Although it’s something we rarely think about or seriously contemplate, ‘good health’, isn’t one of those nice-to-have ‘privileges’, but rather, it’s a must-have!
Without good health, our lives are limited. Not only in terms of our longevity, but also with regard to what we are capable of doing and achieving…. what we create, what we can enjoy, and what we can offer to the world around us. ‘Good health’ equates to life quality…. and who doesn’t deserve the highest quality life possible?
We all have our own reasons for wanting ‘good health’, however simply ‘wanting’ it, isn’t going to magically make it happen…. we actually have to manage it proactively, in order to reap the rewards.
This unfortunately, is where many people become ‘stuck’…. overcome with reasons, excuses, and obstacles that prevent them from proactively managing their good health!
To an extent, coming up with the odd reason, excuse or obstacle that prevents us from achieving our goal is a completely normal human response. On the surface, we typically hear (or tell), ‘stories’ about not having enough time…. or enough money…. or enough energy to exercise and eat well. If we dig a little deeper though, we can discover the source of those ‘excuse habits’, is underpinned by an even more significant limiting belief.
When not kept in-check, our limiting beliefs have the potential of becoming problematic… but of course the first step to conquering them, is to first identify them. Do any of these traits sound familiar to you?
“I NEED TO BE IN CONTROL”
Being ‘in control’, means that your mind is always thinking 10 steps ahead…. planning, organising, risk and contingency strategizing! It’s exhausting… and it holds you back from truly enjoying things and being in the moment!
If you have ‘controller tendencies’, it’s also probable that you’re a perfectionist who becomes rigidly preoccupied with details, rules and lists. You’re likely to frantically count calories or balance macros rather than mindfully appreciate a nutritious meal…. or obsess about sticking to a regimented workout routine, rather than truly reconnecting with your body and enjoying the physical sensations of optimal mobility and flow.
Instead, just breathe… ride it out and accept that even the best laid plans can fall to pieces. Sometimes that piece of gym equipment isn’t always going to be available when you want it…. sometimes your favourite brand of yoghurt might be out of stock…. sometimes traffic might make you late for your pump class. Whatever the ‘hiccup’…. there’s no need to throw in the towel just because the day doesn’t pan out in the exact way you planned. Be curious, be adventurous and don’t be afraid of spontaneity or trying something new…. you never know what exciting opportunities may materialise when you’re open to the possibility of having more than just one, predetermined outcome!
“I NEED TO BE THE BEST”
Having a well-developed competitive streak and loving the thrill of the ‘win’, means that the risk of not being ‘the best’ at something, can be quite confronting. Sometimes, this can hold you back from trying new things, such as fitness activities (“what if I can’t lift as much as everyone else?”)…. or trying new healthy recipes (“what if it doesn’t look or taste as good as Nigella’s version?”). Sometimes past (perceived) health and fitness failures, will simply make you give up on trying to proactively manage your health into the future, full-stop!
Unless you’re an elite athlete though, ‘good health’ isn’t a competition. There’s no start or finish line, and there’s certainly no benefit in comparing yourself to others, because ‘good health’ isn’t about being better than anyone else, but rather, being the best version of yourself.
Being overly competitive can also create issues such as jealousy and envy (“how come she can make it look so easy?”.… or “why can’t I look better than her”), which can ultimately lead to feelings of inadequacy or a diminished sense of self-worth…. and this completely undermines the point of improving your health to begin with!
Instead, try to remember that winning isn’t everything and that the learning and incremental process of improving your health over time, can really enrich your life experience. After all…. some of life’s greatest successes are borne from even greater failures! Imagine too, how much more pleasant good health (and life in general) would feel, if it were gained cooperatively with a supportive network of people around you, rather than competitively, against the people around you!
“I’LL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH”
When your own inner critic starts to rear its head, the resulting limiting beliefs can manifest in so many different ways simultaneously, that it can literally become debilitating. From constantly second-guessing yourself, being reluctant to define personal boundaries, holding back from expressing your true ‘self’ and constantly making efforts to please everyone else…. these ‘symptoms’ all suggest that your need for validation is derived from external sources (rather than internally), and that your levels of self-worth are far from their optimum.
When you fall victim to your own “I’ll never be good enough” self-talk, you immediately set yourself up for failure, regardless of whether it relates to health, career, relationships, finances…. or any other aspect of your life, for that matter. After-all…. if you’re never ever going to be good enough, why would you even bother trying to improve a particular aspect of your life in the first place?!
When you fall into the negative “I’ll never be good enough” mind trap, it prevents you from putting yourself out there…. from trying new things, and striving to be better than you were yesterday. When you hold yourself back, you are unable to express yourself fully and consequently, you effectively live life as a repressed version of yourself, rather than as the best version you can possibly be.
If you find that you’re not expressing yourself fully (biting your tongue in order to avoid conflict)…. or that you’re failing to define (or protect) your own personal boundaries (for wanting to please everyone else), this pattern will often sabotage your efforts to achieve a healthier lifestyle too. Your health is all about YOU…. but if your inner “I’ll never be good enough” voice tells you that the needs of other’s are more important than your own, then you’ll never successfully make yourself your own greatest priority!
Instead of replaying that scratchy old “I’ll never be good enough” record over and over again though, take a small step forward by starting your day with a morning mantra or affirmation. Tell yourself… and actually speak it out aloud… “today I am worthy and capable of greatness”, or “today I live with happiness, health and vitality”. Repeat this every day until it begins to feel real…. and then take a few more steps…. like joining the gym, or taking your lunch to work instead of buying it, just so you can slowly begin to prove to yourself, that what you fear, isn’t even true.
It’s also helpful to reinforce for yourself that it’s completely natural to want to make others happy, but that it doesn’t have to be to the detriment of your own ‘truth’. Speak up when you need to, and let others know what you need and expect from them when it comes to supporting your health goals. Being clear and assertive in your expression needn’t be a scary or confrontational experience, especially when it’s shared with honesty and humility from the heart.
- You don’t need to be obsessively controlled in your adherence to the ‘perfect’ meal plan or the most regimented workout program in order to achieve better health. Set your intentions and align your guiding principles, but allow for (and expect), spontaneity and fun.
- You don’t need to be the best at lifting weights, or the fastest on the treadmill, or the best cook in the world in order to develop greater strength, improve your fitness, and to eat healthy and enjoyable meals. Enjoy the process and your own personal improvements along the way.
- You will always be good enough…. you will always be worthy…. and you will always deserve to be your own #1 priority. Creating a healthy and well balanced lifestyle, will benefit YOU (and others), long into the future!
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