Imagine a baby bird who has physically grown enough to fly from the nest but, does not believe it can so it never tries. Or tries half heartedly out of fear and after a few falls, gives up and spends its days walking on the ground wishing it could soar like its siblings.
When we do not first set out to reach goals with the belief that we can make them, our chances of achievement diminish. It starts with a mindset. This applies to any area of life but, let's use the example of physical goals as I am asked by people that I know and strangers alike how to attain them. I can't tell you how many times I tell someone I am a personal trainer after being asked what I do for a living, that they start what sounds like a confessional to a Catholic priest. Self depreciation, telling me all of what they do wrong, excuses as to why they have not started or stopped trying, etc. My first response is always to shed some positive light. See my previous post on positive self talk if you have trouble with this (and in transparency, it is an ongoing process for me as well). For example if weight loss is your goal, stop eyeing up all the things you hate about your body, telling yourself that you have tried everything and might as well give up when you miss a workout or eaten something you did not give your self permission to eat. Only once you have done this work, and it is a work in progress, can you start to set attainable goals through a dietary plan and exercise. Why is this first step so important to your end goal? For one, there is a good chance at some point you will end up in the self sabotage pit. That place you fall into whether you consciously know you are doing it or not. We've all been there. A stressful event occurs, we have a heartbreak, we "sin" in some way. We tell ourselves we are not good enough or do not deserve to get to the goal that we set out for. In this example it is the weight loss, so we allow ourselves to emotionally eat those feelings away. Again, this is a process, so do not beat yourself up if you attempt to get rid of the self sabotage and fail or you hear your negative self talk again. That will only make the pit deeper. Instead give yourself credit for noticing and acknowledging that you are not in a positive place. Enjoy the extra rest day you took or the dessert or pizza you indulged in and tell yourself it is perfectly ok. Next, decide to reward yourself by getting back on the path you set out on your journey to get yourself to your goals. Picture that baby bird with confidence high, looking toward the sky, and soaring.