Does this sound like a familiar statement to you?
“Of course I want to be fit and strong, but there are just so many competing things in my life right now so I can’t get out and exercise regularly.”
I’m coming to you with some tough love today.
If you’re someone who regularly makes statements like these, either to others or, more importantly, to yourself, then you’re losing credibility.
Not with me. I have oceans of compassion for you and what’s in your way of living the life you want. I’ll always meet you where you are at. And I’ll also encourage you to get to the heart of what’s going on so that you can rebuild credibility with yourself.
Because that's what is most important - how much YOU trust YOU.
When we lose credibility with ourselves, change becomes much more difficult. Once we start compromising, it can have a snowball effect - we start giving away little pieces of our personal power all over the place.
We will play with the fitness example, but you can replace it with any other that comes to mind for you. I want you to step back into your personal power, and change the statement above to something more like:
“I want to be fit and strong, so I am committing to making it a priority and doing something that contributes to this goal every day.”
If you want something, you need to be committed to it. That is why I celebrate all my new clients for saying YES to doing the inner personal development work. That “YES” is an incredibly powerful signal of their commitment to themselves and their growth. It takes courage.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind if you’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked out…
It’s really difficult to honour your needs and the personal boundaries that allow you to meet them if you’re hooked on the praise of putting other people’s needs before your own.
Read that again.
You need to make yourself a priority. You need to be committed to you, if you’re to get what you want. I’m not talking about reckless action here, I am talking about taking loving, self-honouring, responsible, forward-moving action.
And sometimes that means others will get less of you, which is okay. Even if they are upset at first.
In the absence of this commitment to ourselves, we suffer. We start to become like plasticine, bending and flexing to what we think life needs from us at a given point in time. We get resentful. Then, our relationships suffer.
When you really stop to think about it, that’s all backwards. That’s living life by default, not by design.
As we come into the last week of June, Men’s Health Month, it felt important to talk about this issue of not prioritising ourselves. This affects all genders, but has a particular expression in men that tends to lead to a heightening of internalised shame and lowering of self-esteem. We might just call it something simple like “low self-confidence”, but there is usually a bigger story at play if we dig a little deeper.
I could write an entire book on shame and how it impacts our habits and behaviours and how we care for ourselves. But I’m not, because today, I want to invite you into action with this message (plus, John Bradshaw already did that, brilliantly, if you’re interested in a deep dive on the topic of shame).
Today, I want to invite you to do something different in the direction of improving your health.
Just one small thing.
A 10 minute walk every lunch time.
Doing 20 push ups each morning.
Going to the gym X times per week.
Journalling for 5 minutes per day.
Drinking a glass of (warm) water first thing each morning.
Getting 7,000+ steps daily.
Whatever feels good and doable. Whatever is in the direction of your goal. Start with one thing. And don’t just decide on the thing. Decide AND commit. Stay accountable.
Your life will change when you take ownership of what’s not working and focus on your personal growth. It takes one small step at a time.
You deserve to feel good about yourself. And that starts with prioritising yourself, and committing to that for the long term.
You are important. You matter. Your (mental) health matters.
Happy Wellness Wednesday. What will you do for your wellness today?
Walking the path with you.