How many times have you been told, “You have to want to do it for yourself, if you are going to succeed”? I can’t even begin to count. That being said, I have come to the conclusion that sometimes doing something for yourself isn’t reason enough to do it. But you can still be a success.
Hear me out. Last week I turned forty-nine. And for probably forty of those years I have struggled with my weight. With the exception of surgery, I have tried every fad diet and crazy exercise routine out there. And with each of those attempts, I was told to repeat this mantra by nutritionists, trainers and well-intentioned friends.
“You have to want to do it for yourself if you want to succeed”
I believed that. And each time I failed at a diet or gave up my workout, I felt like I had given up on myself. That I was not strong enough, I didn’t care enough, or it didn’t matter enough.
Translation, I am not enough.
With every failure my self-worth sank lower and lower. If I can’t do it for myself, then I can’t do it at all. Can someone please hand me the Oreos? I SAID HAND ME THE OREOS DAMMIT!
Don’t Believe the Lie
You are enough. In the famous words of Stuart Smalley, “You are good enough. You are smart enough and doggone it, people like you”. Sorry, 90’s flashback. I couldn’t help myself.
The fact is, I like to do things for others. It’s who I am. It’s a huge piece of my personalty. And what I realized was, that even though I had failed and let myself down so many times, there are some things that I’m really successful at. And those things happen to be the things that I do for others.
Let me give you an example.
There are days, way more than I would like to admit, that I had every intention of getting up early to exercise. But instead, I chose to hit the snooze button to the point of no return. Because I was too tired or just didn’t feel like it or <enter any other lame excuse here>.
However, I never hit the snooze button when I needed to get my son to hockey practice at 5:30 a.m. Never. Because it was important to him, it made it important to me, which meant I couldn’t let him down.
Changing Your Mindset
Once I realized that I was almost always successful when doing things for others, the answer was clear. I needed to change the way I was thinking. That meant turning the old mantra of “You have to want to do it for yourself to succeed” to “When I succeed, others will benefit and I will be successful at reaching my goal”.
To put that into practice, let’s get back to my continuous weight loss battle. Of course I want to be healthy, feel good and look good. I mean, I have quite the bikini bod, just not the SI Swimsuit Edition type, ya know? But changing my thinking to “When I drop some weight, my kids won’t worry about my health”. Or “My family will want to follow my path and they will all be healthier and learn better habits”. And even “Getting up earlier to exercise makes me more efficient, I’ll have more time to try new recipes for my family, I’m better at my job, I’m less grouchy with my kids” and the list goes on and on as to how others benefit from me not hitting the snooze button.
So, by understanding what motivates me and changing my inner dialogue accordingly, I have been better able to stick to the habits that are helping me reach my goals.
What has been your biggest challenge? What kind of shift can you make in your current mindset to help you tackle those challenges? Let me know. I’d love to hear what kinds of struggles you’re facing and how this idea of changing the way you’ve been thinking is helping.
If you’re looking for some additional inspiration, here are some of my favorite self help books that can give you some more ideas for self improvement. My girl Rachel Hollis always motivates and if you haven’t seen Made for More (free for Prime Members)
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