Stop downplaying your successes

If you're showing up to your workouts in any capacity, you’re doing a great job.

Even if you feel like you should be doing more.

I hear stuff like this all the time from clients. “I did my workouts in the middle of a pandemic, but I could have pushed them harder. Or, “Yeah, I ate veggies at every meal, but I ate too much dessert.” They always downplay their achievements!

Look, I get the ambition. I get not being satisfied with where you’re at, knowing you can do better, and wanting to reach your goals. However, wanting to go further and acknowledging your daily wins can coexist! In fact, they should coexist! You can acknowledge you got a win, that you did something well, without being complacent.

Why is this important? 2 main reasons:

1) Confidence in your ability to achieve a goal is a huge factor in achieving said goal.

If you acknowledge the changes you’ve already made, the areas you’re already doing well in, this boosts that confidence. The more confidence you have, the more likely you are to put yourself out there by working on your goal. In other words, the more motivated you’ll be.

Think about it. If you feel you’re goal is unachievable, that it’s impossible for you, what’s the point in putting in all that effort? So recognizing what you’re capable of helps keep you motivated.

2) Strategically, it’s wise to focus on doing more of what you’re already doing well.

Chip and Dan Heath call these “bright spots” in their book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. But if you don’t acknowledge or notice those bright spots, you can’t do more of them!

So yeah, I get it, you’re still not happy with where you’re at and you know you could be doing more. Thing is, you can technically always do more. No matter how much you’re already doing! That feeling like you should be doing more won’t go away no matter how much success you achieve.

Because that feeling is based on your mindset more than any objective analysis of your progress or goals.

Because, really, as far as your goal is concerned, any deadlines about where you ought to be are somewhat arbitrary. Unless your doctor said you need to lose weight by a certain time, “I want to lose 15 lbs in 2 months” is arbitrary. In other words, what’s significant about 2 months? Why not 3 months? Or 5? Or a year?


Point is, there’s no place you should be right now. You are where you are, and as long as you’re putting in the work, you’ll get to where you want to go.

Patience is important here because without patience you might self sabotage your success by fixing something that isn’t broken.

“It’s working, but it’s not working fast enough. I should try something else”.

No matter how fast progress occurs, you’ll ALWAYS want it to be faster. So no doubt, whatever that “something else” is, it still won’t feel fast enough.

"Doing more" is a moving target. And that’s kind of okay, so long as you don’t lose sight of the effort you’ve put in and the victories you’ve achieved because of that effort. And so long as it doesn’t cause you to lose focus or get sidetracked.

Besides, times are tough right now. Now probably isn’t when you’ll have awesome workouts where you feel invincible and empowered afterwards. Workouts now will be more like, “Just get in, get out” to keep up the habit and to take care of yourself.

Even regardless of a global pandemic, if you get any workouts in at all, even if it’s just the warm up, you’re doing a great job. You’re being persistent and adaptable. Showing up is the most important thing when it comes to fitness. If you don’t show up, there’s no point talking about any other facet of fitness or nutrition. So just showing up at all, in and of itself, is a big win.

Now, you just need to make sure to remind yourself of that every day.

Posted on Jul 01, 2020