I know what you’re thinking – what a terrible health coach! She’s the worst.
But here’s why the fact that you will fail is the best news you’ll hear all day:
Whether you believe it now or not, it's true - at some point along the way to living healthfully, you will do something that you wish you hadn’t done. Accepting that fact, and then practicing self-compassion when it happens is your NUMBER ONE tool for long-term success.
· I used to think that if I wasn’t losing weight, I must not be trying hard enough.
· I used to think that if I weighed myself, an unfavorable number would make me eat less the next day.
· I used to think that being hard on myself would get me the results I wanted.
But what really happened was, I spent a lot of time living in a moderate state of crazy, counting calories, working out endlessly, starving, with a busted metabolism.
I’m all about setting goals. I believe in having a clear vision of a realistic, but ideal future. I do think one should be flexible, but knowing what you’re working towards is definitely motivation. No argument there.
But, punishing yourself every time you make a decision that’s not 100% in-line with making that vision become reality, is not motivation.
One of the biggest reasons people are averse to self-compassion is the worry that it leads to self-indulgence - you give yourself an inch and you’ll take a mile. We think discipline and hand-slaps are what keep us in-line. But what if that’s a societal condition we’ve all been taught to believe as adults? You wouldn’t punish a child for eating too many cookies, because you care about them. You don't want them to feel badly about a very human mistake. Why not apply the same principles to yourself?
The idea behind self-compassion isn’t that you’re continually giving yourself a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. Many studies show that forgiving yourself leads to taking responsibility for your actions without feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions. Then, instead of going further down that rabbit hole, self-compassion leads to empowerment and greater success in the future.
But self-punishment isn’t an easy habit to break! Don’t beat yourself up for having negative feelings (see how this is a slippery slope??). Self-compassion is a practice, not an overnight achievement, and it requires a continual coming-back.
And that’s okay.
Ready for a compassionate health program that teaches you how to live a healthier lifestyle? Check out the upcoming dates of This is Not a Detox here.
Happy and Healthy things!