Given up on your goals already? Fallen into self-criticism, blame and disappointment?
Here's how to get back on track with creating your Success!
Download the worksheet here: livemorelife.kartra.com/page/55WS
Have you given up already on your news resolutions? Have you ever given up on your goals just a few days, a few hours or a few weeks after setting them?
This week just gone (as of this live recording) included January 17, which is known as World ditch the new year's resolutions day. And it's really interesting because research shows that by January 17, over 90% of people who set new year's resolutions will now have given up. They realised that the goals they set were unrealistic, or unreasonable, or that they didn't really want to do them anyway. Has that ever happened to you?
And whether you're watching me Live (and Hello if you are, great to see you live), whether you're watching on replay (and let me know if you are, type replay in the comments). Really, if you're watching this at any time of year check in with yourself? Have you ever decided to make a change in your life, perhaps adopting healthier new habits, trying out a new skill, looking to achieve something new in your life? And ask yourself, how long did your commitment last? For most people, it's about three weeks.
Most people give up at the first challenge, or the first setback. Whenever it feels like it's going to be hard. Which by the way, whenever we think it's going to be hard... we realise oh, it's going to be hard...It just means we're thinking it's going to take more work than we thought it would.
You know so often, we think that that we should just go to do everything automatically just from deciding to make it so. Then we give up at the very first hint of disappointment. I wonder if you've done this. I wonder if you've ever made the mistake of trying something out, trying it once or twice, then falling into self criticism, telling yourself that you're just not good enough. You're just not focused enough. You're just not disciplined enough, you're just not strong enough. When really all that's happening is you've just decided that you're unwilling to feel a little uncomfortable, to be less than perfect first go. Do you ever do that? Do you ever find yourself giving up when you realise you couldn't do everything, or couldn't do something, perfectly the first time?
You're not alone, if that's the case. So I have utmost compassion for you. I used to do this myself. I'm like, "ah, that didn't work I'm just gunna quit". But just imagine what would have happened for us, as a species, as humans if we all did that. When we were learning to walk or to talk, when we're learning to feed ourselves. We'd never have survived as a species. Just think about that. You know, did you just get up and walk the very first time? First time you had a desire for something did you just speak the words to express it straight away?
Chances are, you probably didn't. You probably had to fail at it many, many times. You had to learn how to move the muscles in your throat and in your lungs, in your mouth, your tongue and everything. To create sounds that could be understood. You had to use your brain to create meaning around those sounds and to deliver that meaning in a way that was comprehensible to someone else. There's a lot going on. And often it's more work than we think.
You know, I think we've gotten used to witnessing transformation in our entertainment in like our movie theatres or on our TV, you know, in our devices. You know, we watch a TV show or a movie, and we see characters overcome struggle, we see them overcome personal difficulties or obstacles put in the way, (you know, whether it's aliens or a hoard of undead or, you know, a richer, more attractive someone else stealing into catch the attention of the love interest), you know, and we see them overcoming these things.
And think about it. We kind of go on the journey, we take the transformation, with them. We have empathy, we feel like we've done a lot, we've been through a lot yeah? Have you ever been through, sat through a movie and you feel like you're just exhausted, just emotionally drained at the end of it? We've been through the highs and lows, like you're on a roller coaster. But all that really happened is that we were sitting in our comfy chairs. You know, and I think we've come to expect to come to learn to train ourselves that all it takes for transformation is a little montage. You know, we feel like we get to sit there with a snack and a beverage, and somehow it just happens.
Transformation actually requires action in real life. It requires more of us than we've come to expect from our entertainment. So to reach your goals, you do have to actually make consistent changes. You have to make them all year long, not just for a couple of weeks, not just once. You have to live those changes in your new life, right? For real, liveable lifestyle change you need consistent practice. You need (consistent) to make consistent progress. And you need to fail a lot. You need to get it wrong, so you learn. And I think in our culture, so many of us have become unwilling to do that. To be unwilling to see failure as part of the journey of success. It's part of the process...instead of naming it an obstacle to it.
So it's okay. If your brain freaks out. If you decided to make some changes, and then you find you're not doing them already, then that's okay. So just make it okay. Remember, it's perfectly normal, nothing bad has happened. Your brain, your body is just doing what it's supposed to do. And you might remember I've mentioned before the motivational triad - that our brain is always motivated to seek pleasure or to avoid pain, to conserve energy by doing what it's always done.
