Fear of failing on your fitness journey will only lead to poor results. Let Kandace Hudspeth show you how to rethink your motivation so you never want to skip a workout – but couldn’t care less even if you do.
Has exercise become a chore you check off your to-do list? And do you force yourself into the gym for fear of gaining weight, or use it as a punishment for poor food choices?
If these scenarios sound familiar, it may be time to take a fresh look at your relationship with fitness. Remember, you’re doing something good for yourself because exercise is one of the truest forms of self-love.
Negative pressure due to fear of failure will only motivate you temporarily and most likely cause you to rebel against your fitness goals. Your motivation is much more likely to last if it comes from a positive place.
We work out to take care of our bodies and our minds, to live long and healthy lives. But while we all want to look amazing, when this becomes the sole focus of our fitness goals we tend to threaten ourselves with negative thoughts, like gaining weight, and we can self-sabotage our fitness aspirations. In fact, exercise can become associated with the negative thoughts we have about our bodies.
Early in my fitness journey I remember the excitement I felt when I learned a new skill or made it through a workout. I felt proud, and that feeling left me hungry for more. I was excited to go to the gym every day because I knew I was getting better.
But somewhere along my fitness journey my focus shifted from a constant commitment to self-improvement to a singular focus of trying to be perfect. The perfect diet and training routine, perfectly-sized weights and body fat targets, and nailing the perfect contest prep for the stage.
This shift happened over time, and while it led to moments of intense motivation, those moments weren’t built to last. The thought of just one slip, like missing a workout, meal or, even worse, cheating on my diet, would fill me with guilt and negative thoughts, which in turn would leave me less motivated.
Over the years I’ve revised my relationship with fitness and found sustainable motivation. Amazing things happen when you shift your perspective and the actual work is what motivates you.
When I started focusing again on gaining proficiency and then mastery of skills, rather than being afraid of not losing enough pounds, my motivation was restored and has remained constant.
Being back in a place of commitment to self-improvement is a much happier and fun place to be. The gym is no longer a punishment for ‘slipping on my diet’, it’s my daily opportunity to build upon the strength I gained yesterday. It is my time to learn, grow and completely crush the goals I set for myself.
Whenever my motivation level drops I quickly check myself to see if my focus has shifted. For me, refocusing on performance and skill development invigorates my motivation like nothing else.
Next time you’re feeling disinterested in your workouts, set yourself an achievable goal, like completing five pull-ups, running a 5K in under 40 minutes or nailing textbook form on a complex Olympic lift like the clean and jerk.
You’ll quickly put the enjoyment back into fitness and remember why you first started getting sweaty. This is the key to making long-term gains and the easiest way to keep yourself on track all year.
Find fitness advice and more in every issue of TRAIN for HER magazine.