Belly Up Or Fight: Which Will You Do?

 

Which Direction Do I Take?

What are you shooting for? What are you wanting to achieve? Could it be a more disciplined child, a new career path, to lose ten pounds, or have a better marriage? What happens to your mind when discouragement sets in, when you keep hitting walls with something you’ve been trying to accomplish? What are your options? Let’s look at two possibilities.

 

GIVE UP. Forget it. You’re not getting where you want to go and you are hitting your head against the wall. It’s no use. Just accept your situation and be content with it. A problem with this option might be you’re settling for less than what you believe you deserve. If this is you, then you are hurting your self-esteem by giving up. In other words, this isn’t an option for you. On the other hand, maybe you’ve been trying so hard and are weary. Perhaps you need a break, but will resume later. This isn’t giving up, either. So, when is it okay to belly-up? The answer to that is in what you believe. Do you believe in your cause enough to go to your death fighting for it, even if you might never see its fruition? Only you can answer that question. Put the pen to paper and figure this one out.

PRESS ON. Take a break if you need to rejuvenate. Get what you need to resume with full force. Do you need a support group to keep you accountable or sessions with a life coach? Determine to keep going, no matter what. Decide to fight for your passion unconditionally: you will press on with or without results.

An example could be you want a more disciplined child. You fight every day with this child. You try reasoning and punishment, but it seems to get worse, not better. But if you keep in mind the growth happens because of the struggle, this will help you to persevere. Your belief will motivate you to continue. Another example could be to have a better marriage. Trying to change another person is futile, so make sure you are changing the only person you can: you.  Focus on your growth, rather than your spouse’s faults. This is a form of acceptance, but it is also placing energy where it counts.

 

What you decide will have more to do with who you are than what you achieve.

Why? Because you have a conscience, whether you admit it or not. This is the truth for every human being. To ignore it means death. To listen to it means life.

 

Master Mind Mistake

Master Mind Mistake Blog Image

The Peer Success Group (www.peersuccessgroup.com) defines the master mind as “a group of like-minded individuals who come together on a regular basis to help and support one another to grow their respective businesses”.

A friend of mine, Kay, got fired from her work and decided to continue that same type of work independently. Since she needed to build up her clientele and her income, I wanted to help her. I happened to need some work done in her area of expertise, so I saw an opportunity to help my friend and myself.

For years, I had previously used a trusted professional to do this type of work. I considered this person a strong master mind alliance of mine, tried and true. However, in Kay’s case, switching professionals was justifiable. After all, she was my friend. I believed she would work even harder for me than my master mind ally did, and she would also deliver better results than I had ever received. In addition, Kay would make money as a result of the work she performed for me and I would get a goal accomplished: a win-win situation.

The seven weeks that followed were nothing short of a nightmare. I had completely placed my trust in Kay to perform this work with a deadline, and she failed me miserably. In fact, she was negligent in so many ways, it made my head spin.

At first I was in denial. During the initial four weeks of the assignment, I completely ignored the fact that she had done almost nothing to accomplish my goal. I was a bit uncomfortable as I received two emails from her during this time. One was that she was going on vacation for ten days and the later was for another, shorter excursion out of town. I assumed that she knew what she was doing, she was the professional, and I shouldn’t second-guess her actions.

Over the next three weeks, I began to ask if we could change a few things. Kay agreed with all the suggestions I made. But why was she so passive for a whole month? Why didn’t she voice these ideas herself? Wasn’t she the professional in this industry, able to see things her clients couldn’t? Why was I the one telling her how to do her work? This whole thing seemed completely lopsided to me. Where was her assertiveness, her proactive nature that was so clearly evident in the friend I knew? I felt I was working with a stranger.

I wasn’t just shocked Kay didn’t come through for me regarding this assignment. More important, I felt betrayed by her. She had been my friend, so I thought. Wouldn’t that automatically mean that she would be painstaking in her approach to deliver fantastic service? After all, she was getting paid the standard rate for her services. I was simply baffled.

I would have done anything for Kay. On this day, it was clear to me that she wouldn’t do anything for me, even if I paid her to do it. After all the time lost, money lost and stress unnecessarily placed on myself by using Kay instead of the trusted source I had used for years, I returned to my master mind ally with my tail tucked between my legs. I had betrayed my alliance, despite my good intentions for Kay. The job was completed in two weeks.

And what do you think happened next? After firing her, Kay acted as if I was the one who had betrayed her! She didn’t even make eye contact when we crossed each other’s paths. Instead, she poked her nose up to the sky, stiffened her posture and sped by.