So of course, you know we might be motivated to start because we're seeking the pleasure we have the anticipation of the transformation in our life. The better energy or the better health, the better fitness, or the more attractiveness, whatever it is we're trying to change. And we feel the anticipation that's where we're like seeking pleasure "Yeah, I want to do that". Then, first hint of pain or discomfort, we're like "oop runaway, it's no good". Our brain just wants to retreat.
And of course, it wants to be lazy. It wants to do what it's always done, because that's the most efficient. It's kept you alive till now, isn't that what you want? What you have to do, is remind your brain that well yes, I want to be alive, but I also want to achieve. I want to think further into the future than the primitive parts of our brain can think. I what to think about, not just today, but tomorrow and next week and next month, next year, five years time in 10 years time. The primitive survival parts of our brain don't have access to that future. That takes the evolved, thinking human brain, the prefrontal cortex to go into the future.
So, notice if your brain is freaking out. Notice if it tells you it feels it's hard or you can't do it, you're not perfect. Notice if it gets into self criticism, because I do think we sometimes fall into the mistaken belief that self criticism will motivate us. Have you ever tried to motivate yourself with self criticism? You just feel like if you beat yourself up, if you're hard enough on yourself, then you'll be motivated to do something different. But it doesn't work. At least not for very long.
Because the trouble of using self criticism and braiding ourselves and beating ourselves up for motivation is of course remember you have to live the change you're gonna make, right? You can't just do it once. You have to live it continuously. And of course, if you need to not like yourself, if you need to hate yourself and beat yourself up to get there, then you're not going to like who you are when you're being there, when you're living it. So you'll want to get away from that to. Which is ultimately what many people do. Achieve a goal, do it by white-knuckling, going hard and then giving up because they can't sustain it.
I've come to believe that beating ourselves up always moves us away from our goals. It always slows us down It always stops us from achieving. Most of the time it just leaves us just giving up.
It doesn't mean there isn't a place for critical thinking. For reviewing, reflecting, reconsidering our options, you know? Kingsley Amis says...
"Self criticism must be my guide to action. And the first rule for its employment is that it, in itself is not a virtue, only a procedure".
I really want you to hear that because that's the first mistake that most people make. They think that self criticism is some kind of virtue. Beating ourselves up is just some sort of thing we should do. Listen to what he says...self criticism must be my guide to action. It in itself is a procedure....So we want to use critical thinking as a guide to action. That's the change that most people get wrong. You know, most people just think, Oh, I just have to criticise myself enough and that'll do it. And in fact, it does the exact opposite. And you probably know this to be true, right?
Louise Hay has a great quote. She says "You've been criticising yourself for years. And it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens".
Today, I really want to invite you into that. What if you could just decide to give up the self criticism, the berating ourselves, beating ourselves up? Instead, bring some critical thinking, bring self compassion, bring self acceptance, and then decide "well what I want to do now?" That's what I want to help you with today. To help you come to compassion instead of self criticism, to remember that nothing has gone wrong, you're a human having a human experience in the world. And if you'd like to succeed with your goals you're going to have to do things differently than what you have been doing them.
So, to start with I talk about coming to this neutral place. So choose self acceptance - what's been done has been done, what's been said has been said, there's no going back (unless you have a time machine, and if so, can I borrow it?). We can't go back. So can you just instead decide to accept yourself fully? This is what happened. This is what I wanted. This is what I did. This was the result.
My coach calls this the neutrality of circumstance. And that just means that it's not what happened that causes us to feel a certain way. It's our thinking about what has happened. that's causing us to feel. So if we're feeling disappointment, or guilt or regret or remorse, feeling anger or frustration... then we're choosing those. We're choosing to think thoughts that create those in our body, about our circumstance. It's not what has happened. That's just stuff. That's just the event. Just the situation.
I always like to think of the words of Byron Katie, when I feel like something has gone wrong, when things didn't turn out the way I wanted. She says, "nothing has gone wrong. Everything happens for me. Not to me perfectly and right on time. You don't have to like it. Life's just easier when you do." I've always found this to be true.
Whatever has happened is exactly what should have happened. How do we know? That's what happened! No fighting it, no arguing about it. It also means we don't have to continually keep doing it. Remember, only the primitive part of our brain wants to always do what's always done. We have our Evolved Human Brain, we can override that, we can consider "what would I like to do differently?"
