You’ve chosen a new diet.
Or you’ve started a new relationship, filled with hope that this time it will work out.
And then soon enough you’ve slipped back into old ways.
You’ve jacked in the diet, quit pursuing a goal, or have decided that it wasn’t going to work anyway with this person.
Once again you’re left feeling like a failure; confused and frustrated as to why it’s happened again.
Well often it comes down to 3 simple reasons.
1. Can You Trust?
When establishing a new habit, skill or relationship, we need consistency.
Consistency is the act of regular repetition of the same behavior or action.
Regular repetition creates trust.
Without trust we play out the all or nothing, feast or famine, yo-yo, hot and cold behavior all of which is based on fear.
So when it comes to dieting; this feast or famine behavior creates distrust in the body that it is going to be fed, so it stores fat ready for starvation periods.
What the body needs is balance with all the right food groups, regular eating little and often; which means every 3 hours at max, as well as a form of regular exercise daily, that it can take energy in and release it, so it can relax and stop hoarding in case of famine.
Relationships too need consistency, so we can trust the person we are with, with our hearts. We fall in love and have fun based on trust.
We only feel someone is trustworthy if what they say, do and how they behave matches. If not, and there is inconsistency and it is natural to become wary, distrusting and even anxious around them.
The couple will then pendulum swing between smothering each other with no room to breathe or separate, to the polar opposite of being cold, distant and avoiding each other.
Without trust there cannot be a relationship.
When it comes to goal setting the same all or nothing attitude can be played out with focus being only placed on the goal and not the steps to it with high expectations for instant results. When immediate effects don’t appear, effort is stopped for fear of failure.
Ask any Olympian and they will clearly tell you they practice consistently, repeating things over and over again to train their bodies to respond the way they want them to and develop trust in their own ability to deliver.
2. Do You Give It Time?
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
True success takes time, when we rush to hide from fear, we fail.
Without acknowledging our fears that we may fail, get hurt or that we are not good enough we unconsciously and sometimes consciously sabotage situations, relationships and achievements by wanting instant results, perfection, recognition and if it doesn’t happen we quit and say it doesn’t work, it’s not right, get a divorce etc.
How would we really know, if we never gave it time to succeed?
Slow the pace and your expectations down and give time to establishing trust and consistency so you can start to see small results.
Giving things time allows for assessment, alterations and repetition, so that strong foundations can be established. You can’t build a strong house without good foundations and in life it is no different.
We need patience for this to happen and to let things unfold. We can see change within 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years.
But if you really want to give something a chance to succeed then give it as much time that represents the value you place on the outcome and the space to develop without too much interference.
Like every successful garden; it takes time, patience and a little tendering to the plants to make sure they get what they need and clear away anything that is not needed anymore.
Then you have to wait and let the plants do their thing.
3. No Pleasure, Why Bother
Patience is hard, but the key is to enjoy the process. If there is no reward, we are likely to quit.
Self praising small achievements and enjoying small pleasures is what keeps us going and happy day to day.
In Paul McKenna’s “I Can Make You Thin” he focuses on eating consciously to lose weight. So to eat without distractions, just you and your meal; no TV, no music, nothing to read, or talking to people, so that you learn to become more aware of the physical sensations of hunger (pain) and using all your senses to enjoy and experience every mouth full (pleasure).
Having the intention to choose to be fully present in the moment is the first step. Letting yourself feel the pleasure is the second step.
The same goes for developing a relationship: focusing your attention on enjoying the time spent with that person and how you feel being in their company, not thinking about where is going and if they like you.
They are with you because they like you, so relax and enjoy their company. Allow yourself to truly be in the moment and let go of worrying about tomorrow.
When it comes to personal development or career goals, it is really important to reward and praise yourself for the small achievements that you make every day, add them to together and you achieve your goal.
Let’s take quitting smoking as an example; As a smoker you will have many pleasurable associations with why you smoke: It may keep you thin, relaxed, and give you a break at work, just to name a few examples.
Why would you give it up if these things weren't being satisfied without smoking?
You could change your diet to a healthier one filled with things you enjoy and also give you plenty of energy. You could start doing more exercise so that you feel good and you get the natural endorphin rush afterwards.
Most importantly though you need to focus on increasing the pleasure in your daily life; change your pattern at work so that you take a proper lunch break out of the office, go for a walk, pack a nice healthy lunch, read a book or listen to music for 30 minutes, aim to make it into a mini holiday in your day.
Also give yourself a 2-5 minute break every half an hour or so by walking around, getting some fresh air, stretch, freshen up.
Break the false associations that you have with smoking and build up the moments of pleasure, without smoking, so that you can slowly let the old habit fall away, because it is now redundant.
You will become more motivated and productive if your daily pleasure/enjoyment quota is high.
The Road to Success
It all starts with one important question and it can be simple if you really WANT to succeed, but DO YOU want to succeed?
If the answer is YES, then this time don’t let fear get in the way.
PRACTICE consistency, patience and pleasure and you will have the key to success, so get to it.
|Written on 10/31/2012 by Joanna Warwick. Joanna Warwick is a Writer, Entrepreneur, Relationship/Family Therapist: Standing up for adults to regain fun, freedom & joy at www.grownupkidsonly.com. Download for free a series of intimate interviews, with personal development experts sharing their secrets to a happy adulthood: http://www.grownupkidsonly.com/interviewseries|