I just heard something on Dr. Laura's radio program that so spoke to me. A woman called in needing help with an issue that has been going on for a while. She was unable to complete some certification for her work. She had been sabotaging herself. She's paid for the classes, she'd do the work, but then she would not complete the course.
Even though, I was not the caller and really talking to Dr. Laura and even though our problems are really different, I totally could apply this conversation to my own weight loss and fitness journey.
I feel like I've done an OK job with my journey so far....but in the back of my beady little brain...something is niggling at me and I really feel like something is stopping me from reaching my goals.
So here's the call....with me inserting my info and and my situation into the transcript....Read on to see how it applies and how maybe this new knowledge will help get me on the road to success.....
Dr. Laura: "Joy, welcome to the program."
Joy: "Hi, am I on the air?"
DL: "Yes you are Ma'am."
Joy: "OK, my question is.....How can I stop self sabotaging myself during my health and fitness journey?
DL: "I don't know what that means. Self sabotaging yourself...what does that mean?"
Joy: "Ummmm.....I've been on this health and fitness journey for over 2 years now and if I could quit sabotaging myself and get to business, I would be at my goal weight. I'm mean, I only needed to lose 124 pounds to begin with. I've lost 70 so far and I could be at my goal weight if I would quit messing around. I've put a lot of time and effort into the gym and eating well (most of the time), but I keep doing things that stall my progress."
DL: "Well you know that if you got to your goal weight, you'd have a lot more responsibility."
Joy: "I know."
DL: "Now think about that. That's important. If you followed through and got to your goal weight, you would have a lot more burden on your back and a lot more responsibility and some people find that scary."
Joy: "I actually love the added responsibility and I would love to be able to lose the weight so I could help others...."
DL: "No, no, no, no....you can't say you love something that you are avoiding."
Joy: "Well I've been doing a lot of good things to work toward my goals, because ultimately, I want to help others with their journey to health and fitness, but I've just stalled myself out."
DL: "Yes, see you'd have more responsibility.
DL: "Well what else would you have more of if you reached your health and fitness goals? People would have higher expectations of you?."
Joy: "That is true."
DL: "So, you'd have more responsibility and people would expect more."
DL: "Anything else that would change?"
Joy: "I'm not sure."
DL: "Well think a little bit....if you lose the weight, get healthy and fit, some things would change. What would increase is you'd have....More responsibility....People would expect more.... What else would increase?"
Joy: "I think that's all that would increase."
DL: "So lets look at what would decrease. If you lose the weight...what would decrease in your life?
Joy: "My fear!"
DL: "What else?"
Joy: "Disappointment from my family and friends....and co-workers!"
Joy: "And I would have to keep my fitness up and not gain the weight back. That would be awful!"
DL: "No, that would be an increase!"
DL: "Ok, there's fear....and disappointment....you've disappointed other?"
DL: "Ok, I'm going to list 4 big things and you're going to tell me which one you are avoiding....and this is not going to be easy! Are you avoiding responsibility? Are you avoiding greater expectations on you? Are you avoiding disappointment of others? Are you avoiding regaining the weight?"
DL: "You have to pick one."
Joy: "Expectation of others....."
DL: "And that's the flip side of disappointment..."
DL: "So, on the one hand, people are disappointed with you and that hurts you. And on the other hand, if you lost the weight and kept it off, all of that would stop. So what would be a good reason to not let go of people's disappointments? How does that protect you?
Joy: "They don't expect me to get this done. I mean, I've tried many times, I'm sure they are waiting for me to fail. So...."
DL: "Which means, that protects you how?....It makes life a lot easier if you don't reach your goals. Life is going to get tougher if you succeed."
Joy: "Yeah, I know."
DL: "Sympathy will be gone....A lot of sympathy gone!"
DL: "See you are used to being "kind of a loser".
Joy: "Well sort of....I have had some success!"
DL: "Just listen to me, I said, "sort of a loser"....you're "familiar" with that role...you know how to play it. Being a success, the power that goes with it, the expectations that goes with it, the potential for failure that goes with it.....It's easier to just disappoint others."
Joy: "But...in the past...."
