When we left off last time, we were discussing the “self-sabotage” factor…that maddening tendency to go back to old habits that do not serve you, especially when you are exercising your self-discipline to make positive changes in your life?
Why do we do this? Why do we keep going back to our old ways when we know it leads us down the wrong path?
It’s actually very simple. It’s how we see ourselves.
The strongest need for humans is to remain consistent with how we see ourselves. If our self image believes we are $50,000 per year earners, and our we believe our value to the marketplace is around $50,000 per year, then actually moving beyond that number will be extremely difficult, if not impossible. If we are 25 pounds overweight, and we have been that way for quite some time, we have the tendency to remain that weight. Changes to diet and exercise are usually short lived. We give up and go back to same patterns a week or two into the new program. Then we beat ourselves up because we believe we lack self discipline, or worse yet we start making excuses such as “My family is overweight, so it maybe I’m just destined to be fat”.
You don’t have to look very far to see evidence of this, simply notice lottery winners. A huge percentage of people who hit the jackpot are broke within 24 months. The explanation is very simple. That person was not prepared to be a millionaire. One minute they are living paycheck to paycheck, the next they have millions in their bank. It may sound silly, but they are now uncomfortable. And uncomfortable humans will do anything (positive or negative) to get back to their comfort zone.
Think of it like a thermostat in your house. Temperature is set at 76 degrees. If it gets a little hotter, the AC kicks on to get the temp back down. When cold comes, the heat brings us back to that magic number.
Your mind is the same way. If you start gaining a few pounds, you get out of your comfort zone (your normal weight) and you watch what you eat for a few days. Maybe you exercise. Your weight comes back down to normal. Well, it works the other way too. You start losing weight and feeling better, and all of a sudden “something” gets in the way of your good routine. Maybe you get invited to a dinner and everyone else is eating crappy food. You get distracted by “life” and miss your scheduled exercise day. Then another and another. Pretty soon, you fell off the wagon and oyu’re right back where you were, except this time you’re more disappointed in yourself for lacking self discipline. You may not even want to attempt losing weight again, because you believe you’ll fail…again…and you’re tired of even trying.
There is hope, and you are NOT a loser. In the next part, I’ll show you how to overcome this self sabotage demon for good!