“I’m so tired of dieting – or of trying to diet.”
“I can do all the things – except this. Why does this have to be the ONE thing I struggle with?”
“I am so sick of spending my time and energy struggling with my eating and my weight. I’ve got so many other (better) things I want to spend them on!”
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I don’t buy the excuse that you’re stuck because you’re lazy or undisciplined. If you take a look around you, glance through your schedule, and make a list of what you’ve accomplished in your life – or even what you’re managing on a daily basis, I’m betting there’s evidence to support that you’re smart and capable.
If you’re struggling with food and the scale, and just can’t seem to do it right, odds are you’re doing it wrong.
Can I share a story?
When I was finishing my PhD in Clinical Psychology, one of the final hurdles was to secure a clinical internship. These were extremely competitive – hundreds of applications (if not thousands) would be submitted for three to six spots. A critical part of the application process was an essay.
I slaved over my essay, obsessed on every word, and finally came up with something that I knew was well written and my best work. At the time I was managing my course load, a job, an infant, and this application process. I was fairly exhausted most of the time.
I asked my professor to give me feedback on my essay, feeling confident that she’d make a few grammatical edits, boost my confidence, and I could send this baby off. Ha!
My draft was returned covered with writing. In a nutshell, she told me that while the statement was incredibly well written, I had written about all the wrong things. I’d taken the wrong approach in deciding how to address the essay topic. This was not an essay that was going to land me an internship.
I was surprised and frustrated, but here’s the really important thing:
When I absorbed her feedback, I instantly knew she was right. Not only was she right, but the direction she pointed me in was also spot on – and so much better, and even easier to write about.
I had worked really hard. I had given this essay my all, but I was putting that effort (and my ability) toward the wrong things. And I had no idea. It never would have occurred to me to focus my essay in the way she suggested without her outside perspective.
We cannot see our own blind spots. This is true no matter how smart, successful, or focused you are.
If you’re going in circles, trying to solve the same problem over and over, there’s almost always a blind spot and a better approach.
There’s one more thing about this story. Because I was so busy and tired, and, quite frankly impatient to get this application process done, I almost didn’t ask anyone to review my essay. I’m pretty independent by nature and asking for help is a skill I’ve had to develop. I could so easily be telling you a story today of how I wrote that first essay, sent it in without getting feedback, and didn’t get an internship that year.
Sometimes the gap between where we are and the thing we want to achieve is smaller than we think, but we’re not walking in the direction that will get us there.
Sometimes we’re working really hard and actually moving ourselves farther away from our goal.
My challenge to you:
Ask yourself if it’s possible you’ve got some blind spots that are creating obstacles for you.
Ask yourself if you’re asking for the help, guidance, or support that could either make things easier, or guide you to recalibrate your GPS and get you back on course.
Life’s too short to spend it struggling and not getting the results you want.
Let’s do this!
PS: I did get an internship. In fact, I got my first choice and had an amazing year working with veterans at the Seattle V.A Medical Center.