Three Mindsets Killers that can Sabotage Success


You are 6 weeks into your new fitness and nutrition journey. You have invested in the process, both financially and physically. As hard as it is you have consistently been getting up before the sun for the 5am HIIT class.  So far, your workouts are solid, in addition to allowing for rest and recovery.  Nutritionally, you have been tracking your food diligently. You are spending time every weekend on shopping, meal planning and food prep. What we know is, regardless of how much money, time and effort you put into the process, if you don’t have your head in the right place you can all but guarantee that success will be short-lived. One of the best ways to avoid such a setback is to be aware of some very common mindset killers, also called Thinking Traps that will hijack your progress before you know it.

Black and White Thinking

You are either on top of the world or wallowing in the depths of the cruds. For many self-sabotagers, the gray does not exist. This can be so detrimental to success because you simply cannot find that middle ground. When one thing goes wrong, or is not as expected then you feel like you have already failed…and often dig yourself in a deeper hole. One of the best examples of this is when you have your day’s meals planned out, and something comes up like an unplanned client meeting, or baseball practice runs long and you have to stop for dinner rather than eating what you had planned out. For Black and White thinkers this blip in the radar creates total mental chaos. Rather than letting the client lunch be a small blip in the day, you follow up the lunch meeting with a brownie in the breakroom, am afternoon snack from the vending machine. And now that the day is blown, hey, you might as well have some cocktails with dinner since you already blew your day.

The Fix. Embrace the GRAY in life. If something comes up that wasn’t planned. Allow it to happen. You still have 80% of your day that you CAN control, and moderate.


Whether you are blaming yourself, your coaches, your family or otherwise, blaming gets you nowhere fast. A common example of blaming when it comes to working out and/or nutrition, “I went to dinner with my family, there were just no other options”. Rather than taking responsibility and saying, “Ok, I chose to go out to eat with my family but I can still try and make the best possible choice at the restaurant” you blame your circumstances and allow those circumstances to dictate outcomes. Another common example of blaming might be, “I was late to my workout this morning because of traffic”. No matter where you live these days, traffic is an ongoing concern and never predictable. Certainly there are days with heavier commute traffic, or a wreck that was unexpected, but you still have to own that. Making an excuse will teach you nothing, nor will it change the reality of the situation.

The Fix. Just get into the habit of owning 100% of your circumstances. Sure, there are a lot of things in life that are unpredictable, and even more that are not within your control. You cannot control life, but you CAN control how you respond and how you position your interpretation of those circumstances.


We can all blow things out of proportion. Something happens and it may just be a small disruption in the status quo, but yet we interpret and explain it as if life is over. You have a productive week. You get to all your workouts, you stick to your meals plans and minimize as much of your mindless munching as possible. You step on the scale a nothing has changed. “Uggh, it doesn’t matter what I do, I will NEVER lose weight”. Really. Never? Are you sure? Are you the oracle of the universe, because you can predict the future, right?

The Fix. First, become aware of these thinking patterns. There are some pretty common key words in catatrophic thinking. “Never”, “Always”, “Every Time”, “My Life is Over”. When you notice these phrases or key words cropping up then recognize them and then make the adjustment RIGHT THEN. Restate the phrase and say it in a way that is more reasonable.

“I tried so hard this week. I am disappointed that nothing changed, but I know I am making progress in the right direction and surely something will change soon”.

The key to overcoming and avoiding these thinking traps is initially to become AWARE! Once you notice these patterns, you can work on adjusting them. By recalling and focusing on past successes, you will arm yourself with confidence and ammunition to combat some of these negative thought patterns.

Stay Gray, Take Responsibility, and Keep things in perspective. Here’s to success.

Dr. Tiff Fuel. Sweat. Science. Dr. T logo