What Do You Really Want…and What Will You Do to Keep From Getting It?
If you have ever wanted to change something in your life, be it lose weight, stop smoking, start going to the gym, change careers; you know that almost as soon as the thought comes into your mind, a powerful force strikes you. “That’s not me. I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough, smart enough or rich enough to pull that off. That is for other people. I’m just not that lucky. Bad Genes and Bad Luck. Never going to happen to me.”
So you try and go for it. Join a gym, take a class, start to meditate, and you may even see results, but somewhere the old tapes come up again, seemingly out of nowhere. We seem programmed to stay the same even when we know better. We stay in the same job, keep falling into the same relationships, debt and guilt that seem to be stamped on our lives.
What then is the key to unlocking our own handcuffs?
The Man in the Mirror
I know this week with Michael Jackson’s death and over exposed news coverage this might be a bad time to use that phrase, but it really does work. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at yourself in the mirror? Too fat? Too Old? Most people have been trained to feel uncomfortable about their looks and shape. Only a very few people have perfect bodies, perfect ‘age’, or skin, and even those that do rarely feel that way. What do you really see? Are you compassionate to your friends? Do you have interests in your community? Do you have something valuable to give to society? Answer these four questions in front of the mirror and keep them handy.
People work to their self image
You will always perform at a level equal to your self-image.
Our self-image is the portrait we have of ourselves. It’s the picture we’ve created about ourselves and is commonly based on past experience. So if a new desire for improvement is introduced and it conflicts with our current self-image, it is doomed to fail.
Our actions, behaviors and discipline are all heavily influenced by our self-image. Even if you force yourself via will power to do things beyond your self-image, you won’t be able to sustain it for very long.
You will go back to the old behaviors consistent with your belief about yourself because you act from this belief.
What one action do you need to do tomorrow to affect change? Get information about a gym? Talk to someone about taking a course? Set up a timetable to get a job done? Do one thing a day towards what you really want. Change one part of your behavior and then your body and mind will follow.
It is very hard to sustain significant changes in behavior without changes in individuals’ underlying meanings that give rise to their behaviors.
The first question I ask of your ‘excuses’ is “IS IT TRUE?” really true? Where did this meaning come from? A childhood incidence? A relatives’ offhand remark? One of the most powerful voices we have is how we speak to ourselves. It’s not just the content but actually ‘how’ we speak to ourselves that becomes toxic.
In my own life I have a saying I came up with that helps me when I get in a downward spiral of bad self talk. I say to myself; “Stop complaining and start committing. Committing to self awareness, sticking to my values, and becoming the change I want to see.
Have a peaceful week.