How to Stop Sabotaging Your Health and Wellness with Polarizing Thoughts

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It’s all or nothing babe!  Or is it?

“I ate a cupcake at the party last night.  I’ll never be able to stick to this diet!”

“I was supposed to meditate this morning, but I overslept.  I don’t have the energy to do this.”

“I was supposed to go to the gym after work, but I had to stay late.  I ended up eating fast food for dinner. Every time I try to get my workout in something like this happens!”

We’ve all made these kinds of statements before.   They usually pop up as our frustrated response to some bumps on the road to our goals.  You could be in your first week of a diet or workout program just chugging happily along and then life happens…

·         Your kid misses the bus

·         You spill coffee on your clothes

·         You’re stuck in traffic behind accident and now you’ll be late for work

What started out as a great happy day turns into a thousand thoughts about why your life sucks.   In many cases, those frustrating events make up a small portion of your day, yet somehow, they seem to make the good parts of your day disappear.  

This “all or nothing” mental scenario is also known as black or white thinking.  It can easily stall or even sabotage your progress on the road to your wellness goals.

The truth about all or nothing thinking

Remember, you are not all good or all bad.  No one is.

I know you already know this but if those scenarios I mentioned before sound familiar to you, then you aren’t applying this knowledge to your everyday life.  Don’t feel bad about it. It’s simply human nature. We all experience it.

Good news is, now that you are aware of it, you can do something about it.  So, let’s take that knowledge and apply it!

If you are not 100% good or bad, does it make sense that your performance could EVER be 100% good or bad?  It doesn’t, right?

If that’s the case, then does it make sense that maybe you should lower your expectations of yourself?

YEP, I said it…LOWER your expectations of yourself!  NOW HOLD ON…before you toss me out as the worst coach ever…hear me out.

Thinking in terms of continuous improvement

I know the thought of lowering your expectations probably goes against everything that our JUST DO IT, you are INVINCIBLE world is feeding you.   And if you are a perfectionist like I tend to be, your blood is probably curdling in your veins at just the thought of it.

Stay with me on this one.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t strive to improve yourself.  Nor am I saying that you can’t be better. I’m saying that expecting perfection from an imperfect being is being unreasonable.

Would you expect a baby to learn to walk without EVER falling?

No.

Instead, would you expect that same baby to eventually learn to walk by consistently taking small steps and practicing over a period of time?

YES!

And is it reasonable to believe that at some point in the future, that same baby who eventually turned into a competently walking adult could one day trip and maybe even fall?

YUP!

So, treat yourself with the same fairness you would that baby!  Seek small continuous improvements over time and let go of thoughts of perfection.  Ignore the world’s unreasonable call for perfection.

Just like criticizing a baby for every fall could kill their confidence to walk, expecting yourself to have perfect performance can keep your goals out of reach.

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Leslie BrooksComment