“I am too busy, my kitchen is too small, I am not a planner, I never learned how to cook, I forgot, my family/friends do not support me, I hate grocery shopping”…the list goes on and on. Do any of these phrases sound familiar? These are things I hear day in and day out from my clients, so much so that it’s almost become an epidemic. In other words, many people—whether they realize it or not—are blaming others for their circumstances or their lack of results in certain areas of their life, namely when it comes to making healthy choices and lifestyle changes. I was at a life coaching conference this fall and the speaker, Michael Hyatt, asked a powerful question in one of our sessions: So what is it about your leadership that has created the results you are experiencing? He was tying that question into a story he told about blaming others and circumstances for not hitting his budget. Just like him, I was not happy with an aspect of my business at that time. I realized I was blaming my circumstances on everything but myself. I knew then that I needed to step-up, take responsibility for where my situation was at, and change the course moving forward. I spent the last 4 months of 2013 taking responsibility and it made all the difference!
The points below will give you some thought provoking questions AND solutions to some of the most common problems my clients experience that keep them from living the life they want to have. So in this article I am not going to beat around the bush at all; instead, I am going to be direct and ask you, “WHERE DO YOU NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY in your life?” If you’re ready to move forward, even if it may be slightly uncomfortable…read on.
Let’s just get right to it—are you blaming others for things you are/were ultimately in control of?
It would be easy for just about every person I know to blame their health issues/problems on their job and their stress levels. However, we also have to rewind the clock to the day you accepted the position. Did you or did you not agree to the duties described in your current position? If not, have you taken the time to discuss the discrepancies with your manager/boss? Are you working too many hours? Have you placed boundaries around your time? Or instead, have you kept quiet and effectively backed yourself into a corner?
I’ve heard several people say “it’s just the nature of my job.” Well, the unfortunate response to that if you’re having health problems is “that’s just the nature of how your body is responding to chronic stress.” In fact, the American Institute of Stress estimates that 75-90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related problems. We need to understand that there are consequences for the decisions we make, particularly if they occur over and over again.
Do you feel grateful? Are you focusing on all of the blessings you do have or are you adding stress to your life by focusing on what you don’t have or you think you need?
Do you really need to take on the extra _________________?
Do you really need to remodel your home/kitchen?
Or might the stress of a new activity/project cause more harm than it is worth? A new survey from Houzz, the world’s leading platform for home remodeling and design, reveals that 46 percent of respondents found the remodeling experience frustrating and 12 percent admit to considering a separation or divorce mid-remodel. That’s crazy! Before committing to a big project or activity, ask yourself, “How is this project/activity going to affect my stress levels and my health?” In other words, is having more really worth the added stress and potential complications?
Are you having difficulty making healthy food and lifestyle choices? Perhaps you need to find creative ways to make changes in order to see the results you’re looking for.
For instance, if you don’t enjoy grocery shopping (and let’s be honest, that’s not even a good excuse…because I don’t know anyone that does!), then make a very detailed list of what you need before you walk out the door so that you can get in and out as fast as you possibly can. Can you get friends/family involved to make the experience more enjoyable? Or how about taking your iPod with so you can listen to your favorite music or Podcast while you shop? If you’re confused about what exactly it is you should be eating, consider signing up for an upcoming grocery store tour or purchasing my DVD Home Study Course to learn more about how to eat real food the right way.
Do you need to take responsibility for past actions? If so, do your part and whatever it takes to remedy the situation, but don’t stay there!
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
If you should have done something but forgot to, admit it, get done what you should have, and move on. If there are relationships in your life that you feel anxious or bitter about, spend some time reviewing where they might have gone wrong and then do your part in making amends. Arrange a meeting, apologize if you need to, and make the necessary changes/plans to move forward. This life is so short; it’s simply not worth hanging on to past hurts or regrets. In fact, allowing things to fester internally may actually be contributing to some of your health issues.…which brings me to my final point:
Do you take time to think about what you’re thinking about on a daily basis?
“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
I know you may have heard me say this before, but your thoughts ultimately affect and direct your health. The average person has over 30,000 thoughts per day, the majority of which are negative for most people. In fact 75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life! So take a moment to think about what kind of thoughts you “allow” on a daily basis. If you discover that the majority are negative or fear-induced, then take responsibility for allowing it to happen and move forward by “taking back your land” (i.e. your health). In other words, only you have the power and the ability to change what and how you’re thinking.
So if you are feeling overwhelmed with where your life is currently at and do not even know where to begin, a perfect place to start is by identifying your core values. This can help by determining what area of your life you should focus on changing first. To learn how to figure out what your core values are, come to the workshop I’m co-facilitating with Ali McWilliams in Middleton tomorrow night at 6:30PM.
There’s no better time to experience change than right now! Together, let’s get you moving in the right direction in 2014 so you can joyfully thrive and live a healthy, balanced life!