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Overcoming Your Fear of Failure

doubt2Hilton Head Health guests often tell me that they’re afraid of failing at weight loss—again. Because losing weight and regaining it so many times is discouraging and makes them feel like a failure, people may feel emotionally safer if they don’t try again. Unfortunately, however, this attitude doesn’t improve their health and help them feel and/or look better.  

 If fear of failure holds you back, here are a few strategies to help you overcome it:

  •  Set yourself up to succeed. Set very realistic goals—ones that you are 90% confident that you can achieve. Make small changes and then build on those changes. Instead of expecting to follow your 1200 calorie eating plan perfectly right away, work on eating breakfast several times per week, taking a healthy snack to work (and eating it!), or limiting your red meat. Later you can add other healthy behaviors that move you closer to your calorie goal. If exercising for 60 minutes, 5 days per week, seems impossible now, start by walking for 10-15 minutes, 2-3 days per week. If you can go longer after you get started, go for it!


  • Do something healthy every day. Doing something to take care of yourself feels so much better than doing nothing.


  • Give yourself credit for your successes. At the end of each day, think about what you’ve accomplished. If you are making healthier choices than you used to, pat yourself on the back for moving in the right direction.


  • Worry about keeping the weight off later (after you’ve lost it). Take it one day (or one meal or workout) at a time.

 What healthy behavior(s) have you done or will you do today?

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