When you hit the snooze button one too many times and miss your early morning training session or come home late from work tired and hangry while heating up a frozen lasagne for dinner, you’re the harshest judge. As motivated as you are, occasions like these can be disturbing. You blame yourself for the slip-up and question your motivation. You wonder if you have what it takes to be a fitspo or if you’re doomed to kill yourself with your own bad habits. Maybe it’s in your genes to be lazy and being healthy is a distant dream for you. What could be more demotivating right?
A common misconception is that people who are able to create healthy habits have a huge amount of discipline—they are able to wake up early and hit the beach for an early morning class no matter how dark and cold it is outside. As if they’re capable of putting themselves through the torture and that strength somehow makes them better people.
Well guess what!? That’s a Myth!
Fact is, people who are able to create healthy habits don’t have more discipline, they have more SELF-COMPASSION. Instead of beating themselves up for not turning up to their morning session, they ask how things could have gone differently. This takes them out of “I’m a lazy loser” mode and into problem-solving mode.
Instead of thinking “I should have just dragged my fat ass out of bed and forced myself to go to the session,” they have a different mindset, “I was really tired today and it caused me to oversleep. I should try to get to bed earlier next time”. You see they don’t see the situation as a problem with themselves, they see it as a circumstance that needs to be figured out.
A problem-solving mindset is powerful because it takes emotions out of the equation and forces you to address the reality of the situation. Rather than judging yourself for being lazy, you can acknowledge that you were tired and ask why.
Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep or have too much going on at work. What can you do so that you can feel well-rested when you wake up in the morning? You have self-compassion by acknowledging that oversleeping is a consequence of being tired and that being tired is normal when you don’t get enough sleep at night. Oversleeping doesn’t make you lazy; it means you need to figure out how to give yourself the fuel and rest you need to function at your best and tackle what needs to be done.
Instead of being harsh on yourself and performing worse under the pressure, you must take care of yourself so that you can perform better. There’s no value in beating yourself up. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, would you think they’re hopeless and give up on them? Or would you be kind, listen to their concerns, do your best to point out the positives, and steer them toward the answer. You must treat yourself the same way. Not only do you deserve it, it’s also the only way to solve your problem.
The healthiest people practice self-compassion when something they wanted to accomplish doesn’t go the way they’d planned. This gives them the mental clarity and emotional distance to adopt the Problem-Solving Mindset and take the bull by its horns the next time a situation like this arises!
Image by NIKE