After some time, I considered calling her to amend our friendship. I felt that we could communicate, get everything on the table to heal. But after thinking it through, I decided not to contact her. I didn’t do anything wrong. I terminated her for self-preservation, to stop the bleeding and to stop losing money. I fired Kay so that I could hire someone I had confidence in to do the work quickly and professionally. If Kay valued our friendship, she would have approached me by now. Since she didn’t, I had to conclude she felt she had done nothing wrong – or worse yet – she didn’t care about mending the friendship. I felt like it was best to leave the whole thing alone.

 

# Lessons Learned #

 

  • Going out of your way to help a friend doesn’t guarantee that when they have the opportunity to go out of their way for you, they will do it.
  • Don’t blur the lines between friendships and business master mind alliances. Keep them separate.
  • When money is involved, stick with the winners, the ones you know you can trust. No one cares more about your finances than you do.
  • If your friends need help, assist them in ways that don’t jeopardize you personally. Maybe start with a smaller project to gauge their abilities.
  • Relationships can be messy, and some relationships can abruptly end in unresolvable circumstances. Learn to accept a lack of closure in these situations and let go of the relationship. However, be open to reconciliation if the opportunity arises in the future. Maintain a forgiving spirit, holding no grudge. If you harbor ill feelings toward someone, this will hurt you, not the other person.

 

It’s good to learn from the mistakes of others, for we can benefit from their wisdom. On the other hand, if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we will be doomed to repeat them.

 

Make A Mental Shift

Fire sprinkler control systemWe were going to have our first freeze a few nights ago, so before dark that night, I moved all of my potted plants into the garage. Afterwards, I got my jammies on and relaxed.

Long after dark, I realized that I failed to winterize the irrigation system. (Now, if any of you have failed to winterize you irrigation system before a freeze, you know that you don’t want to let THAT happen again.When that happened to us, we were out of town. The water froze in the pipes, and once the temperature rose, the water melted and spewed everywhere onto my neighbor’s property. Thank goodness my kind neighbor turned off our main water supply). So that night I grumbled about what I had to do. I changed my clothes, got a flashlight and a screwdriver and marched outside in the cold. I shut the valve to the water flow and drained the water sitting idly in the pipes.  Finally, my yard was truly prepared for the freeze to come.

Lately, I have been frustrated because things haven’t been going my way, or they haven’t been “going” at all. I feel stuck, and nothing I do and no action I take seems to get me unstuck. So I realized the other morning that I needed to winterize the irrigation system in my head.  I needed to stop trying so hard with action and make a real shift in my thinking instead.  I needed to relax with the knowledge that I have done all that I can do for the moment and I needed to let things develop. And once I decided to shut the valve of frustration off, the the valve of inspiration automatically turned on and flowed. I had new ideas and a new attitude almost immediately after making that mental shift.

Do you have an ongoing struggling with something and nothing seems to happen? Have you been push, push, pushing and what you are pushing against seems to get more stubborn? Then make a mental shift today. Winterize that irrigation system in your head by shutting the negative valve off: just shut it down. Once you decide to discipline your mind and keep it up, you will have new energy flowing in to you.

 

Making Rest A Priority

      It seems the older I get, the more complex life becomes. 
      I think the most simple time in my life was when I was single, working full-time and living alone. I dated, but wasn’t tied to anyone or anything. I ran my own schedule, controlled what food entered my abode and did my own thing.
     Then I began dating my husband-to-be. We dated 4 years, and that was exciting. We got married into a life that was different for both of us. Although the complexities of living with another person added to some increased stress in both of our lives, it was well worth the sacrifice – and still is.  
     About 8 years later, we had our first and only child, although we didn’t plan it that way. We intended to have more children, but God had a different plan for us.
     With this child, life got really complex in multiple ways – fast! It was well worth the sacrifice – and still is. And I’m certain there will be more complexities to come!
     One constant activity for me throughout all these life changes is exercise: it keeps me sane and happy with my body. But one thing I realize I need more of is rest. I struggle with the idea of getting rest, meditation, relaxation and good sleep. It hasn’t been a priority, so I tend to put it last on the list, “Oh, if I get time, I’ll sleep in” or “if I get a quick 20 minutes, then I’ll do some meditating”. It’s as if I know it would do me well to indulge in these different forms of rest, but somehow, I never make it a priority.
      With all the complexities of my life, my body now demands different (better) treatment. The exercise has been a constant, but the rest has not. I have taken my health and my body for granted too long, and it’s time for a change.
    I recently decided to get on a schedule of meditation. I have tried several ways to do this and come up with this conclusion: every day is different, so the meditation can’t be the same every day. I can still get it in, but it may not be at the same time. And this will be my challenge. All I know is that all forms of rest are more of a priority with me today.
    Are you one of those who, if something is on your mind, you cannot sleep? What if you had a disagreement with your spouse and it is yet unresolved? How about a crucial appointment the next day, a test or a presentation? If I can’t sleep, then I have found that meditation can be a sufficient substitute.
     There will be an ebb and flow of rest for most of us. Some nights we will sleep well, and other nights we won’t. Even if you can’t find time to meditate or even if you don’t want to meditate, the main thing to remember here is to not go too long without some kind of quality rest, because a lack of quality rest will break down the immune system and we can get sick or be more susceptible to illness.  Sweet Dreams!

