The conversations I have on a daily basis with others, both professionally and personally, help to spark the conversations I want to have with all of you through this blogging platform. Over the month of April I found myself saying, as well as hearing from my circle of people, “don’t be so hard on yourself”! So it seems only appropriate to try to get to ‘why’ so many of us can embrace the support amongst those around us to recognize all of the value in our accomplishments, yet then be so hard on our own selves for not quite getting to or reaching what we had set as our intention.
We live in a culture where doing more seems to be the main thing to stay on top of for the next day to come. You know how I feel about goals… just have a read here, here and here as a start! We need them, whether they’re small or big, or simply, “I want to just get through today with a smile on my face at the end of it”. Goals are defined by you, the individual, based on what YOU want to achieve, not what others want you to achieve. And if we don’t achieve those goals or set things-to-do list, have we failed? Are we hard on ourselves? Well, I think that has to do with your expectations and your perspective!
The expectations we put on ourselves are for our own growth, our own responsibilities, and I truly think they’re important to have – BUT, that’s simply my perspective! What we need to recognize is whether those expectations are being put on us from our own thoughts, our own goals, or from others. I find this so frustrating in the “dieting and health business”. We are flashed with so many unrealistic diets, diet programs, fitness programs, or whatever it may be, that amplify the before and after of said person, and if you try that “program” out and don’t reach the same results promised to you from said company, how do you feel about yourself? Or rather, how are you supposed to feel about yourself? Do you feel you’ve failed? That you’re not good enough? In my profession, with the clients and groups I see, the programs I develop and the lectures I give, it always comes down to that – what about this diet? What about that diet? Hey, what about YOUR life? Your diet? Your goals? Your expectations of yourself and your realistic views of what your lifestyle is all about and finding what will fit, is only yours to decide. The marketing tactics and easy-as-1-2-3 programs that are out there are not often looking after your lifestyle and health. And why do I know this? Because, well, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. Especially if you’re an adult with set behaviours and patterns in your life. Can we drop 10 pounds in 5 days – sure we can! But it’s not realistic for your long-term life and that’s what you should try to ask yourself before jumping on another wagon.
It’s about being honest with yourself. What type of coaching or accountability do you need? What resources do you have at your fingertips? Many times I work with people and they are successful, but at some point during the process, something may happen and we need to side step to reflect on what resources are available around them to use to support them at that time to help get them to the next step. It can be done! So before you step into the “I’ve failed again” or “What is wrong with me” mindset, stop that thought and ask yourself, “what of this strategy didn’t work for me that I have to change?” Is this truly a priority for me right now, or is the fact that changing jobs, getting my kids through dance competition season, supporting my child through something, buying a house, planning a wedding, getting my finances in order – whatever it may be in your life – needs to take precedence at this point? It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. There is a time for everything, and if your health is worth it, which I know it is, you will find that time to make it a priority and give it the attention it needs.
Before you start the riff-raff about what you did wrong though, celebrate what you did right! Is it simply that you slipped but recognized it? Hey, that’s you being aware, so a light bulb is flashing at you. And remember, at the end of the day, to do what you need or want to do for You and Your health. Setting out to do something to please other people, or to “look” a certain way is not a great starting point. You! You are important! You are capable and able…just look at all that’s around you and start tapping into those resources and your own set of skills that you already have!