“Tell me to get my sh** together”.
This was a message I received earlier this week from a good friend of mine who has been struggling with her weight loss and fitness goals.
As much as I love to encourage and motivate, I always aim to keep it real… So while I could have done what she asked, I didn’t think this was what she needed or what would help her.
And I told her so.
But the thing is, she knows what she needs to do when it comes to her nutrition and exercise in order to reach her goals, yet she’s not doing it.
I would venture to say that at some point we’ve all struggled with taking the necessary actions to move us forward, even when we had all of the information and resources needed to be successful.
Granted, sometimes we don’t have the proper plan or strategy, but often times we do.
So if you think that lack of motivation, lack of resources (money, time, etc.), or procrastination are the primary forces preventing you from reaching your goals, you may not be looking at your situation deep enough.
In my experience, the reasons we aren’t creating the results we desire are rooted deeper in our mindset.
So why then, is it so difficult to take consistent action and do the things necessary to get us where we want to be?
- Your Belief System is Contradicting Your Goals
Do you actually believe in the strategy that you’re following and/or believe in your ability to get to your goal?
Over the course of our lifetime, we subconsciously develop so many limiting beliefs, as well as a blueprint of how we believe things in life should be, which is usually developed during childhood and carried with us unknowingly into adulthood.
This is often a result of someone we knew and trusted (your parents, teachers, society etc.) conveying to us that this was the way things were done, or that we couldn’t or shouldn’t do something, albeit usually well intentioned.
If your parents taught you that going to college and getting a 9-5 job was the only way to make a stable and successful living (hey that was me a few years ago), then you may have limiting beliefs around your ability to make money in your own business.
Or if you were given sweets or junk food as a child when something made you cry (think back to getting a lollipop after going to the doctor for a shot), you may have developed subconscious beliefs around food as a means of comfort.
When you have subconscious beliefs that contradict the actions you’re trying to take toward your goals, your brain starts throwing up red flags and is like “HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE!”
These contradictions can cause you to start second-guessing and losing faith in the process of working toward your goals.
And trusting in the process is just as important as the process itself. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, you’re just marking time as you go through the motions.
If you struggle with limiting or contradictory beliefs (which 99% of us do), one way to identify and overcome them is to stop and examine your thoughts the next time you feel resistant toward taking an action and ask yourself why and where that is coming from.
Once you’re able to identify the why and the where, try to find logical proof that this belief simply isn’t the case, AKA debunk your own silly thought process.
Remember, you don’t have to believe all of your own thoughts.
2. You’re Micromanaging Your Results
No one likes to be micromanaged and your results don’t either.
While it’s good to constantly check in with yourself and keep metrics of how you’re progressing, if you’re constantly analyzing every minor up and down, you’re more likely to get discouraged by the minimal shifts (forward and backward) and lose sight of the bigger picture goal.
Great examples of this are investing and weight loss.
The scale will fluctuate up and down (just like the stock market), even when you’re doing all the right things and sticking to your plan.
Progress is NEVER linear the way we imagine it to be, so trust in the process (see above) and always keep the bigger picture in mind.
3. You Experience Negative Neuro-Associations
Have you ever eaten something and gotten really sick afterward, only to find yourself unable to eat that thing ever again?
I’ve never been a big liquor drinker (outside of the margaritas because I’m a Texan) but when I was 18 I was hanging out with a boy I had a crush on and he was drinking whiskey and Dr. Pepper, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Being the competitive person that I am, I told him I could drink more than he could and attempted to uphold my end of the trash talking.
About two hours and a few drinks later, I was outside hunched over at the back of my car sicker than a dog (I’ll spare you the details).
Long story short, to this day, over a decade later, I still cannot smell whiskey without gagging and my stomach churning.
When we have an experience that gives us a negative or positive outcome, our minds subconsciously link that particular thing or experience with the emotion associated with the outcome, even when other factors are at play.
For example: If you’re someone who has tried multiple diets and short term strategies only to find yourself regaining all of the weight you lost plus more, you may now associate diet and exercise with failure, at least at a subconscious level.
This will likely result in more difficulty for your to fully commit to a plan in the future because your brain is saying HEY we don’t like the result that is created when we do this thing because it’s painful (physically OR emotionally).
This is one of the biggest underlying reasons why so many diets fail in the long term and is the reason I dig into neuro-associations with all of my 1:1 clients.
We all have them and they aren’t always bad. In fact, some of them are good… Like the association we have that says putting your hand over a fire is painful.
But the key is to become aware of these associations and consciously work to re-wire the ones that are hindering you from reaching your goals.