Goal Frustration -

Threats are Out There!

  • image descriptionKori Propst, MS
Goal Frustration

Pessimistic? Perhaps. Powerful? More so than you may think. Research shows that individuals who engage in what they’ve coined “defensive pessimism” participate in increased self-regulation when faced with distress in the pursuit of a goal. What does this mean? You are more likely to develop plans and take action when you consider your goal not only in light of its opportunities, but also with the possibility of failure!

Counterintuitive to what you’ve heard from so many of us who tout the unyielding benefits of the power of positive thinking? Not so much. A dose of realism may just give us the swift kick we need to push a little harder, dig a little deeper, and strive for what we desire.

Here’s the kicker…the distress that may accompany the confrontation of a threat isn’t an adequate prerequisite to get you to take action. Planning, anticipating, and identifying barriers to your long-term pursuit-- not likely. Not unless you are also reassured of the capacity to manage the distress and of your abilities to engage in your goal pursuit in a sustainable manner.

The three actions I listed above are absolutely necessary for the achievement of your dreams, be it reaching your ideal weight, starting a family, or acquiring that promotion. But in order to get there, you’ve got to not only offer the best defense for your team—skeptical, calculating, and discerning—but also aggressively optimistic and planful in acquiring the skills to boost your confidence in your offense.

Kori Propst holds a BS in Exercise Physiology, an MS in Counseling, and is pursuing her PhD in Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine. She is a WNBF Pro in bodybuilding, figure, and fit body. As the Wellness Director for the Diet Doc she created the Mental Edge Program to aid individuals in developing individualized strategies for optimal performance in their lives and for competing. She can be contacted at