Circumstantial Triggers

   How do you react to sudden, unexpected “events” in your life?
For some, these “events” – whether good or bad – can trigger an impulse in us to eat. 
   For example, if our boss gave us an unexpected bad review, we could take that home with us and eat over it. Or maybe we got stuck in a traffic jam and were late for an important meeting. The frustration with this has the potential to stay with us all day. What if we had a fight with our spouse that morning, or experienced any other unexpected unpleasant situation out of our control? Is the food a stress-reliever for you in these situations?
   When we are caught off-guard with life’s “bumps in the road”, and if we already have a tendency to abuse the food, then any food can become a trigger, and this is a circumstantial trigger. 
   Circumstantial triggers can cause overeating of any type of food, leading to a portion control problem. And this problem can be more of a behavioral issue rather than a substance one – or, it can be both, depending on what food is consumed. In either case, if we are prone to reacting to these events by overeating, then what we really need to do here is recognize our emotion preceding the first bite and then deal with the situation differently.
   Here is an exercise: take a moment to list at least two circumstantial triggers you have had recently, that you ate over.  Simply becoming aware of the things that bother you will be your first step in overcoming the tendency to eat over them. Listing these triggers will become red flags for you to recognize, so that in the future, you can avoid getting into trouble with the food. 

Behavioral Triggers

Behavioral triggers are behaviors that cause and encourage unconscious eating. Unconscious eating is eating without realizing how much is being consumed. Behavioral triggers involve the act of eating with a specific kind of activity simultaneously. This person can eat and eat, but doesn’t realize how much s/he is eating. They might not care, either, about how much they are eating. Their minds are elsewhere when they are eating. Hence, the amount they consume winds up being more than what they needed. 

Now sometimes, a person might want to engage in unconscious eating. This might be an escape or a stress reliever. But the problems begin when the weight piles on, and some decision must be made to deal with it.

Trigger behaviors can include eating a bag of chips in front of the TV or eating at the computer while you do work. These types of triggers are often done in isolation. One may even plan to have time alone in order to do this.

If you engage in behavioral triggers, you have two choices:
1.Continue on the way you have been going, continue to gain weight and stay in denial that there is a problem. Note here, that this is a decision: it is a decision to ignore the problem.

2.Change the behavior in some way. You can cut back, you can change the food or the activity, or you can stop doing them together. However, if one attempts to stop the food, but continue the activity, there will be a void. There will still be that urge to eat while engaging in the activity. Something will have to replace the food.

If you have opted for #2, in the case of television, simply turning off the TV might do the trick. But in the case of computer work (that is probably a necessary thing), something will have to be substituted. 

Try keeping a large glass of water right next to your computer. You might also try brewing a cup of hot tea to sip on while you work. Regardless what you change, you will notice that something is different at first, and there will be some discomfort. Move through the discomfort and know that it will dissipate with time. Good luck!

Situational Triggers

Some foods may not be triggers, but the impulse to overeat or binge may be a result of a situation in one’s life that occurs periodically. For example, a situational trigger can be work-related, where one has a regular meeting that causes stress. It could be hiring or firing of an employee, or even a particular event where loads of food are brought in from an outside source.
     Another trigger situation could be going to a party and “socializing” right by the food table, making it an easy temptation to indulge in too much food.
     The person who is prone to these situational triggers is automatically going to fall into the pattern of overeating in these cases, unless they are aware of what is happening. But as you can see, situational triggers don’t have to be negative to have a negative impact on one’s weight loss goals. In fact, the positive events on one’s life can be the worst culprits!
     Take a quick inventory of a situation in your life, where you are tempted to eat for no other reason than the fact that you find yourself in that particular situation. Once you are aware of your tendencies, you can make decisions to change your behavior.



Substance Triggers

0fe123a12ab66caaa0fccb242fae20bcHave you ever eaten something that caused you to crave more of the same at a later time? Do you have a certain food item (some people call it their “poison”) that you go to when you choose to indulge? Is there a specific food item in your life that you have a love-hate relationship with, meaning that you love to eat it, but you always feel badly after having eaten it? These could be your substance triggers.

And the most important questions are, if you know what your substance triggers are, do you want to rid yourself of them and no longer be a slave to them? Do you want to recapture control over your life and not let any kind of food item control you?