DL: "We're not talking about what happened in the past. Because wherever you've been, you've left and you've returned to disappointing others.... because that is your familiar place."
Joy: "But I don't want to disappoint...."
DL: "It doesn't matter what you want....this is what you DO
DL: "We all can say things....I want to be thin, I want to be fit, I want to write books...whatever it is. What we do, tells us what we fear and what we love."
DL: "Now sit and think about what is the worst part of getting more powerful and successful."
DL: "OK, Joy, you've had some time to think about my question."
Joy: "OK, the worst part about getting more powerful and successful is......If I fail, then my fears of being a failure and gaining all the weight back will be true."
DL: "Bingo! That's exactly right!
Joy: "Yep! Because if I don't try and get this done and then if I fail then I'm a loser!"
DL: "That's right"
DL: "So I guess we should not try!"
Joy: "That's what I've been doing by sabotaging myself."
DL: "Yeah, it's a good plan, but lets do it without stalling your progress."
Joy: "I know....well I try, but I deliberately eat stuff I shouldn't or avoid my work outs, you know....I guess I just deliberately don't do it!"
DL: "Well you try.........to fake it with these other people. So they will think well of you."
DL: "Here's the deal.....the first day that I went from a local radio show to an international one, it was over night. Friday was local, Monday was international. I sat by my phone over the weekend, hoping someone would call me and tell me they changed their mind. Because I thought, you know, if you fail locally, less people know about that than if you fail internationally. So I thoroughly understand as does every other human being reading this...that taking risks exposes you to some failure, some embarrassment...but it is the word "some". Because you have had enough life experience and you're smart enough that if you made some mistakes that wouldn't make you a loser and a failure, that would make you a successful person, who like everyone else, made some mistakes. I think you're assuming that it has to be all or none! You either have to be perfect at it or you seriously suck! And there's nobody you know, in a position of power, who has not goofed. Do you?"
DL: "Does that make them a loser?"
Joy: "Some do!"
DL: "Only if they don't learn from it and repair it."
DL: "So if you make some mistakes, you'll go....Oops and you'll learn something from it and you'll repair it and that's what makes a successful person, not somebody who makes no errors......About six years ago I was learning how to sail, and I was doing a race and we had to change a sail....there's one in the front and there's one in the back. We had to change the sail in the front. That's not my job...my job is to steer. I'm supposed to pay attention to may job and ignore everybody else. Sometimes that's hard, but I'm getting better at it. And this guy who's had 35 years of experience hoists the sail up....upside down! OK...and I'm looking up and I'm thinking....that looks different! Laughing.....but I figure, I'm just a novice, I must not know something. I'm doubting myself, right? So I don't say anything. Well the guy who hoisted it looked up, and said, "Oh, my God" and had that sail down and flipped over so fast it was amazing. And what impressed me was I did not think that he was a jerk or a loser because he hoisted it upside down....stuff happened....it shouldn't but it does! What impressed me was how quickly he knew how to remedy it! And that's what I remember from the story of how impressed I was that he knew what to do. So when you get your power and you get successful, you're going to make mistakes! And the big thing is, are you just going to collapse? Are you just going to hate yourself? Are you going to throw yourself out of the window of your mind? Or are you going to fix it?
Joy: "Well I know what I've already done, so I guess I will fix it then."
DL: "Yes...and you're going to join the rest of us who struggle."
DL: "See you've been thinking that there's something usual about you and there isn't! You're just like the rest of us. Scared..."
DL: "That's the problem...you think that you're alone. I mean I sat there...."I" sat there and hoped that somebody would fire me over night so I would not have to take the risk. But I tell you, I turned on that microphone and I felt wonderful, because I was in the position to help more people. It's all in how you look at it. But I spent the weekend with the same worries that you've had for decades. So I'm trying to tell you it's normal. What makes the difference is you excepting it as normal and moving ahead anyway."
DL: "So, get your self back in the game, make some mistakes, learn how to remedy them and keep going up that ladder!!!"
DL: "Because that will ultimately make you happy!"
DL: "Being here does not make you happy....I want you to be happy!!"
DL: "So call me when you, lose the weight and reach your health and fitness goals!"
Joy: "I will!!!!"