There are in all of us, parts that lead to failure. Those are the parts I want to try to explore. What are those parts whispering in the background when you enthusiastically start a lifestyle change? What are they saying? Is part of you saying there's an expiration date to this plan? Maybe part of you is saying that "you will fail" "you can never accomplish 'THAT'". Perhaps there's a voice telling you about all the TIMES you failed. There might be an optimistic voice singing joyfully about that time you stuck for a whole season/year/decade/ and as a result accomplished what now seem to be superhuman feats. This voice might be drowned out by a louder one reminding you why exactly that was short-lived.
A common one goes like this: "Yes, but my life/situation/resources/X -is different".
The truth is our brain is complicated and constantly comes up with a ton of reasons why we should not embark on a lifestyle change. The bottom line is that once we connect with our "self", it's hard to go back. It really is. If we start in manageable chunks we can empower ourselves and remain self lead.
This is important.
Diets and extreme schedules are very hard to maintain and are often encouraged by our self sabotaging parts. A lifestyle that brings out the best in you isn't hard to maintain and makes us feel successful.
Self leadership allows us to effectively counteract those voices and stay on track. It allows motivational quotes, images and systems to resonate with us and help us connect with our self to help us succeed. When we can get through all that inner chatter, we can accomplish a lot - and find inner joy.
The truth is, there is not just ONE way to accomplish fitness and lifestyle changes, but there IS a right way that will lead you to success. That way is through connecting with your self.
If you have been following my story you will already know that I started on this path nearly 10 years ago after a 90+ weight gain induced by pregnancy. This lead me along the path of lifestyle change that started with modifying my diet that accelerated through the workout programs I could do on my own schedule, at home, without worrying about childcare or wardrobe issues. This worked for me and helped build the confidence to then also enjoy the social aspect of exercise, over and above, as part of my lifestyle change. It led me to success in my fitness and weight goals and inspired me to seek training to help others.
Back then, I realized that in order for me to succeed, I would have to forgo the gym membership. It wasn't for me. There were too many parts of me telling me it wouldn't work and almost MAKING me miss windows. It was also not practical for a stay-at-home mom with no available network for child care. It just wasn't an option. I could choose action or helplessness.
I could choose action or inaction; change or being resolved to never getting that physique I had wanted BEFORE kids and somehow never managed to attain because I was "too busy". Somewhere in there it dawned on me that the voice that "wanted to", in fact NEEDED to be heard and supported, was being drowned out by fear of failure, lack of belief that I could actually do it, and a genuine belief that those who actually did manage to accomplish what I had always wanted, were better or better off than me. Truth.
To work on a plan for success, self-help style, I recommend writing down your goal and breaking it into actionable steps. Why do you want to change your lifestyle? How can you start? What will you consider successful? Schedule those steps into your calendar and make them as important as you would treat an appointment with someone else. This appointment with your self must be a non-negotiable, and it must be daily. Recognize your success. Get help where you see weakness. Find ways to overcome it.
Also tune into and write out what your opposing voices say to you when you are trying to follow your plan. Don't hush them. Listen. By listening and writing out these opposing statements you give those parts of you the sense that they are heard. Write a response to them. It must be calm, caring, curious, compassionate and attempt to connect with that part clearly and even creatively about how together, you and your parts will make this work. Think of your "self" as the head honcho with an open door policy.
Notice I said nothing about discipline. Sure it takes discipline to get through every part of our day- just about, right? I mean, who is enthusiastic about rush hour traffic or mopping floors OVER going out with friends and family? This is about working collaboratively with all our parts to lower the naysayers' volume and tune into self. This is about looking within and being self led.
The rest is pretty simple really, fun, ever changing, interesting and very rewarding. I say, if you ever wanted to change something in your lifestyle but failed, now is the time to just go for it. Listen to that voice. You CAN.
TheresaWV is a health and fitness coach working on the mind and body connection to empower individuals towards healthy living. Follow her for tips on nutrient dense foods, fitness tips, accountability, motivation and day to day "stuff". For questions, coaching and personal training, or even DIY programs, message her at here or at CoachTheresaWV@gmail.com Also on Facebook and IG as Fitness boutique by TheresaWV.
* Inspired by the work of Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. Internal Family Systems, The Center for Self Leadership. For more literature please also visit www.selfleadership.org