". . . where perseverance gave way to a good story." - Chris Casale
As someone who has struggled with mental health issues since adolescence, I understand literal (chemical) and perceived (psychological) roadblocks. And although oftentimes frustrating and seemingly unending, these tests of my need to lead a purposeful life have brought success. It's a forging of the sword of life.
For yourself, think about a time in your life when purposeful action, repeated again and again, delivered you onto the doorstep of success:
- seeing through a higher education even when it took more time and resources than originally anticipated
- pursuing and securing a new job or an important sale despite the many hurdles that could have stopped you along the way
- instilling an important habit in your child's life that fosters success over a lifetime
What exactly do these examples of achievement hold in common?
- there is a pressing importance to see ourselves a certain way: intelligent, accomplished, successful, degreed
- the need is immediate and failure is not an option: financial stability, at-risk health, unsustainable behavior
- a bullheaded single mindedness in seeing the effort through
Now think of something that you know is important but you've had difficulty achieving it. Do you need to improve your relationship with a loved one? Do you need to take positive action in an unhealthy work environment? Is your health deteriorating through poor food choices or inactivity?
As in the mentoring of Jay Williams of Two Brain Business, there are usually one or more of three reasons why we avoid doing something that is important:
- we don't fully understand the problem
- we are afraid of some step in the solution
- we don't know why it is important
So, in the case of our health, let's consider these potential blocks.
- You are eating better than your parents by including vegetables like potatoes and peas, and have even switched to a diet soda . . . and don't understand why you continue to gain weight.
- You "know" how to eat, but are still unable to lose the weight that is hurting your knees and keeping you from playing with your children.
- You and your friends enjoy partying and eating out on the weekend. Your doctor tells you that if you don't take action, you are on the road to diabetes and being at risk for a heart attack. But you're thinking "but I want to have fun...is it really that big of a deal?"
If you take these examples and apply the right questioning, you start to peel back the layers of the true reasons for your inability to achieve your goal.
- If you seek out a health mentor to teach you how to round out your diet to also include leafy and colorful vegetables, and learn to enjoy water instead of soda, you will open your eyes to the value of food diversity in weight loss.
- To know something and then take action on that knowledge are two different things. If you know that you need to lose weight but aren't willing to actually change your habits, odds are high that you're afraid of some step in the process. Maybe you use food to sooth your emotions and don't have an alternative coping tool. Or, you were taught to eat everything on your plate, and don't know how to deal with being full.
- If your body fat % is in the obese range and you aren't exercising in some form at least 3x/week, then perhaps you don't fully appreciate the long term consequences of your choices. You can educate yourself on why eating tons of sugar, just because you feel like it, will damage your cells and shorten your life expectancy.
The single most important decision you can make today is to take one step towards a healthier you. We can live without cableTV, a fancy car, the overflow of clothing, the twice weekly nail appointment. But we literally cannot live without our health.
Perseverance means that you accept that there will be failures along the way . . . but you keep moving forward anyway.
I challenge you to ask yourself what is stopping you from succeeding.
I challenge you to fail and keep moving.
I challenge you to write a good story . . . with you at the center.
Please reach out if you need help. Schedule a No Sweat Intro to get started.