We have beliefs (conscious or not) about who we are, who we're supposed to be and what is truly possible for us.
From everything I've read from folks like: Tony Robbins, Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer, Napoleon Hill and Brian Tracy) one thing is apparent to me... we set ourselves up for success or shackle ourselves down to failure by the things we tell ourselves and the choices we make.
One thing that I am trying to banish from my own life (and something that I've seen clients do over the years in the fitness and nutrition arena) is playing "the blame game" (Insert cheesy carnival barker voice here) "Step right up, folks...spin the big wheel...make sure responsiblity for your choices lands on somebody else". Here are a few examples that are probably familiar to all of us.
- "I would have eaten better, but my kids had pizza and ice cream last night, so I had to eat it too".
- "I would have loved to workout, but my husband needed me to take care of something"
- "If it hadn't been for that phone call that came in (when I was about to leave for the gym) I would have gone to workout"...it goes...on and on.
Tony Robbins has one of my favorite answers to "the blame game".
In other words, sure there are somethings (acts of G-d, forces of nature, etc) which are clearly out of our control. But what IS in your control?? Usually it's a lot more than we realize.
For instance, In the above examples, you might ask this person...
- Okay, did your kids "have" to have pizza and ice cream (i.e. would they die if they didn't eat it?) or did you make a choice that this was something you wanted to let them do.
- So then knowing that was the choice...you also made another choice to join them (which is fine..as long as you're honest about it...and as long as its not every single night). But was there truly another choice that YOU could have made? Eat before you went out? Get a salad with some chicken and a sorbet, instead? Or conciously choose to pig out (fair enough)-- enjoy and move on with life in the AM?
- Did you have to do that chore to help your husband out at all? Could someone else have helped him, perhaps? Did you have to do it at that particular time? Or did you choose to do it when you did it...deciding that it was more important than working out in that moment?
- Did you have to answer that phone call? Could you have let your VM pick it up? Was it really an emergency requiring your immediate attention? Or did you decide that your workout time was less important than this particular call?
This is what Brian Tracy refers to as "locus of control theory". The idea behind locus of control theory is that the more you focus on those things that you can have an effect on --the greater your results will be.
Forget what is truly out of your control. What could you do if you were really committed to a particular result. What is in your control? What choices could you have made to insure you get the results your after?
Which brings me to the next thing I've been thinking about (which is a separate blog in itself)...which is that we use "the blame game" to dodge responsibility for our choices, because on some deeper level -- we don't REALLY want that result.
Too often, we don't believe we are supposed to achieve things in our lives...either because we aren't worthy, or we're frightened or we think we are going to have to suffer in the process...it goes on and on.
But whatever the internal dialog is...for some reason we are not TOTALLY committed to the end result...and therefore WE sabotage our own efforts and then we try to pin our failure on other people.
Think about your goals (health and fitness or otherwise). What do you really want? How committed are you to making it happen?
Then forget all of the obstacles that stand in your way and focus on the things that are within your control. What choices could you make...if you REALLY wanted to get the job done?