135. Fitness thought distortion

mental fitness May 21, 2021

By: Michael Beiter


A client came to me with this initial thought: "I feel like a failure this month because I didn't hit my numbers."

We identified three thought distortions at play here. One is labeling - an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself. Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. 

The second is personalization - you see yourself as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for. 

The last is over generalization - you see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat. 

We replaced the initially flawed thought with this rational response: "I failed to hit a couple days worth of macros in my nutrition. That means I failed a small task I set for myself, not life as a whole."


Too often we mislabel, over generalize, and personalize. I've found it beneficial to describe the error in as much detail as possible. This way you can accurately described what happened and realize it is not anywhere near as bad as you are making it out to be. 

In this instance missing some macros is a far cry from being a failure. And the only way to learn this was to describe the error.

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