I have been struggling lately. My attitude has been quite poor, overall I have really been down. I can’t quite define what it is, but everything seems “Cloudy with a chance of …”. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially…it is all a bit bumpy. Not in a way where I need happy pills or where some radical change is needed. But in a way where a day long nap might be a step up in my productivity.
So lets be honest, we all have these days. These days are what clears out the last of the Haagen Dazs. This is when we binge watch two new Netflix series all night long. This definitely can be what drives the bar tabs at Happy Hours. But here is the reality…even though we all have these days, we actually choose how long these days last as well. We are totally in control of how long the dark cloud remains.
As I was pondering the “whys”. Why… Is it so hard to get motivated to coach lately? Why…Am I not making progress in my exercise programming? Why… Do my friends all want to hang with other people? I began to realize the common thread… ME! I am telling myself to do my coaching work later, Haagen Dazs is calling. I am the one not getting up at 4:30 each morning to work out. It is so much easier to watch Netflix late in to the evening and then sleep in. I am the one limiting my time with others, sure if I bought at Happy Hour it would fix A LOT!
Great…problem solved, get up and get moving! If only it were so easy, to remove the grey skies then we would all do it immediately, right?! The fact is, getting out of our own way, whether it is in trying something new, advancing in a career or just changing your mood is unbelievable difficult. But why? In my opinion, we are scared…scared of how much we might like the new thing we try, scared of how successful we can become, and scared of how happy we could truly be.
Living our lives, as the victim of circumstance, not choosing to look at the positives in life, and accepting our “fate” are all catabolic ways of thinking. Catabolic thinking is a thought process of negative/self-limiting beliefs. This type of thinking convinces us we shouldn’t have what we truly want and makes us believe that we don’t deserve more than we have. It creates a fear of moving forward, of creating that small 1% improvement each day. Living in the fear of possible success and the false “security” of what is familiar, is harmful…not only to future success and fulfillment but also to our general attitude and in some sense our overall health.
So…how do we change this?! First, it is the honest step of acknowledging that we “struggle” and in fact that “struggle” is perfectly normal. Not only is it normal but it is a blessing to have. The struggle we face is not a chance to retreat to safety, but it is the exact moment to bravely step forward and look at what opportunity conquering this struggle will give us in meeting our goals. Second, once we acknowledge that struggle we now have the option to choose how long we want to call it a struggle or how soon we want to call it an opportunity.
When we finally label it an opportunity…to change our attitude, to try a new approach, to learn something new…we can then take the third step to make it a goal. That goal may be to just smile and be more appreciative the rest of the week. That goal may be make sure we only watch one episode of a Netflix series so we can resume the morning routine rested and ready to go. Whatever that goal may be, we finally have a direction, an end point to work toward which moves us positively forward and before we know…the struggle is small speck in the rear view mirror.
It all starts however, with the acknowledgement that we are in a struggle, we accept that struggle and we look for the time for that struggle to change. Every day is not full of sunshine. There are days full of grey skies, sometimes severe thunder storms. How we choose to approach these days and when we decide to acknowledge these days determine how long these storms will last…but more importantly how soon before the bright, warm glow of sunshine will appear in our lives.