“Today, I’m not going to push it too hard at the gym. I’m just going to get it over with.” “I need a day off.” “Tomorrow will be different.” “Right now, my work/family/social life is more important.” Sound familiar?
After you decide you aren’t going to “push it too hard at the gym” on Monday, you’ll do something half-assed to get it over with. Tuesday, you’ll tell yourself the same thing—because, hey, a couple days of taking it easy isn’t so bad. Wednesday, you’ll decide to take the day off, and, then, darn it, Thursday you’re just too busy (and secretly, relieved, because you didn’t really feel like it anyway). You finally step on the scale on Friday and it shows that you’ve gained weight. Traumatized, you tell yourself that Saturday will be different as you sit on the couch or do something “important.” As you wake up Saturday, you realize that you’ve “overcommitted” yourself and the “only” thing that you can possibly readjust to fit everything else in is skipping the work out, again. Then, when you step on the scale a week, a month, a year, five years later, you see the bad news—more pounds, more disappointment. And, instead of telling yourself to put your running shoes on and do something, right then and there, you feel defeated. You know the truth and you know what to do, but you aren’t willing to admit it, because it means that you have failed again. So, instead, we tell ourselves something that takes away the pain of losing another battle.
Why do we set limitations instead of goals? When we set limitations, we lower our expectations, and if we set them low enough, then we won’t fail or it won’t hurt as much if we do fail.
People who come to me for personal training hardly ever say, “I’m here to look like a model.” Instead, they say, “I’d be happy if I lost fifteen pounds, when they really need to lose 30” or “I would be okay with being able to run a mile without stopping.” You see? They don’t want to fail, so they set limitations on their expectations. They want to limit the amount of pain they will feel if they fail. They limit their goals. This limits their chances of success, because nothing is inspiring about running a mile as a long-term goal.
We have to allow ourselves to let go. We have to allow ourselves to dream. Then, we can set our goals as high as we want. When we set our goals high, we feel inspired. When we’re inspired, we push aside obstacles that used to stand in our way, and we attain our goals. Without limitations, it’s just goals—goals without limits.
Maybe you’ve been here before—maybe you’ve tried and failed. And then you translate that failure into ambivalence by saying it’s not actually that important to you or that you’re okay with how you look and feel. This alleviates the potential for failure, at least on the outside. So, when someone asks, “How’s your weight loss going?” and you respond, “Oh, I decided I’m happy with where I am,” it seems like you’re in control and happy. Because of your fear, you make it appear that where you’re at is your first choice. But, how do you feel on the inside? What do you truly think? Are you happy? What does your inner dialogue say?
So, now it’s time to get real about how you feel and what you want—not realistic. Remember not to set limitations on your goals. Think about you currently consider your wildest dreams. You have to get really honest about how you feel about yourself. Go take of your clothes, look in the mirror and get honest.
Get real now:
Don’t be afraid to fail. The only thing for certain is that if we are so terrified of failing that we don’t try, then we won’t fail. But, isn’t that failure in itself? If I don’t try, I won’t fail. If I don’t set my expectations too high, then when I fail, it won’t hurt as much. Let go of your fears, let go of what others have told you, let go of everyone else’s expectations and limitations, let go of your ego, let go of your pride and get real and go for it all!