I am guilty of wanting to be in a place other than where I am right now. I fall into the trap both in my personal life and in my professional life. Before a photography session, I will sometimes surf blogs for inspiration, but what often happens is I’m left feeling like my work is “crap” and I have so far to go. This is also true when it comes to body image. I can’t help but surf the magazines when waiting in line at Safeway (I manage to always find the slowest line in Safeway, even if I lane-hop…I always lose that game). On the cover of most magazines is a perfectly airbrushed model with a million dollar smile, and promises of quick fixes if only you drink shakes for 2 out of 3 meals.
When you are always looking ahead to where you wish you could be, it’s pretty hard to live in the moment. At the beginning of this journey, the realization that I should probably lose around 100 pounds was daunting and totally overwhelming. It was tough not to want to resign myself that being unhappy with my weight was something I would always be. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel before you’ve even started. That’s where self-sabotage comes in. If you really don’t believe it’s a manageable goal, than you start putting obstacles in your way and convince yourself it just isn’t meant to be.
If you could look at it as a journey and enjoy the process without constantly wishing you were at the proverbial “end” you would begin to be proud of little changes. Because it’s through a series of little changes that lead to big changes. Set out manageable small goals, and be proud when you reach them. I remember feeling so down on myself when I would only lose one little itty bitty pound. Now, if I gained a pound, it was crushing. Why is it that the feeling of pride isn’t matched to the feeling of defeat? It’s the same pound we are talking about here, but this pound really only feels huge when it’s gained.
Here’s the difference:
I go to the running track and run 2 laps, walk 1 lap.
Rather than: I wish I could run more than 2 laps.
I prefer to think of it like this: I ran 2 laps! There was a time when I couldn’t run 1/2 a lap. Each time I challenge myself I can only get better.
I try on a pair of once-loose jeans that I now struggle to pour myself into.
Rather than: Forget it! Where’s that bag of Doritos? It’s so depressing trying on clothes that don’t fit!
I prefer to think of it like this: Dear too tight jeans, I am going to eat healthier & exercise and will try you on again in a month. You are merely a bench marker for the work I’m going to put in.
I often dream of where I want to go in my photography, and get lost in where I am right at this moment. It’s always good to dream, but sometimes you have to step back and take a look if it’s something that is preventing you from moving forward because the end goal is too big. Strip it back to little goals, and never forget to feel the sense of pride and accomplishment when you reach each little step along the journey.
The greatest thing about chosing a healthier lifestyle is the feeling that comes along with it. When you are treating yourself well, the feeling that comes along with it is so good.
You bring in what you give out. Do you agree with this theory? I believe this is true with your thoughts.
Negative in, negative out.
Positive in, positive out.
It really does start a cycle of either positivity or negativity depending on what you are bringing in. The GREAT part about it is that you have the power to create exactly who you want to be. One little itty bitty step at a time. Do not give in to the feeling of defeat before you’ve even started! Move forward and celebrate your successes, however small they may be.
When you decide to start on your path, it should be exciting! There is so much to learn about yourself and life. Live in that excitement. Put out exactly what you wish to take in. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of the negativity we are putting out there. Sometimes it’s the mind that needs to be changed first.
5 thoughts on “The Power of the Mind”
Fantastic post. You write about such an important truth–breaking things down is empowering, and I am training myself to do just that (and it can apply to all areas of life!!). Thanks for reminding me why it’s so important to do so. And to remember how crucial it is to live NOW and to really celebrate your successes today. xoxo
Does telling yourself that you can make it through the next 10 minutes with the kids (and then the next 10 and the next 10 and the next 10 OMG) count as “breaking it down ” and “thinking positive”?!
Okay, seriously, though. I totally agree that attitude is everything … “positive in” definitely = “positive out”. There are two sides to every situation, and we have the opportunity to choose to look at it from a place of growth or defeat. I’ve been making a conscious effort over the last couple of years to choose to “look at the bright side” when I’m facing a challenge, and I know that the result is often more positive that I’ve expected. Except when dealing with 3.5 year old girls… they’re too unpredictable 😉
Roxy: I often forget to live in the NOW, and then look back and wish I knew how good life was at that moment. I agree, it can apply to every area of life…motherhood being a big one! Thanks for commenting. I love you!
Sarah: 3.5 year old girls can not be reasoned with! lol I remember telling my Mom I was so excited when Ty turned 3 because that meant the “terrible Two’s” were over. A few months later over coffee, I asked her why she didn’t tell me that the 3’s were more frustrating than the 2’s! They don’t call them the trying 3’s for nothing! lol
I think you’re Taoist at heart, and just don’t know it yet.
This is not the first time I’ve had to google a word you’ve used, and I suspect this won’t be the last 🙂 Love you Hope!