this journey is finding what works for YOU. Most of all, do some research, find a mentor or a good coach. Make small adjustments that are going to refresh your focus and kick start your progress. Keep your eye on the prize, shift your focus, and keep moving forward!