What would your life be like if you actually did all the things you ‘planned on’ or ‘wanted’ to do?
Perhaps you have lofty thoughts like, “Someday I would like to clean out the garage” or “I’ve always wanted to get more proficient with Excel” or “I know I would feel better I could just stretch more”.
Or more pressing things like, “I keep forgetting to make an appointment with my doctor” or “the check engine light has been on in my car for weeks now” or “I have a presentation at work next month and I have nothing prepped yet”.
And we think – maybe this weekend I will find time to do (fill in the blank). Except the weekend comes and goes, and (as per usual) your closet still looks the same.
It’s not that we are lazy. So often it is because other things come up that feel as though you should do them right away. They feel urgent in the moment and since you don’t really have anything else specifically planned for that time, you dive in.
We have all made mistakes.
Times in our past where we said or did what we now see as the ‘wrong’ thing.
It may be something personal or we may have hurt someone. We may have inadvertently created a mess for ourselves and/or others. Or maybe we ‘stumbled’ in a public setting and feel as though we did ourselves harm.
We apologized. We asked for forgiveness. We did whatever we thought we needed to do to make amends. Perhaps we feel as though we learned something from it. And we have given it time to soften.
So why the heck do we still torture ourselves about it?
I am well aware of the list of things my brain goes to when I, for some unknown reason, have the need to make myself feel bad. Some of them are from 30 years ago! Heck I even have one from the 1st grade.
Sometimes they sneak up on my unguarded mind when I am (or should be) asleep.
Is this really the ‘normal’ working of our brains?
Our primitive brain is designed to keep us alive.
Who do we want to become?
I ask this question to many of my clients. Getting clear on where and what we are striving for always helps us make decisions in the moment.
Understanding the ‘why’ is also important because it give us something to lean into when the road gets bumpy.
I’ve sat with people who want to increase their annual income so they don’t have to worry about money anymore. But when the ‘why’ is so we can stop worrying, chances are we will never find the success we want. When we have created the habit of worrying, having more money will not magically change it or make us happy.
The same reasoning will apply If someone wants to lose 20 pounds so they can stop feeling like a ____(insert jab here). Loosing any amount of weight won’t magically make us love life if we have the habit of negative self-talk and a lack of self-appreciation.