And so to help you with that today, and help you with this process, I've created a worksheet. It's called the Reflect Review and Recommit, worksheet. And so you can download it of course, in the description wherever it is. Around this video on the Facebook post or on the YouTube description, or in the video description on my website. So take a moment now pause the video if you need to. If you're not watching live, you're watching the replay, pause it and download that worksheet and come back to it whenever you feel like something has happened that isn't what you wanted. Take a moment, answer these questions. Fill it out. Now of course, if you're watching live, grab a pen and paper.
Think about a circumstance. Maybe a goal you've already given up on, or an action you wanted to take that you didn't, or something you tried that didn't work the way you wanted to. And to start with, we want to go through this process of coming to the neutrality of circumstance coming to self acceptance. So write down your answer to the following....
First of all, what is my overall goal? What am I actually trying to achieve by doing this, by trying this out? I think that's really important to do to remember the big picture. Because sometimes we get caught up in the weeds, we get lost in the weeds trying to make a change or try something out, and we don't really understand why we're doing it. So what is your overall goal? Am I creating healthier eating habits? Am I getting fitter? Am I improving my relationships with others? Am I looking after myself differently? What is your goal, what do I really want to achieve?
And then, in this situation that happened, that didn't go or work out the way you wanted? What were your expectations? What were my expectations? What did I want to plan to do? What do I think should have been done or should have happened? Write all those things down, just to notice what your expectations are. When we feel bad. When I feel disappointment or regret or guilt or remorse, embarrassment, shame, we're always thinking things that different from how they should be. So, just note, what were your expectations? What should they have said or done? What should you have said or done?
Then we want to write down what actually happened. Just the Facts. Not your opinion about the facts. Just the facts. And remember that facts are something that everyone can agree on. If we lined up 100 people in the street who witnessed the event, they'd all say the same thing. So, be very specific with this. They said...write out the exact words. I said... write out the exact words. I did.... XYZ. I did these exact actions. Right?
So for example, I hear sometimes people say "you know something or other happened and then I blew it. Really? *blows air* Is that what you mean? No, it isn't what you mean. Write down what exactly happened. I sat down on the couch, I turned on Netflix. I poured a glass of wine opened a packet at Tim Tams. I binge watched four episodes. I drank the bottle of wine, and I ate six of the Tim Tams. Write down the exact actions that you take. Even if sometimes those actions are inaction. I pondered I ruminated. I sat spinning in my head, I stressed about it. That's just sitting there. I thought about it again and again and again and again. What actions did you actually take what actually happened?
Once you've taken a moment to write down what's actually happened, then you get to have your opinions about it. So in the next section, I've written a space for you to write out... What are your thoughts about what happened? Now, keep in mind, there might be things here that did work and things that didn't work. Mostly, in most situations, even when we're successful, there are some things that worked, some things that didn't work. Even when we are unsuccessful, or didn't achieve the result we want, sometimes there's still some things that worked, some things that we didn't. So this is where you get to express your opinion. So feel free to let the reins off. Be as petty and judgmental, as rude as you'd like. The point here is to just be aware of the thoughts that are going on in your brain right now.
And I really do mean write it up. Don't just keep it in your head. Grab a pen, write it actually down on paper. Something amazing happens when we write it down on paper as our brain starts to look at it. It doesn't belong to us anymore. When it's just in our head, we're at the effect of it, we can't sort of break the chain of having the thoughts in there and then feeling the reactions. It kind of all happens very quickly, particularly if you're new to this work. But getting it down on paper, your brain starts to see it like it's an object, like something outside of yourself. Like it's someone else's opinions, perhaps even. So then it can go to work on it more objectively, or to consider the choices. It can be not at the effect of it so much. So it's really helpful to actually write it down. Write down all your thoughts, get them out, because then you get to decide which ones to keep which ones not to. It's a conscious choice, instead of just happening to you.
