“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
We all struggle between the desire to be successful at something and the dedication to make it happen. There are many reasons why we fail to be successful and why we fail to reach our goals. What it usually boils down to is making the statement “this is what I want and this is what I am willing to do or do without to get it”. It is as simple as that, until it becomes work. Maybe what you are attempting is much harder than when you were thinking about it and you are not as committed as you thought. Other times we don’t see immediate results and lose focus and get distracted before the new habit is developed. Many people do not have a solid or even good support system around them which can be a simple lack of support or people who may be uncomfortable with the idea of you changing for one reason or another.
Many of us practice self sabotage without even being aware we are doing it or without admitting it. We might even involve others in our self sabotage. Someone who we know well enough and we might be able to predict their response when we say “you know what sounds good?” they might say, pizza, Chinese food, or ice cream (now you know my trick and my weaknesses) and we have allowed them to bring it up so it was not our idea…was it? This is when you need to have a discussion with your spouse or whoever it is and ask for their help; when you do this or when you ask for a second (whatever) not to say no, but to ask if you are sure you want to do this. This allows for a stop gap to make a better choice and for us to be the one to make the decision. Self sabotage is a constant battle and it must be faced. I am getting better at catching this and my mood related behavioral triggers. How familiar does this sound? We might say “screw it, today is a wash anyway, I’ll get back on track tomorrow.” or “It’s just ______, I’ve been working hard lately, besides today was a bad day”. So, whether it is self sabotage or justifying behavior patterns, I know them well because I have used them all. Normally no one will hurt us like we hurt ourselves. If we do not love and respect ourselves no one else will either.
How many times have you gone after something and when it was within reach you freaked out and back slid? Success and change can be scary, especially if you are unaccustomed to it. The voices are saying “now people will expect more from me”, “what will I do next?”, “How will I keep this up long term?” or “Who am I to think I can do this?” Maybe we like the attention and the build up during the planning or trying stages, but we are not really committed to the cause. When it comes to constant vigilance and commitment we get scared off. Remember our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, most of us are afraid of succeeding. I mentioned behavioral triggers a minute ago. These are simply events that create feelings within us that illicit a reaction. A simple formula that I have written on a post it note on my computer is this; E + R = O. What this means is the Event plus your Reaction equals the Outcome. Learn to change or adjust your reaction and you have more control of the outcome.
It is a lot of work to stay in shape, eat healthy and to be disciplined. There has been times when I think it would be so much easier it I did not care. At least I would not have to think about my workout schedule or what I ate or when I ate it, or whether I have a couple of beers or not. I have a long way to go and am far from perfect but I am well aware of the consequences to my actions. I can pretty much look at a pizza and six pack and gain two pounds without eating it.
The last thing you want to do is go off the deep end and make too many uncomfortable and difficult changes all at once. This being said work in alternatives and gradually rebuild your lifestyle. Keep your journals for a while and become aware of your habits and triggers. Become a student of your body and mind. Thoughts are only thoughts and they are not real unless you make them real. I am not telling you that any of this will be easy; I am telling you that you are worth it. Try changing one thing a month for a year. Each month you add a new behavior to the original and continue building from there. Remember that it is uncomfortable when you come out of your comfort zone, so expand it instead of jumping out of it.
What will be the first change you make starting tomorrow?