Are you sabotaging your goals?
Do you have a dream or a goal and then struggle to make it happen?
Do you blame it on resistance?
Lack of willpower?
Maybe you want to lose weight but every time you start making progress you reward yourself with… chocolate cake?
Maybe you sign up with a career coach so you can finally get out of a job that is killing you… and then never seem to schedule the first appointment.
Maybe you want to start a business, but when you schedule time to work on it…you take a nap instead.
Dreaming is easy.
Complaining about our current circumstances is easy.
Making a change is hard isn’t it? Ever wonder why?
Don’t worry it’s not a character flaw. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have willpower.
And it’s certainly not because you haven’t given it a good try. It’s not time to beat yourself up again…
It’s all in your thinking. Which is actually good news because guess who controls your thinking?
While you often have little control over your situation and the people in your life, you are totally in charge of your thinking and that means you can change your thinking so that it better serves you and your goals. Here are three steps to accomplishing instead of sabotaging your goals:
First you have to be aware of your thinking. Most of us let our thinking run wild. We don’t challenge it. We don’t control it. It’s like having a toddler in your house who has never heard the word no. So begin to notice what you are thinking right before the decision not to call and set up that appointment or when you decide to empty the dishwasher rather than attend to your writing assignment. Can I take a guess? See if you’ve ever thought…
- I’ve been denying myself the food I love for so long… I deserve a reward.
- If I make that appointment, I’ll probably be asked to do something really hard… like schedule an interview or figure out what I really would rather do for a career.
- I’m too tired to think about that right now. I’ll do it later. What’s the point… nothing ever comes of it anyway.
You get the idea, right? Write down whatever you are thinking. (Not judging it as good or bad. We’re just paying attention.)
Next notice how you feel based on those thoughts. Maybe it’s: discouraged, worthless, scared, apathetic. or frustrated. Our thoughts create how we feel. How we feel determines the actions we choose to take. Now does it make sense why you aren’t honoring your decision to lose weight and eat less? Or making that appointment with the coach you signed up with? Or taking those scary steps to start your own business? So how do you start taking the action that you need to?
Once you are aware of your thinking, you can begin to challenge and change it. You might think something like this:
- I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in losing weight and the healthy person I’m becoming. I’m going to plan other ways to celebrate and reward myself.
- I’m not going to anticipate the outcome of making an appointment. I know that scheduling the appointment is the first small step toward leaving a job that is killing me.
Get the idea? Once you take charge of your thinking (and believe me I know it is an ongoing process and challenge) you will be able to follow up on decisions you make without talking yourself out of them. You will also be taking charge of your feelings, which is often the thing that really leads you to sabotage your plans.
Our thinking is the driving force behind our feelings and our actions. Begin by just noticing how you think and the resulting feelings. You might be surprised at how you are accidentally sabotaging your dreams.
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