Back Up, Don't Beat Up!
(An Excerpt from
Don't Weight, Eat Healthy and Get Moving NOW!)
What about the times when
you really CAN’T get yourself to do something? You have tried
and tried and you just don’t do it. What then? It is very
normal to beat yourself up. Most people have learned to reprimand
and berate themselves when they “fail”. You can develop
a new way to think about things and replace the old unhelpful way
you try to get yourself to "just do it",
and you “just don’t do it”,
there is always an obstacle.
is ALWAYS a reason.
It could be an internal or an external reason.
of beating yourself up,
think about the obstacle that might be in the way!
Figure out a way around
it, through it, or over it. Continue to problem solve and figure
out what the obstacle is and how to cope with it. You are not a
failure. You are on the path to accomplishing your goal. You are
just in the middle of figuring it out.
Ask yourself what is getting in the way of accomplishing your goal:
“I wonder what the obstacle might be.” Open your mind
and feelings to discover the possibilities. Keep your mind open
and wonder about what those obstacles might be for as long as it
takes. You do not have to come up with an idea right away. It may
take days or weeks of wondering before you discover what the real
obstacle might be. Once you know what gets in the way, you can make
plans to solve that problem. When the obstacles are removed, when
the problems are solved, you will easily be able to move forward.
The best place to look for what gets in the way of accomplishing
your goal is behind you.
had plans. He was going to get up every morning and work out.
He planned to begin by using a
workout DVD right in his own home for convenience. He started
out great. He got up every morning for a week and a half. Once
in a while, when he was too tired, he skipped a workout. He told
himself that he would get right back on track tomorrow. Then,
inexplicably, he just was not doing his workout. He did not know
what had changed. He just could not make himself get out of bed
to do it.
At first he berated himself and called himself names. “What
the hell is the matter with me that I can’t do this one
thing?” It did not take long for Mike to notice this train
of thought was not fixing anything. As a matter of fact, the more
he beat himself up, the more he felt like a failure. The worse
he felt about himself, the harder it was to find any motivation.
He had to approach this in a different way.
“I wonder what is getting in the way of my morning workouts?”
A groggy answer slowly formed in Mike’s head: “I’m
too tired.” Now, Mike had something to work with. But that
was only the beginning. At first he thought that all he had to
do was go to bed earlier. He tried for days to get to bed earlier,
but he couldn’t. O.K., Mike had to ask himself: “What
is getting in the way of my early bedtime?” He was doing
office work in the evening. How could he possibly get his work
done at the office so that he did not have to bring work home?
Mike ended up restructuring his entire workday, getting to bed
a little earlier, and resumed his morning workout. He had to back
up, and keep backing up, solving one problem at a time, in order
to give himself the good morning that he deserved!
Did you notice? This
is NOT simple! It is very achievable, but it is not simple. It is
challenging. If you had known that this was a challenging task,
then you would have been more patient with yourself, more likely
to problem-solve, and more likely to accomplish your goal. You would
have been more prepared to “back up”. When you acknowledge
that you are engaged in a challenging task, you increase your chance
of success. Any goal that you do not achieve on the first attempt
is a good opportunity to practice the skill: “back up, don’t
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