I just finished a very interesting article (see excerpt below) about why “beating ourselves up” when we regress in our goal-achieving actually does more harm than good, even though our internal programming might tell us otherwise. A lot of us were “programmed” to go hard on ourselves by our parents, well-meaning or otherwise, and they most likely got it from their parents too.
We think that by scorning, demeaning or ridiculing ourselves, we will somehow make ourselves feel so badly that we won’t ever want to do X,Y or Z again. I don’t know about you, but even though I have tried this on a regular basis for much of my life, it’s not really working for me! How about you?
Even though our adult logical mind knows that repeating negative mantras doesn’t help, it still can be tricky to catch them before they do their thing. There is a lot of brain research now that explains why this is. I’m reading two great books on the topic, “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. and “Transform Your Beliefs, Transform Your Life,” by Karl Dawson.
These books indicate that, although we have this programming it doesn’t help us achieve our goals. In fact, it can be the cause of further sabotage. The good news, however, is that there is something we can do about it!
The more conscious we are of our thoughts, the better our chances of making a course correction and the better our chances of achieving our goals and, even more importantly, the better our chances of being happy. And, at the end of the day, that is the goal, isn’t it? We just want to be happy!
This is a big reason why I ask the “Self talk,” questions in the daily questions in the Life Achievers, accountability groups. *
If you don’t achieve even one of your daily goals, but you show up every day and re-write your internal scripts, then you are successful in doing something really huge for your life and changes will happen.
Changes for the better and changes for happiness!
Below is the excerpt from an article that I mentioned earlier. You can find the full article here: http://greatist.com/grow/how-to-bounce-back-after-food-binge
“It can be easy, post-gluttony, to beat yourself up. Things like “no self-control,“ “lazy,” and “gross” can get thrown around. Maybe you run five miles and end up making yourself sick. Or swear off eating for an entire day. It’s super easy to treat your body to all types of abuse post-gorgefest, but here’s where taking a step outside yourself is critical.
As the custodian for your body, you’re responsible for its care—just like you’d be responsible for a child that you’re babysitting. Imagine finding this kid knee-deep in candy bar wrappers, halfway into an all-out candy binge. Caught red-handed, this kid looks up at you, terrified, ashamed, awaiting punishment. What do you do? Do you yell insults at the child? March him or her over to the treadmill to run off every last calorie? Of course not. You’re not Mommie Dearest. With that in mind, let any name calling and punishment stop. You will treat yourself with the same compassion you would treat this child.
Why is this helpful? In his book The Marshmallow Test, psychologist and Columbia professor Walter Mischel describes how emotional situations like this can stay in a heated place, which could lead to more self-destructive or self-punishing behavior. To counter that, it helps to cool your distress by “self distancing” and entering into “cognitive reappraisal.” In other words, viewing yourself from a distance or as another (e.g. a child) helps engage a cool, rational reaction where you can regroup and rebound.”
So…here’s to a lot less self-punishing behavior and negative self-talk. Time to get cool and be happy…and I’ll see you online soon!
*If you would like more information about the launch of our online accountability membership site; contact us here info@LifeVisionary.com. Next start date: April 1, 2015!