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The Power of failure that can reignites your restart

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Have you ever wanted to shred your overweight or work on reducing your high level of Stress? A good time is usually New Year where you speak out all your wishes to come true. But we are free in starting as we feel fit. Then you decide on a go. You are in – week One, Two, Three … maybe week Four or Five – then Stop. You feel bored, you think you are missing something of your old life before of the start. Are you now a looser? Should you now hid this embarrassing news from your friends?
No don’t feel so!
And No you are not a looser!

Change is an uphill fightProbably the hardest personal task to go for in life is changing your own habits as this can take years to stabilize depending which habit we talk about. If you “only” want to stop smoking, you just quit and you are over the big hills within 6 months. But if you want/need to losing your overweight, we are speaking of something like 1-3 years of work. You can’t quit eating as eating means energy for your body and life. The problem is to stay focused over such a long period of time. There’s no difference if you are self driven to change your life and habits or if you are a Coach and Mentor who assists in helping clients to achieve such changes. Way too often we face that moments where enthusiasm has a highflyer and moments after you see yourself confronted with that feeling of “I-miss-my-old-life”.
I usually compare such difficult tasks with a Marathon Runner. Your first Marathon (or 10K) is usually a Test run where you position yourself in the bulk of other runners. Most likely in your second participation you will make big time leap forward – assumed you are training for it. And gradually the time differences becomes less and less. Most developments have three phases. The first is that the closer you come to the top the tougher it becomes. Look at the shape of the pyramid that gives you the idea I am pointing at. At the bottom all have ample space to move and expand. And at the top where the tip is so narrow you hardly can stand, everyone wants to be “the first one on top”. This explains the enormous fight along the narrow and congested path.
Phase two is, that basic improvements are easy and quick achieved at the beginning. But if you want to excel over the long path of development you need to put more and more hard efforts into your work. If you are a top athlete with a big Sponsor budget backing your training you have ample time to shrug off a few more seconds. Other athletes with less funds at hand needs a different approach that may take longer and is harder and requires different sacrifices. And phase three usually is the maintaining of your new status.

Stopping a process is not a failure – it is part of the development in search of a new and improve habit!

In a figurative sense, working on losing your overweight the process looks similar. At first (phase One) you have true success that is mainly motivational oriented. But it is also a trial where you find a new way of life with an improved habit and rhythm. As it takes a bit longer than 2-3 months losing your overweight (phase Two), you may lose focus, interest or patience. By the end you stop and quit. If you think the Marathon Runners path is a straight line you are mistaken. It’s riddled with ups and downs and stop and go’s. The main element is to never stop believing in your goal you have set. A client once told me frankly that after our meetings he is going back to office and does never reflect on our discussions. So here we have a classical phase one where we try to adjust to our new habits.
Stopping a process is not a failure – it is part of the development in search of a new and improve habit! What we easily forget is also to nurture our mind too. Our society is very physical oriented and thus we measure our success. The mind can’t always follow and grasp instantly like your biceps. The muscle takes about two weeks to adjust to new exercise the mind can take years. So, putting a stop gives our mind time to reassess the new situation and work on making adjustments. If you managed to sustain the hardship of Phase One and Two you can truly enjoy Phase Three. This is where you only need to maintain – the Marathon Runner would run in a steady state pace.


Written by Eddie (@50minCoach)

11. June 2012 at 10:03 am

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