Focus on What You Do Right to Change Your Life
Every single client that I have ever worked with is an expert at knowing what they are doing wrong. But here’s a secret to getting the results you want in life: Focus on what you do right to change your life.
Do any of these phrases sound familiar?
- I messed up.
- I can’t get anything right.
- This is never going to work.
- I can’t do this.
- I need to get my act together.
- I screwed it up.
- This is too hard.
These are some really common thoughts that we all think, way too much of the time!
We focus on what we are doing wrong. We focus on the areas we want to improve but we do it in a way that guarantees that we’ll keep messing up!
I think most of us were raised with some version of this. We try to parent ourselves into doing better. Or to put it another way, we try to be stern or get serious in hopes we can change.
I see this come up in different ways. Mostly around eating and food.
We want to do something. Let’s say, we want to eat our healthy lunch every day. So, on Monday, we have our lunch planned and ready…and then we don’t feel like eating that.
We eat something else. Maybe we decide we’re just going to have pizza or something else. We’ll do our healthy lunch tomorrow.
We eat the pizza. Feel kind of yucky. And then tell ourselves we messed up.
No matter what else we do that day, we’ll focus on that one thing.
But maybe on Wednesday, we actually stick to our plan! Yay!
However, instead of stopping and celebrating, we’ll tell ourselves things along the lines of, well, it’s only one lunch. What does that even matter?
It matters. It matters because something different took place in your brain that day.
And if you can stop and take a look at what happened, you can make it happen again.
What Women Do Instead
As I said, everyone is an expert at what they do wrong. But very few people have the skill of examining and understanding what they do right.
And by right, I mean, that thing you want to do or planned to do.
The process that creates doing the thing you want is totally different than the process that creates doing what you don’t want to do.
This is so important. Most women I talk to are very productive and accomplished. There is usually just a thing or two in their lives that seems out of control.
For women in their fifties and sixties, that is often something around how they eat, what they weigh, and how they look.
I’ve heard all the mean things that women say to themselves. It breaks my heart sometimes.
I know that you wouldn’t say the things you say to yourself to anyone else that you care about.
Instead of focusing on the 99% of the things you do right, you use your eating, your weight, and your body to convince yourself that there’s something wrong with you.
There’s nothing wrong with you!
You’re just convinced if you are nice to yourself, whatever the problem is will get worse.
Focusing on What You Do Right Creates Balance
One of the reasons that I’ve written so much about losing weight, is because it is what I get asked about more than anything else.
It is an area that I hear so much pain about. This isn’t about vanity. The drive to look a certain way is so ingrained in our brains, that most of us can’t even imagine being nice to ourselves when it comes to our bodies.
I write often about how to lose weight because I know how much women think about it and how desperate they are to change how they eat.
I also write about losing weight, because in this process, you can become self-confident and improve your life from the inside out.
Your life isn’t improved because you lost the weight. Your life improves because of who you become in the process.
I love to focus on what women are already doing right.
Every day, we have thousands of thoughts running through our minds. Through habit, we focus a lot on what is going wrong.
That’s normal, and has some value. It’s a survival mechanism of our brain.
Yet, when we let our focus on what we don’t like is too much, it’s harder to make the changes we want. So, it’s really important to have some balance.
Food is Not Good or Bad
Your words when it comes to food are important.
First of all, good and bad when it comes to eating is made up and situational. You might say eating a donut is bad but if you were in a situation where that was the only food available, it might be exactly the best option.
Part of the problem is that if you call food bad or wrong, then the unsaid part is if you are eating “bad” food, what does that say about you?
Does that make you bad? Most women know intellectually that it doesn’t. But the mean voice in their heads is saying, yes, you are bad.
Any weight loss based on shaming yourself about food or your body is not going to be sustainable.
Food is food.
Back to the donut, let’s say you do eat a donut or four. That voice will say you messed up, got off track, ate bad, messed up, you cheated.
Imagine just for a minute, how you feel as you say all those things to yourself.
Most women think that this will motivate them to do better. Unfortunately it is the opposite. When you tell yourself that you messed up, how do you feel?
Defeated, discouraged, disappointed, mad, sad, or ashamed.
This is really why we feel so awful after we eat something we consider bad. And when you feel defeated or ashamed, it usually leads to giving up.
When you begin to go to those thoughts, pause. Remind yourself of all the things you’ve done that are helping you get to your goal.
Why Focusing on What You Do Right is so Important
Here is where your power is. Let’s say that six days of the week, you didn’t eat the donuts. It is way more powerful to focus on how you did that.
What were you thinking on the days when you ate what you planned to eat?
The thinking that keeps you on your plan is way different than the thinking that leads to donuts.
Your self talk matters.
Awareness of what you are saying to yourself can help you make the choices that support your overall goals.
If you aren’t telling yourself how bad you are or how bad you messed up, you can instead see that donut as part of a larger picture. Seriously, what you eat doesn’t say anything about you as a person.
The better you talk to yourself, the better you feel about yourself. The better you feel, the better choices you make.
Ways to Focus on What You are Doing Right
What You Can Do to Change Your Focus
Start by looking at something you are already doing right in your opinion. It can be anything. I thought I was an awesome grandmother and I began writing about that. I felt really good about how I did that, and it helped me feel better about being good at other things.
What are the things you tell yourself when you do something you planned to do? When you stuck to your plan? When you did something even though you didn’t feel like doing it in the moment?
This is helpful so you can recreate that thought process for other things!
If you want to take this further, I also recommend life coaching. Life coaching continues to help me identify the things holding me back but also where I am already doing well. When I said I had done more in the past three years, than in the past 50, I wasn’t kidding!
And I don’t mean working harder. I mean living a meaningful life that is uniquely mine. If you met me somewhere, you’d meet someone who is smiling and generally upbeat. That’s my vibe.
If you want to meet me and talk about getting some coaching, so you can move forward in some area of your life, then definitely schedule a free 45-minute zoom session. The best way to see if coaching is right, is to give it a try.
The shifts you can make with a coach happen 10 times faster than trying it on your own. We uncover your blindspots so you can move on more quickly.
Remember the brain that loves its tried and true circuits? Even though you might want to change, your brain is also just as invested in keeping you just the way you are. That’s why it is so hard to change without help.
Change can actually be fun when you are doing it me. Instead of feeling impossible, it all becomes possible. That my friend is an amazing thing!
Keep showing up my friends,
Ready to find out more?
Schedule a free consultation today.
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Coach with Sara
Hi, I'm Sara Garska and I'm so happy you're here! My Think Big Life began shortly after I turned 50. Big changes can happen with a small start, an adjustment of thought, or a simple process. Over time, you transform your life into the one you always dreamed of having. As a certified life and weight loss coach, I can help you create a life you love. Click here to schedule a free 50-minute coaching session.
These are great tips!