What to do with disappointment?

You are heading into a moment where you know you have to give everything you have both physically and mentally. The challenge is bigger than you but you feel that if you can hold on with everything you have there’s a chance that you will make it through. This challenge is important and if you succeed you will gain something you have worked so hard for, that thing you have desired with every ounce of your being. This time you were prepared, you left no stone unturned, there are no excuses, this is your moment of truth. 

I’m often curious about what we need to do to be successful during those times in your life where you have to test yourself to your highest level. We often hear terms like ‘never give up’ and ‘fight to the bitter end’ that represent how we should deal with these tough times. We want to believe that in these moments we will push through, that we are the type of person that never gives up. I know when I’m teaching a fitness class and the hardest moment comes up I will sometimes ask my class ‘who are you right now?’ which seems to motivate a lot of people but there are questions that I’m more interested in when it comes to those times when we test ourselves; Who do you become if you do give up in that moment? What happens to you when you fail? How do you respond if you aren’t the person who could push through during their biggest test? 

I was speaking to a young golf player the other day called Jackie, she is one of those golf prodigies that you hear about with big ambitions to make a life out of her talent and passion. She was telling me that she had the goal of entering the Australian Amateur Golf Open which is a huge goal for an 18 year old. To reach her goal she set herself a very challenging job where she had to take her handicap down from 11.3 to 5.4 in just one month, that is a massive improvement to aim for but she was 100% determined to do everything possible to achieve it. The day arrived for the cut off for entries to the Australian Amateur Open and Jackie had managed to get her handicap down to 5.6. She had missed out on her dream by the smallest of margins, she was absolutely heartbroken. 

When I was talking to her I was fascinated to hear what affect missing out on the selection had had on her golf, from the outside you could look at it and say that to improve her handicap by 6 in a short timeframe showed a huge about of dedication, skill and growth in her sport, but Jackie didn’t see it like this, she told me how she experienced an overwhelming level of disappointment. 

This disappointment planted seeds of doubt in her mind about her ability and she was questioning whether she was really good enough to be chasing her dreams. We can all see how she could be feeling this way but unfortunately this disappointment created a dangerous situation for her golfing dream, the doubt that she had in herself was leading to inaction on the work she would normally do to improve her game. This inaction kept her in a downward spiral as her skills started to drop away which created more doubt, leading to more inaction. Luckily for Jackie she had a good support network around her who supported her back to a plan that got her back on track but this is a real example of how the way we respond to our failures can hold us back. 

If you aim for big things in life you are inevitably going to experience some disappointment. When you face your moment of truth and fail you can be facing one of the toughest emotional moments of your life and while we need to have healthy emotional ways to deal with our disappointment we also need to make sure we don’t allow this disappointment to cloud our judgement and take us off the path towards success. There are lessons and opportunities that can be gained from reflection that arises from our biggest disappointments and these can be valuable beyond measure.  

Do you have times in your life where you gave up, where the disappointment you experienced ultimately held you back because you stopped doing the work you needed to do to maintain your progress? Maybe it’s time to rethink how you approach these times so you can learn to get back to the work that needs to be done and then you can move towards future success. 


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Episode 39 Fitness Behavior - How does that make you feel? 

When we think about the energy that we live in in our lives there can be things that can have a massive influence on this energy. This can often make you feel bad about yourself and restrict yourself. On this months show I go into detail on a topic that addresses this area and I come up with some ways to move through it. 


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When did it become stale? 

Sometimes in life someone can throw a question at you that really makes you stop and think. Many years ago I was in a relationship that was neither great nor terrible, I could have quite easily stayed in this relationship for a long time or moved on and taken my life in a different direction. The relationship started in a passionate way where every moment I spent with this person felt like I was on cloud nine but as time went on the relationship started to become a habit and cracks started to show in our interaction with each other. At that time a good friend of mine asked me a tough question;  ‘If you weren’t in a relationship with this person but you knew what the relationship would become based on what you know now, would you still want to start a relationship with this person?’.

This was a very challenging question for me at that time but there was a lot of value in the line of thinking it lead me towards. It made me reflect on many things; what I ultimately wanted from a relationship, who I was as a person in this particular relationship, why it was becoming a habit that wasn’t making either of our lives better, was my partner the right choice for me, and was it possible to turn the relationship towards a path that was better for both of us. Ultimately this question lead to my partner and I deciding to go our separate ways.

While I was going through the reflection period after we broke up I was conflicted by the question ‘what do I ultimately want from a relationship?’. Although I felt that this particular relationship did have what I ultimately wanted during the early stages, as time went on it slowly drifted away. This ‘drifting away’ is not unique to relationships - it can happen in many areas of our lives. We move towards a new area and at first we are fulfilled by everything that it has to offer but as time goes on everything that was good about that area disappears and we are only there because it’s a habit we know well. There’s security in it, but that’s about all there is. 

This exciting area might be a new exercise routine that you discover which completely spins your wheels, you love everything about it and because you love it you commit 100% of yourself to that activity. During the first period with your new found love you are excited, stretched in healthy ways, curious and it seems like every corner you turn has so much to offer because you are going through so many new experiences. But after a while, when you have become more experienced in this area many of the things you loved about it when you first started no longer drive you. It’s not that you don’t get value from doing this activity but you are now familiar with how it works and now you have to dig a little deeper to find what you love from this activity. This is a dangerous time, if you stay aware you can look for ways to maintain the passion that this activity can provide but if you don’t you can allow it to just become a habit. This is the place where the only reason you are there is because it’s what you know. 

When we know we are in this place with an area that no longer gives us what we need we have two options; we can search a little harder in that area to find ways that turn us back towards what we want or we can let go of that area and decide that it’s time to find something new to do. If you’ve been doing one form of exercise for years and you know deep down that you are only there because it’s a habit there’s probably a much more stimulating path in a new activity. If you were to think about the question ‘Is the exercise activity I choose giving me what I ultimately want from my time spent exercising?’ What would be the answers that you would come up with? 

Sometimes in life the well known path isn’t actually the best path, sometimes we need to let go of what we know and move towards new experiences, experiences that can offer so much more from the activities we choose. While this inevitably will be the harder choice at the time, it can often be the choice that you will look back on in the future and realise that it was one of the best choices you ever made.  


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