You will not be happy "when..." Get happy now!
I hear many people, including myself, especially when we’re trying something new or difficult, set our sites on being “happy” in the future. We think that once we accomplish a goal (whether that be, losing weight, getting a promotion, finding the love of our life or something else), we will find our happiness. This “happiness” can also be disguised as looking for confidence, peace of mind, relaxation, fun, adventure, etc… We say, I’ll be happy, once I’ve lost the weight. I’ll relax, once I’ve gotten the promotion, etc…
It theoretically makes sense - you don’t want to go on dates when you feel crappy about your body or life, but, in reality, you’re pigeon-holing yourself in an “I’m not enough” mindset, which actually makes it harder to attract the person you’re destined to meet! In other words, you’re getting in your own way of getting what you want!
How can we change this?
Experience your goal feeling state (aka happiness, peace, etc…) NOW! Here’s an example I experienced last week in my own life (check out the video to the left if you’d prefer to listen to it:))…
I’ve been committed to doing something everyday to move my body in order to feel like my best self. Exercise provides me with emotional resilience: lower anxiety, the ability to shed emotional and physical weight, to focus on my business and life goals, etc….
On Tuesday, I arrived at the gym to learn that I was 15 minutes late to my spin class. Ooops, thought it was at 5:45! I saw there was a kick-boxing class going on that I could jump into. “Oh gosh,” I thought, “I took that class once before and it made me feel awful about myself.” Honestly, I felt like an uncoordinated klutz, intimidated by everyone around me, and had no idea what I was doing.” In other words, I was hypercritical of myself being what I would consider, “a beginner.”
But this time, something in me said, GO! I wanted a good workout and knew this would be better than doing my own routine.
So I went… it all started out great; I was pumped.
And then the fast punching and jumping moves started…
I noticed my energy shift and my thoughts got really mean. “Oh, you can’t do this. Why did you even try? Oh, you’ve gained weight… you’ll only be able to do this class when you’ve lost those 10 extra pounds.” While those thoughts went through my head, I felt completely distracted. I couldn’t focus on the instructions, I was looking around at other people, paranoid they were looking at me, thinking my lack of coordination must be distracting them.
I was being the exact opposite of what I wanted to be and getting in my own way.
And while I don’t want you to think these thoughts about yourself, I know that SO many of us do. But the coolest thing that happens as a result of knowing you’re being self-critical, is that you can change it. Once I noticed it, I said to myself that I could keep thinking this way or I could change my thoughts to be empowering, the ones that will actually help me get into the emotionally resilient state I want! Thoughts like:
You can do this to the best of your ability. And that’s enough.
You’re learning and with practice, like anything, you will improve.
HAVE FUN! Laugh at yourself. I mean, you’re punching air, LOL!!! This is a workout class; not open heart surgery.
Your body is your temple - love it, just the way it is.
Once I shifted my thoughts to be empowering, it was kind of amazing how my energy, flexibility, strength, literally EVERYTHING, changed. I kicked butt (almost literally) and had a blast. I sweated and felt better than ever and was ready to go into my evening feeling resilient.
I invite you to apply the bullet points above to anything you’re trying to accomplish, whenever you get frustrated with yourself or feel that negative self-talk coming on. It may take some practice, but it works! Later in the week, I ended up walking around downtown Chicago in a sports bra after my spin workout because I was sweating and wanted to (I didn’t listen to the “your body doesn’t look like “it’s supposed to for a public sports bra” voice)!!! :)