“Why the heck did I just do that?” There have been times in my life when I’ve had to ask myself this question. I’m sure that you have, too.
It’s been said time and time again that we are our own worst enemies. When we don’t understand why we do the things we do, we can live our entire lives being a victim. We might blame our troubles on unforeseen circumstances, God, the universe, and other people.
But, what if we took that difficult glimpse into ourselves and recognized our weak areas that are currently sabotaging us from reach our health goals?
1. We don’t put ourselves first.
We’re a caregiver to family, friends, and co-workers. We rarely talk about our own passions, concerns, struggles, or triumphs. We sweep our own feelings under the rug and support the people around us instead. Because we are so laid-back, and try to avoid conflict at all costs, we tend to go with the flow. This can lead to us getting stepped on by others because we don’t show that we are bothered by it.
If we have goals and dreams we want to be successful in achieving, we have to cultivate a bit of a backbone. We have to muster up the courage to let other people know that we need their support, too. We need to recognize that we might be riding on the coattails of someone else’s dream and not living our own. We can begin by taking time for ourselves and working on our own passions (no matter how small they are). We can start saying “no” to people and things we really don’t want to take part in.
Peer pressure is hard, but so is living an unfulfilled life. It’s possible that we may hurt someone’s feelings initially because they are not used to us sticking up for ourselves. But the more boundaries we are able to put in place (and stick to), the more we can start making time for ourselves and the goals we really want to achieve.
2. We want everything to be perfect before we make the move towards our goal.
Maybe we’re just waiting until we lose another 10 pounds before we join that yoga class. Or, maybe we are waiting until we drop 30 pounds before we try to talk to that cutie we’re crushing on.
This type of mindset sabotages us for an obvious reason: there is no perfect time, person or circumstance. Waiting for perfection is really an excuse based in fear and low self-worth. We have to come to terms with the fact that everyone is imperfect. We can not judge anything in life with just our own set of eyes. The models we see in magazines are all airbrushed. The books we read all have errors and typos. The experts we trust all have their own struggles.
The only way that we will get fit and healthy is by starting where we are at. Everything is a work in progress and starts somewhere. Instead of waiting so much, we can start today by making some small decisions quickly, even though we know that the timing might not be perfect. Making quick decisions on small matters will help us in making those bigger decisions with less hesitancy in the future.
3. We make excuses.
We tell our friends we’re going to meet up for a run and then flake-out and don’t show up. Maybe we feel too tired because we didn’t get much sleep due to noisy neighbors. We forgot our gym clothes at home because we were in a hurry. We had to stay late at work because our boss hates us. The list can go on and on and on.
Excuse makers sabotage themselves because they always have a justification for why they can’t follow through with something. It’s never our fault and we rarely take responsibility. If this is something we want to change about ourselves, we have to notice when we are making the excuses and around what areas of our lives are they most prevalent? We need to start owning up to our excuses and admit when problems are our own fault. Instead of always preparing a reason why we couldn’t do something, we need to start preparing for ways to break the excuses.
Just for one week, arrive early every single day to work or school. Just for one week, prepare healthy, organic meals ahead of time. Just for one week, don’t blame anyone for anything.
4. We over-book ourselves.
We might have a go-getter personality. We set copious amounts of goals and responsibilities for ourselves and try to follow-through with all of them all at once. Putting so much pressure on ourselves stresses us out; which leads us to not following through with most of our goals because of the pressure we have placed upon ourselves. We tend to have so many objectives that we want to reach, that many other aspects of our lives can quickly fall to the wayside. Our relationships start to fail or drift away, our health starts to decline, our sleep is affected, etc.
We have a lot of great ideas and want to do them all at once, but we have to come to terms with the sacrifices that need to be made in order to “do it all”. There isn’t a balance in life; something will always get more attention than others. If we try to do it all, we won’t be able to do anything. Focusing on what means the most to us right now will be far more beneficial to our health than trying to be everything to everyone.
We can start off by looking at the areas of our lives that are the most draining and time-consuming. Is there a way to eliminate or lessen some of these tasks and responsibilities? It’s beneficial to make a running list of the time we spend working towards our goals and endeavors and decide where we can cut back. The time we save from draining activities can then be applied towards more rewarding practices such as mediation.
5. We don’t ask for help.
Maybe we start off really well working towards our health goal, but then we realize we feel a little lost or overwhelmed. We try to push through these feelings, but feel like we’re on a hamster wheel. Ultimately, we give up on the goal because it was too hard or we couldn’t justify to ourselves why we were even doing it in the first place. We never thought to consult with another person that has been successful in that area before. Or maybe we were just stubborn and wanted to do it all ourselves with no help.
Successful people ask for help in their weak areas. If we find ourselves overwhelmed or not knowing where to start, we must seek guidance from others. This requires us to humble ourselves and admit that we do not know everything, but that’s okay.
We can start by speaking with someone who is an expert in the field (a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, health coach, psychiatrist, etc.) A mentor makes the path on your journey more visible and friendly to travel.Can you think of other ways you might be sabotaging your health success?
Naomi’s passion lies in reaching out and helping other women who her story resonates with. You can find her through social media or naomiteeter.com