I was always brought up to believe that thoughts create realities and to be careful about the use of negative words and phrases as these can result in negative energy and thought patterns, even if made in jest! My Mom was a big fan of positive affirmations and using phrases like “I am love”; “there’s no such word as can’t”; “you are the creator of your own reality"; “be who you are"; "all is well"; "what is meant to be will be". As you can imagine there were a couple of Louise L. Hay books lying around the place at the time. There were a few more "out there" phrases too and I still get the odd telling off on Facebook if any of my comments have a slight negative connotation to them :-/ I’m very grateful for this though as this made me an extremely positive, optimistic and ambitious person. The positive mindset feels natural to me and I sometimes feel as though I had a headstart with this uplifting upbringing. That's not to say I don't have my weak moments, no one is perfect, and I can admit to sometimes making lesser choices when I’m faced with a challenge but I usually use these scenarios as lessons to reflect on where I stumbled and why, so that I can assure I don’t make the same bad choice again.
In reality, we are all the makers of our own life path, the reason why you are where you are today is purely a result of several choices you made to get you there. There is no such thing as “I had no choice”; “I blame my parents”; “I blame my upbringing”…these are excuses that we often use to talk ourselves out of making challenging choices in life. Sure, having a negative experience whilst growing up is going to make things 10x more challenging to change old thought patterns and habits but not at all impossible. We have full power of our minds and can choose to overcome experiences or issues from the past, but only once the commitment is 100% there.
There is a difference between “saying” you want to do something and “meaning” it. We can easily tell ourselves we’re going to lose 5kgs by the end of the month. Is there a structure to this decision? Have we planned out HOW we are going to achieve this? Have we looked into our options for achieving this outcome? Only once you have a clear direction in your mind, as well as structure as to how you are going to achieve the end result, then you have really committed to a goal. This needs to be accompanied with positive affirmations and BELIEF in yourself. Without self-belief you have pretty much given up before even starting. We’re all capable of great things, it’s only ourselves that let ourselves down! I can guarantee you that.
There are about 7 thought processing steps that we go through when making a decision before we take action.
- Identifying that there is a problem or opportunity.
- Gathering of information to try and determine what is and what isn’t relevant to the
decision. What do you need to know before you can make the decision?
- Analysis of the situation.
- Developing options, what are the several possible options? How would you like your
situation to be?
- Evaluating alternatives, which alternative would best achieve your objectives?
- A preferred alternative, exploring it for possible adverse consequences. What are the
risks of making this decision?
- And finally, acting on the decision, putting a plan in place to implement the decision.
As an example I will share one of my client’s journeys with you. This person had gone through the 7 steps before committing to attend training sessions.
I have a client who came to me 6 months ago, who was smoking a packet of cigarettes a day, but had already quit 3 months prior (to this day they are still off the cigarettes), they were drinking every evening after work, eating out regularly and last year had been told they had high blood pressure. This got to the point where they realised something needed to change. They were referred to me through one of my clients and on the first meeting I could already see the commitment was there. The initial goal was to increase fitness and decrease blood pressure. We started off slow with training and built on the foundations from there. It recently came out in the wash the other day that back at that time someone may have rocked up to training sessions with a hangover on several occasions! Pleased to say that no longer happens .
After Christmas passed my client made the decision to tighten up the diet, quit the alcohol & frequent dining out and take responsibility for their health.
Since January my client has made the effort to go out for frequent interval runs during the week and weekend on top of our two training sessions per week, purely their own decision and motivation driving this. They’re doing really well with the conscious efforts on their diet and to this date have lost 15kgs since January (2 and a half months ago). It’s always a pleasure to have clients who are motivated and committed to their goals. I’m lucky enough to have many of these clients and it always makes my day to see the results achieved.
At the end of the day, the onus is on YOU to change, no one can make you change or take the responsibility from you. Even a team of personal trainers won’t make a difference if the decision isn’t made up in YOUR head first. We all have choices, it’s never too late to change a habit, attitude or the direction you’re heading. You’ve just got to believe in yourself!
“I say “Out” to every negative thought that comes to my mind. No person, place, or thing has any power over me, for I am the only thinker in my mind. I create my own reality and everyone in it.” ~ Louise L. Hay