Happy Wednesday! I am three days into my new home workout program and I am feeling strong, inspired, and so motivated. Isn’t that kind of how it is whenever we embark on a new journey whether it is related to our health and fitness, starting an online business, or just looking for happiness in the day to day life. Once we get over the fear of change and take the initial steps toward that new, better version of ourselves we get excited at the possibilities. However, not too far into the new journey does the self-doubt start to creep back in. The chatterbox gets going, and you question every.little.thing you do. The excitement is quickly replaced with self criticism and perhaps even an unhealthy striving.
If you are like me, the attempt at perfection is a place where you find false comfort. If you can just do it perfectly and not mess up, you will surely reach your goals and manifest the life you truly desire. The problem with this approach is that we aren’t perfect, and failure is an absolute necessity to growth. I mean think about it, when you look at a baby their whole existence is comprised of trying and failing. Even as children we accept failure as a part of growth and learning. When my kids try something new and don’t totally crush it on the first attempt, I never think to myself “I can’t believe they didn’t get that just perfectly the first time. Huh, maybe they should give up.” However, when I look at myself I rarely, if EVER show that kind of compassion and grace.
I am learning. It is a slow and painful process albeit, but I am learning to be more gracious, accepting, and compassionate towards myself in the same way that I am to my coaching clients, to my kids, and to the others in my life.
I remember when I first started on my weight loss journey I was so obsessed with the numbers. I was constantly looking to the scale (primarily) to validate my efforts and myself. If the number went down from one day to the next, then I would celebrate and be proud, but, if on the other hand, the number went up even just a little, I was defeated and upset with myself. This crazy focus on this arbitrary number robbed me of the joy of learning how to create a new, healthier lifestyle I could maintain long-term. It stole my ability to experiment and be curious about myself. And ironically I found the more fixated I became on the numbers, the less success I was having. I hit plateaus, I went up, I got frustrated, I gave up, I started over.
I rode this roller coaster until one day it occurred to me to just quit focusing on that number. I remember having this moment of clarity where I realized that there were SO many other ways to track my progress. It worked. The less I focused on the number, the quicker it went down. It was easier, and so much more enjoyable. This process became fun.
I realized that by focusing so much negative energy and attention on my weight going down it was affecting my action. The more pressure I applied, the less I actually felt like doing what needed to be done to create the success I wanted. When I gave into freedom and grace my actions just started to change because my thoughts had started to change. I began to feel better about myself while on the journey.
I’ve been reading a book over the past few weeks in my personal development by Brooke Castillo that focuses on a certain model that ties our feelings to our results via our feelings and ultimately the action we choose to take (or not take). I had done some of this work without even knowing it. In some ways this model is close to the law of attraction and manifestation. The one big difference that can sometimes be overlooked is that you cannot simply sit there and think about something coming into your life, creating it out of nothing more than a thought. Sure the thought my inspire you to see what is actually possible for yourself, and without vision you will perish, but you must take the appropriate action. When you change your mindset around success, weight loss, money, love, fill in the blank, you begin to change how you show up and the kind of action you take. This is incredibly powerful. This is when you become unstoppable. Not because you are perfect, but because you are on fire.
This, my friends is where the real magic begins to happen because we begin to have fun on the journey rather than focusing on the end point. I attribute this positive mindset shift to my current mood and motivation about this new workout and nutrition program. I’ve approached it with an abundant mindset versus a lack mindset. Instead of thinking “I can’t have……” I am focusing on how well I am fueling my body and how good I am feeling already seeing results only three days in.
Because I want to see you have this kind of success in your life whether it be in fitness, business, or whatever I am going to leave you with some action items you can start incorporating today. You ready? Ok, good!
- Write down 1-2 words or phrases of how you want to feel each day. I choose to write these in my planner where I will see them all day long. You can journal them, put them on a post it. Just write them out somewhere.
- What kinds of thoughts do you need to think and believe to produce those feelings? We can’t just try to feel the feelings without giving proper attention to the thoughts that will produce those feelings.
- Practice grace and compassion for yourself. I use the word practice intentionally, because it is going to be practice. We are hard wired and conditioned to look for the reasons something isn’t going to work. So you have to be intentional about being ok with learning again. Forget trying to be perfect or being the best.
- Put your blinders on. You were given a race that was created just for you to run. No one else can run your race and likewise you are not meant to try to run anyone else’s race either. Use others to inspire you to see what is possible for yourself, but be aware of when you start to feel threatened by them or jealous.
Comparison is the thief of ALL joy.
Our thoughts are can be tricky to change, and you may find that some will be easier than others to reprogram. But you can get there! Focus on being aware and consistent in trying to make the changes. When negative thoughts creep in, pause and think about what might have triggered that thought. Explore it and choose a different thought–one you can believe and feel to be real.
As always, I love hearing from you! Feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email letting me know how you are changing your life today by incorporating these mindset exercises. And if you are looking for a place to belong I want to invite you to join my tribe on Facebook. Search Find your THRIVE, and request to join! Sorry, it is only for the ladies!