This is a true story. Your brain's default is to find all of the negative... not because there is anything wrong with your brain... it does this to protect you. It thinks that if you are aware of all of the bad things, then it can assume you will be on the lookout and make all the good choices. It operates this way to keep you safe. The problem is that your brain is operating on the premise that you have way more things to be scared of than you actually do, and so it has you living in the land of freak-out, anxiety, and fear for much more time than is actually necessary. And freak-out, anxiety, and fear are not emotions that are conducive to producing your best results. So what should you do?
Thought work is a "coachy" term that is thrown out there, referring to taking the time to examine what your thoughts are and deciding if those thoughts are serving you or not. In our world, this is not something we are usually taught to do growing up. There was never a high school class that taught us that we should stop and think about what we are thinking. This means most of society is walking around thinking that they have no control of their thoughts. Thoughts just happen to them.
The truth is that our thoughts are completely in our control... if we actually stop and think about them. (I know this sounds funny.) And our thoughts are the one thing that influences how we feel. Stopping to see exactly what thought is creating the anxiety or fear you are feeling might lead you to realize there is really nothing to be afraid of at all. This becomes critical work when our thoughts are self-defeating about us (who and what we are). You know, the negative self-talk about;
We all do this to some level, but how helpful is it, and if you really stop to evaluate what you are saying, how true is it? Yet, the thought itself is enough to affect how you feel and, ultimately, how you behave.
Here's a brain hack to help control your brain's shitty thoughts. Since we know our brain will default to looking for the negative, start the day by acknowledging that and just write down the shitty thoughts that you know your brain might throw at you throughout the day. (See examples above.) After you have written down all the crap, tell your brain, "Ok. We have dealt with all the crap. You can now feel free to focus on the things that will actually help us achieve our goals instead of the shit that will hold us back." Then take a moment to list some things you know are positive and true about you (because it is important to remind the brain what is good and true). Later in the day, when you hear in your head, "You are so fat." you can kindly tell the brain, "We already dealt with that this morning, and we know that is not helpful." This might seem silly or crazy, but it actually gives you the power and helps you practice being in control of what you are thinking, instead of letting your brain be a toddler running around the house with a Sharpie marker. It also will affect how you feel. More positive emotions will totally help you perform at a higher level and help you produce better results.
I help my clients learn how to identify their thoughts and understand how their thoughts affect their results. I'd love to help teach you these skills so you can take charge of your outcomes and turn down the noise of the negative committee living in your head. Click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session and see how to turn down the noise.
A couple of days ago, I asked why do you really want to lose weight?
While wanting to be healthier or fitting into a smaller size pair of pants are not bad reasons for wanting to lose weight, I suggested the real reason we want to lose weight is actually that we are trying to like ourselves more. We think we are broken, and we are trying so hard to get fixed. For so many of us, losing weight is part of the quest to get there, and there is where we will find our happiness.
This has totally been a true story for me. I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking that once I lost weight, I would find happiness. I thought I had to lose weight to be liked more by others or worthy enough to be loved. I have done all the things (joined the gyms and created the meal plans) and have lost weight only to gain it back and then totally blamed it on the fallacy that something was really wrong with me. And the few times I had gotten to a much smaller size (I got there), life was still 50/50- there was not a miraculous spell of happiness that fell upon me. Losing weight allowed me to not beat myself up as much, but it did not solve my problems. Talk about a helpless place to be.
We believe in getting there and finding happiness so hard, and we do all the things we have been told to get there. We choose food plans (that we do not enjoy). We create exercise goals (that make us want to cry). We do these things as a means to the end of getting there. But we missed the most important part... and that is that happiness is not the destination, but is actually a necessary element in the journey if we are ever really going to get there. We fixate on what is wrong with us and try to hate ourselves into a better place as if hating ourselves enough will make us good.
What if we focused on what we were already amazing at rather than focusing on what we needed to fix? How might that change our results? Don't we treat those we love better than those we despise? I want to propose that this is why we are not only not hitting our weight loss goals but also other goals we have set in so many areas of our lives- that reason is that we do not like ourselves enough to treat ourselves with love and compassion. We think we can beat ourselves into someone or something better. It's a vicious cycle... We don't like something about us, so we need to be fixed, which causes us to focus on actions that we dread to be better, all the long beating ourselves up and waiting for happiness.
What is your brain telling you about YOU? How are you talking to yourself? Are you inadvertently trying to hate yourself good?
I work with my clients to help them identify the thoughts that are driving their results. I'd love to help teach you the skills to overcome this and get the outcomes you truly desire. Please click here to schedule your complimentary coaching session to explore what coaching could bring to your life.