Maybe you were doomed to fail from the start. Have you ever been in the situation where you really wanted to achieve something, but you don’t think you will be able to achieve the success you’re craving? This may be due to your belief system letting you down.
Whether you know it or not, you have a belief system in place. Just think about it a minute, we don’t have to necessarily attempt something to think we can’t do it. We can start to make our own judgements on whether something could be achievable based on the information that we gather. I’m not just talking weight loss here either.
I find that so many people fail at weight loss because they see themselves as an overweight person. They truly believe that this is who they really are. Their mindset is “I’m an overweight person.” Those who have more success believe something completely different. They are still realists. But they do not think the same way. They believe that they are not an overweight person, but are currently carrying extra kilos.
There is a massive difference in the potential for success between two people that have similar genetics, are of a similar age, are at a similar weight and need to lose the same amount.
Has the mindset…. I’m an overweight person. I’m an overweight person wanting to lose some weight.
Has the mindset…. I’m a healthy person. I’m a healthy person that is currently carrying a few extra kilos and want to lose weight.
Until person A can change their mind set, away from believing they are an overweight person, their success will be very limited. Even if they did manage to lose some weight, it may only be a matter of time before they put the weight back on again. Why? Because of their beliefs. If you truly believe something, more often than not, you’ll find a way to back up that belief system. If you have managed to lose some weight, but because of the past or because of your self-doubt you still believe that you are an overweight person, you will more often than not put the weight back on.
You can see from this example that it comes back to what your believe about yourself. It’s your thinking or psychology. So, what is psychology? The Oxford Dictionary defines psychology as “the scientific study of the human mind and its functions.” As humans, we all function differently and have different mindsets, but we all have a similar belief system that we measure ourselves by. The only difference between us is our beliefs we develop and the standards we measure ourselves by. We all have expectations, or standards, that we feel we should meet in almost every area of our lives. In some aspects, people will have higher standards or expectations while in others they will have lower standards.
Contrast and standards
Let’s look at an example of a body sculptor. They may have extremely high standards for their physical body, for their training and the nutrition they consume in every single meal. However, they may have very low standards for their career. This person may work just enough to get by, paying bills but have very low standards, if any, about career aspirations. Their focus and standards are on their body, not their career. Then we may find that a person can have the complete opposite standards in these areas. Someone else who grew up in a family or environment where career is a huge focus will have extremely high standards in this area. This person may take their occupation very seriously, work long hours with the goal of working their way up the corporate ladder and paying little to no attention to the areas of their physical body, health and fitness.
These people may never understand each other or why one another choose to live with expectations in the areas that they do. If the body sculptor saw what the career driven person was eating and drinking and the lack of regular exercise they might be disgusted.
If the career focused person saw how little the body sculptor worked and the lack of work ethic and motivation for wanting to achieve more they may also feel extremely frustrated and disgusted. I’m not saying one is right or wrong. I simply wanted to demonstrate how people have completely different standards that create their beliefs about different aspects of life.
Drop by next month when we look at how our self-expectations can cause us pain and how we can harness pain to motivate positive responses.