If you answered yes to the previous two questions, then you are ready to be catapulted into the next dimension of life! But it won’t do you any good to rely on circumstance or luck to make it happen. You are going to be the source of your own success in this matter. You are going to have to choose each day and each meal exactly how and what you will and will not eat.

Becoming aware of your substance triggers is the first step. Most people who struggle with their weight don’t ever get to this step. They go through life confused as to why they can’t seem to get control over the food – and their weight. If you have become aware of what your substance triggers are, you can begin now to protect yourself from being sabotaged, and you then have hope of reaching your weight loss goals. But this will take time and planning. Here is something you can do today to begin:

Take an inventory of your kitchen, pantry, refrigerator and office setting. What do you have control over? Are you able to remove temptations? What unnecessary and tempting foods lurk in the shadows of your pantry or refrigerator? How about the jar of candy on your desk? Who is that for? Is it more of a temptation to you than your co-workers?

Take control over those things you are able to take control over. Make the decision now, and stick with it. Next time, we will talk about situational triggers.

What Are Your “Triggers”?

contentFirst, let me define “trigger”, for those of you who may not know…

A trigger is any person, place, thing, situation – or food, that has a tendency to cause one to overeat.

Common trigger substances are sugar and white flour. These substances wind their way in to a multitude of foods, such as breads, bagels, pastas, cookies, candy or pastries. Some people may call these foods, “comfort foods”, meaning when they need comfort – something emotional is going on – they want to receive comfort in the food. But by eating these junky foods, we set up a craving that makes it irresistible to NOT eat that food the next day – and so on.

I want to talk about this “comfort” for a moment. First of all, food is not capable of rendering comfort. In fact, if I am to indulge in comfort food for the sake of receiving comfort, I will be less than comforted after consuming vast quantities of nutritionally empty food. Why? Because I started off feeling emotionally vulnerable and needing comfort. I needed to connect, to be loved by someone, or I needed a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Or perhaps, I just needed to go to bed after a rough day.

But what I did instead of meeting my needs head-on, was to eat food: lots of junky food, with the presumption that this food was going to meet my emotional needs and make me feel better.

Not only did the food not meet my needs, but also I felt worse after indulging. I felt fat. I deviated from my goals to take better care of my body. And finally, I continued a pattern that will be harder to break now, since I have had one more time to strengthen it.

How do we break this cycle? How do we stop indulging in this type of food and behavior that works against us and makes us feel badly about ourselves?

For me, it took time to see the signs – the triggers – that something was up. Something was stirring in my emotions that I wasn’t even aware of at first, and I was doomed to fall into another binge. When I became willing to look at myself objectively, I began to see those signs that something was wrong and that I had some emotional needs.  I began to recognize my triggers. I became aware that the food was not going to meet my emotional needs, and I had to become willing to reach out elsewhere to get my needs met – and this time, they really would get met, because I would be addressing the issue the right way – instead of isolating with food.

When I isolate and overeat, it makes me feel badly about myself and I isolate more, because I don’t feel worthy of other people’s company. My self-esteem suffers.

What are your triggers? Are you able to see the signs that might warn you of a binge coming up? And how can you intercept that behavior with a more healthy one?

Controlling My Thinking

I learned something a while back I want to share with you… I started to pay attention to my thoughts and what was going through my head. I did this to become more aware of when I was thinking negatively. What I found was that there were two scenarios that would cause my mind to spin out of control:

1. Some circumstance out of my control would happen (an unexpected bill, an expected bill, a medical issue, a disruptive child, an inconsiderate driver, etc., etc…) and it would set off a chain reaction of thought in my head and affect me for some time thereafter; or
2. I would wake up with a negative mindset (due to hormones, waking up on the wrong side of bed, and who knows what else) and be unable to shake it off.
Needless to say, I lived in negativity: MARINATED in it. Negative was comfortable. I was so used to it! One day a dear friend asked me, “Annette, how much positivity can you handle at one time?” This question stunned me. I had no idea, but I was intrigued and determined to find out! This question inspired me to look to higher ground. It was at this point that I really began to tune in to what was going on upstairs and begin to take control of my mind.
Once I decided to pay attention to my mindset, I became aware of how I was plagued and driven by negative thoughts. Now, I want to take a moment and ask you the question, “Why do you think I didn’t pay attention to my thoughts before?”
Thank you for asking! I am happy to tell you that I never even considered the possibility that I might have an inkling of control over my own thoughts! In fact, I truly thought I was powerless over my mind, my feelings and my thoughts. I concluded for many years that I was doomed because of my mindset: and I was, for “as a man thinketh, so is he”.
Happily, over time this all changed. I became aware of what was happening inside me and believed that I did, in fact, have control over my mind and my thoughts, that I have control over what I focus on and what I choose to NOT focus on.
Don’t wait to do this! Your whole life will change as a result of your doing this one thing: taking control of your own mind!!!