First of all I want to thank you all for the fantastic response to my previous blog ‘Confessions of a Food-aholic’. So many of you sent your food-aholic confessions to me and I am very touched that you felt comfortable to do so. I know those who sent their confessions to me HAVE turned the corner and WILL continue on the road to success.
Are You Determined to Succeed or Do You Use Excuses?
How many times have you attempted something, only to fail? You dust yourself down, try again, but ultimately fail. People consistently fail at certain things in all manner of ways, whether they attempt to lose weight, give up smoking, find the right partner, or achieve that all important promotion at work.
Here is a question for you. What makes one person repeatedly fail and another person just seem to excel and conquer with astounding ease? Is it how much money they have which enables them to buy lots of things in order to make life easier for them? Is it how much time they have? Maybe it is how healthy they are and how much energy they have that helps them to achieve their goals. The truth is, that when people who consistently fail at something are asked why they are failing they will come up with a huge great long list, such as:
• I didn’t have the time
• I didn’t have the money
• I didn’t have the energy
• I didn’t have the resources
• I didn’t have the support
• I didn’t have the strength
• I didn’t know how
There will probably be many other reasons as well. Someone that fails consistently will use nearly all of these ‘reasons’ one by one. Each time they fail it will be another ‘reason’ as to why it didn’t work out. It has to be a different ‘reason’ each time; because even they know that using the same excuse means that they haven’t learnt a different way of dealing with whatever it is that is causing them a setback. But that is all they are really, aren’t they? Excuses. You see, when you look at a successful person, they will have had the same hurdles, barriers and setbacks as well, but the difference is that they didn’t buy into them. They did not buy into the embellishments and the lies. They shoulder-barged their way through them and didn’t take no for an answer.
Here is an example: Someone that I know, we’ll call her Katy, has been trying to lose weight for just about as many years as I can remember, certainly over a period of 10 years. She is approximately 5ft 8 inches and, at the last count, weighed in near to the 23 stones mark. She has been on virtually every single diet that has been created, but has still continued to put on weight. Countless people have endeavored to help her over the years to no avail. She will initially lose 7 or 8 pounds only to gain 12 or 13 pounds the following week. Initially, people who had tried to help her would ask her what had happened during the week that caused her to put the weight back on. She soon learnt to produce her excuse before anyone asked.
Here are just a few of the ‘reasons’ that caused her to gain weight:
• I have a potato intolerance and ate a jacket potato.
• I lost 4 lbs. and celebrated by eating 4 sausage rolls.
• It is water retention.
• I hadn’t had chips for ages and thought I deserved some.
• The kids didn’t finish their dinner and I can’t waste food.
• I read in a magazine that my weight is due to emotional baggage, not what I am eating.
• Oh, I’m also allergic to Pasta and rice. I gain weight when I eat these foods too.
Looking at the list of ‘reasons’ above, how likely is it that this person will actually ever lose her excess weight? Pretty non-existent I would say. What would a successful person do and say in this situation? I am sure that they would change their behaviour and their thought patterns to find a way that does work, and they certainly wouldn’t listen to that negative inner voice that says that they are more than likely going to fail. They will work extra hard to prove that voice wrong with defiance. I saw a wonderful quote from Tony Robbins recently, He says, “It isn’t resources that shape your destiny, it is resourcefulness.” That is to say, it isn’t time, money, energy, or any of the other excuses that allow you to fail; it is you and the way that you deal with setbacks. No-one has everything that they need to succeed before they start, they have to work at it and adapt their method as they go along. If they don’t have the money, they go and find a way of getting it. If they don’t have the time, they adapt their lives to make time. Time and again I hear people who fail say: “I can’t. I can’t do it, I can’t change my life, I can’t think of a way around my problem, I can’t face my problem.” There is no such phrase, as ‘I can’t’. I can’t means “I don’t want to.” I can’t change my life means I don’t want to change it, because it will take too much effort or time, or whatever the excuse is. I can’t do it means I don’t know how to do it and I am not willing to learn what I need to in order to master it. I can’t are two words that are not in a successful person’s vocabulary.
On 12th June 2012, Spencer West set off on his voyage to climb 19,341 ft. to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many others had accomplished this amazing feat before him, yet Spencer was different from all of the other climbers. He had no legs. They had been amputated at the age of 5 due to a rare bone condition. Medical experts had repeatedly told him that he would never be a functioning member of society. He set out to prove them wrong. He climbed for 7 days, using nothing but his hands. It would have been very easy for Spencer to have taken on the attitude of I can’t, and no-one would have thought any less of him. Instead, he sat and thought of all of the ways that he could do this feat, not all of the ways he couldn’t. This extraordinary feat was laden with pit falls, obstacles and setbacks; especially when his hands which were his only means of movement, were covered with blisters. He knew the risks but he also knew his goal, and that far outweighed the fears that he had. Did he do this on his own? Of course not, but what he did do was to carefully consider who would be the best people to surround himself with. Sometimes it isn’t possible to achieve your goals all by yourself. Sometimes you will have to ask for help. That is not a failure; that is being resourceful. It is using what you have to your advantage. When you really want something, nothing will stand in your way of getting it, no matter how far out of reach it may appear at the start. Giving yourself good quality reasons will get you there far quicker and with a greater degree of certainty than if you gave yourself bad quality excuses. Which one are you living by?
Click here to read more about Spencer West’s amazing story.
Next time when you are thinking or talking about your weight loss and how it isn’t going anywhere, listen to what you are saying and see what excuses you are coming up with. It might help to get a piece of paper and write down how you are feeling about your weight loss and fitness and write down why you think you aren’t seeing the results – see what excuses you come up with – Once you can identify the “excuses” on the paper you can start to work on each one. Be the person that shoulder-barges their way through them and don’t take no for an answer.
“A negative attitude is just like a flat tyre.
You can’t get very far without changing it.”
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