Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational, and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life. Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

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Fear of Failure

I was talking to a phone client about her stuckness and she admitted that behind it is a giant fear of failure. You, too, may believe that your history is your future, especially if you’ve struggled with food for decades and gained and lost weight repeatedly. Dread of once again not achieving or maintaining your goals may keep you from pursuing them.

Fear of failure stems from experience. You’ve tried and never gotten very far with “normal” eating or have shed pounds only to see them creep back on. When this has happened, you’ve been ashamed of your inability to maintain a healthy weight or of the fact that you’re still struggling to have a positive relationship with food after all these decades. You don’t want to get your hopes up (again), don’t want to put all that energy into thinking you dreams might come true (again), don’t want to face your own and others’ disappointment (again) when you make progress, then come to a screeching halt. Understandable.

On the other hand, how will you get unstuck if you don’t get past your fear of failure? You wont. So, why not pick up the challenge of “normalizing” your eating with a different mindset? First, consider that you’re sure to stay failed if you don’t try. Here are your options: failure from doing nothing or a chance at success or failure. One approach at least gives you a way out. Maybe this time you will succeed because you’ve learned something from all your “failures.” Or maybe you were traveling down the dead-end road of dieting and were pretty much doomed to fail before you started.

Second, don’t simply look at the result of having a better relationship with food or maintaining a healthy weight. Focus on all the skills you’re learning as you work on improving your eating—knowing when enough is enough, reconnecting to appetite signals, creating health in non-food areas of your life, emotional management, changing destructive habits and patterns, improving relations with other people, setting better boundaries, developing self-esteem, altering your stinkin’ thinkin’.

Third, even if you don’t reach your eating or weight goals, refuse to feel ashamed. Wouldn’t that be a triumph? Who says you must feel awful and disappointed when you don’t reach your goals? In fact, stop looking ahead to the endpoint and set the intention to make some changes in your eating (or life) and simply observe what happens. Take the pressure off and give yourself a chance to experiment. Focus on progress in baby steps, because that’s all there are.

Spirituality -- Or Not
Difficult People

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This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.