In the next section of the worksheet, it's the time to then review. So that's reflection. Now we're going to review. So you want to go... What's good about this? What actually worked? What do I want to keep doing? Which parts of this were useful, that served me in some way (that as a) in a way that I would like to keep? Write those things down. Look for them. Don't just give you a brain a... look, it's going to give you the objection. "Nothing. it didn't work. It was terrible. I was hopeless". Okay, just "yeah, yeah, yeah". But remember that we always do things, our brain has trained these habits in because it's trying to help us, because we it is protecting us or it's serving us in some way. Maybe it's the primitive unconscious part of our brain doing the talking, running the show. But just let's try and come to understanding about it. There was something good there eating the Tim Tams drinking the wine watching all eight episodes of The Witcher meant that I didn't have to think about my feelings. I didn't have to feel uncomfortable. I didn't have to consider the disappointment right? It was a buffer against my emotions. It was trying to protect me in some way.
So what was good? Sometimes we take some actions and parts of it helped. Parts of it worked. It just wasn't everything that we wanted. Sometimes we will do things then other people don't respond the way we want. But sometimes that's okay. Sometimes we just don't want to keep our actions. So look for what was good that you want to keep, that you want to do again in the future. Even if it's just taking the point out of my example for instance, about okay, I tried to look after myself. I tried to, my brain tried to, care for me in the way it knew how...by seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, doing what it's always done. It thought that Tim Tams, wine, Witcher and Netflix were a solution to my challenge.
Chances are, they probably weren't a solution, one that maybe you don't want to keep. So then next we want to look at what didn't work. What do you want to learn from this experience? What are the lessons that you want to take away? Okay, I realized that binge watching Netflix drinking the wine eating the chocolates didn't actually stop me from having to deal with whatever emotion I was trying to avoid. It just delayed it. In fact, maybe even, maybe it made it worse because now I also have guilt and remorse about the actions I've taken, about overeating and over drinking.
So what else could I do? What might be different? So write down what didn't work - that you don't want to keep and what is the lesson that you're taking from it? There is always one. And then we want to think about what could I do differently next time? What would serve me better? What could be a different action that I can take? And I really encourage you to write this down really specifically. So when x trigger event happens, I will, y actions. And I want you to consider what you need to think and feel in those moments to take that action. Remember, if you've taken different actions, you've been thinking and feeling different things. So this is where you really can choose to change. What what I need to think? What would I need to feel in order to take this different action in the moment?
Once you have that - and maybe there's 5, 10, 15 different things you could try there, write down as many as you could think of - once you have that, you get to reconsider. Well, okay, am I worth trying this out? Is it worth testing out this new action? Can I invest the time and the energy into doing it? Remember, you often don't have to do it all at once. You can break it down into pieces if it ever feels like it's too much.
So lastly, on the worksheet, I've left one more question for you. And that is, What can I do now, to start? So often, success in our journey really just comes to getting started. Taking that first step, or that next step. Remember, there's no better time than this present moment. It really is the only time we ever have to make change in our life. Right now. It's the only time we're ever truly alive. So what can I do to start now? There's no better time than the present moment.
Transformation takes time and effort. I think you're worth that investment. Do you agree?
Of course, this process is unfamiliar to most people, it'snot something we're really taught how to do in our school or schooling, our upbringing. So if you find that you'd like some more help, if you'd like me to be your guide through this process of transformation through your journey, get in touch. Remember, you can request a consultation on my website at LiveMoreLife.com.au - and let's have a conversation. Lte's have a talk about what it is you want to achieve and what you've tried and what's worked, what hasn't, and what we might do differently. You can learn a little bit about how coaching with me can help you make it happen. Now, of course, I can't do it for you, but I can guide you through the process. I've been there. I've helped many others through it.
Now, whether you work with me or not, Start today.
Let go of the self criticism, choose self compassion, self acceptance instead. So you can free your mind from holding you back. You can actually look critically what's worked, what hasn't? What are you going to do next? In fact, I'd love for you to let me know. If you've decided, you've made a recommitment today to continue creating the life you want, to build new habits, to make changes, then let me know in the comments. What are you recommitting today? So that you don't have to give up the results in the life you want. Let's create it, starting today.
So if this has been helpful, of course, give me a like, give me a reaction. Let me know in the comments, let's have a chat. If you're not sure what to work on, then click on the link, Download the worksheet and take a few moments to work through, to fill it out... and come back and let me know in the comments. Reach out.
I hope this has been helpful for you for now choose self compassion, choose self acceptance and start today, creating the life you love. I hope you have an amazing day. I'll talk to you again soon. Bye for now.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
After losing my 50 kg I've made it my mission to help others transform their minds, overcome emotional eating and create the life they want to be living.