June 9, 2010

Success Is In Your DNA

I got involved this morning in a conversation that opened my eyes to why it is we human folk have such a hard time accomplishing our goals.

The topic of conversation was about being pushed off course or distracted by all the things we see (troubles, uncertainties or even fun, shiny things), when we ought to be focusing. Focusing on our goals. Making plans. Doing the work that is right in front of us.

Why is it that even with a list and schedule in hand, its so easy to get off track? Why do we let the insignificant get in the way of significant? Now, some of us (me) have a harder time with this than others (probably you), but do you ever wonder how you can start out so strong, so motivated, so totally pumped only to feel the sizzle fizzle out?

It's because we don't really believe we can do it.

Ouch. I hate typing that. But, at the heart of all of our loss of focus (unless you have ADHD) is a lack of belief in ourselves, and a fear that if we try we will fail, a fear that we will look dumb, and a fear of what might lie on the other side of success even if we could reach it.

I've been watching Jillian on Losing It the last couple of weeks and have been impressed with how many "hello, that's me" experiences I'm having .... I'm both loving and hating it, to be honest.

Jillian asks "why would you choose failure when you can have success?"

Fear. I think it's fear.

Jillian asks "what are you so afraid of?"

The unknown. Failure. Looking dumb. What I can't see, if I can sustain this, blah blah blah.

When we stop to think about this, its really kind of dumb. If we are unhappy with our looks, weight, health, what have you, we ought to be fearing staying the way we are rather than changing. See, our fears just don't make sense. It's like when fear is ruling, it cuts off the oxygen supply and we just don't think clearly.

So, here's my fear: I have lived in this overweight body for so long that its both comfortable and uncomfortable. It's familiar. I know it. I don't know healthy & skinny. Will I get proud and all full of myself or will I grow sweeter with every pound lost? Will I stand ready to help others who are walking in my old shoes or will I just be so busy buying new ones?

Also, there is the fact that I am 53. Dare I say that I could be set in my ways? Never! Okay, well maybe. Okay, okay, yes, a little. As much as I try to keep my mind and heart open to all things new, I'm always looking through a lens, the sunglasses of my life, all the while sitting in the shade and missing all the fun. How much sense does that make?

I think I'm ready to take the shades off now, as safe as they sometimes feel. I want to see all the brightness around me. I want reality. If I'm gonna walk around being unhappy, I want to know why and face every last reason so I can deal with it. I WANT to know healthy and skinny. I'm ready to push through every day, working at these simple habits of healthy living and wash all of my fear away along with the sweat that rolls down my back! I am ready for the adventure of a new life!

So, what about you....

Do you believe you can do this? You can, you know.

Ask yourself why you choose failure when you can have success. And, what you are afraid of.  They are just really really good questions. And, really, what is the alternative?

Here with you in the climb,

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons


  1. Great post. You've got me thinking again! Now I just need action.

  2. "If we are unhappy with our looks, weight, health, what have you, we ought to be fearing staying the way we are rather than changing."

    Wow! Powerful words and so true. I think I feared so many things when I began this journey -- failure (again) and even success (the unknown). You're right though, what I should have been fearing was staying the same.

    I cleaned out my closet today of all the clothes that are too big for me now (except one pair of jeans for my big "after reveal"). The closet is bare. I was a little afraid to get rid of the clothes -- the whole "what if" thing. Then, I decided, I'm never going back! I've lost 54 lbs. so far and I'd rather maintain where I am now, never losing another pound, than to go back to where I was.

    I still plan to lose another 41 pounds, though. ;-)

  3. This is very interesting and I appreciate you being so open and honest. It really go me thinking. My initial reaction was that I am not afraid. But then I thought about all the times I had sabotaged myself with my eating. Hmmm.

  4. Fear played a huge role for me in my journey. This is a really insightful post. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Most of the time I fully believe I can do this. But then it's like you said...I know fat and unfit. I don't know thin and healthy. I'm going to try and believe in myself more often instead of being scared.

  6. @Pam Action is always the hardest part. :) I'm pullin' for you!

    @Kris - Common themes I see for us...you are succeeding, overcoming those fears! Yay you!

    @Karen - I actually have very few fears of outside things...and I had the same response as you when I first started thinking on this. Made me think in a different direction, tho. Thanks for being such a faithful reader/commenter, too!

    @Diane - And thank you for visiting! What an honor to have someone who has had such success (folks, she lost 150# and was featured on the Dr. Oz show recently!) visit my little ole blog!

    @Madwoman = We're all right there with you...thanks for stopping in and commenting. Rootin' for you!

    @Jules - The lovely Jules! You are amazing, and THAT says it all! I {heart} you. :)

  7. This is so in line with what I posted about today. For a long time, I let fear run my life. I DIDN'T believe I could do it. And guess what - for as long as I believed that, I couldn't. Over the last few years I've started to face my fears and prove them wrong. Or, experience them when they happen and realize that I am okay. A failure will not kill me. Pain will not kill me. I am stronger than any fear in my life/mind. So, to answer your question - YES. I believe and know that I can do this. And THAT is why I am succeeding today.

    Thanks for the great post!

  8. @SeattleRunnerGirl - Thank you so much for stopping by and for your thoughtful comment. I love what you said, "failure will not kill me". How true.

  9. This is basically what I've been dealing with/writing about the last week or so. I totally believe I can do it now. I know you can too. It might be comfortable to stay in the body you have, but it's not the only option.

  10. @Mary, thanks for your encouragement! Emotionally it sometimes feels safer than the unknown, but physically, OMG, I am so ready to shed it all! Thanks for stopping by!

  11. I can really identify with what you say about losing focus and getting off the track. I am interested in so many things that it's all too easy for me to lose sight of primary goals.

    I think fear of *success* can be as big an obstacle as fear of failure. It's very easy for us to sell ourselves short because if we succeed/change/grow, we will have to be different people, and some of our relationships will change. If we become the people we dream of being, more will be expected of us. Scary stuff!

    Much easier, at least in the short term, *not* to strive, not to dream big.

    Lots of good food for thought. Thanks for this post!

  12. To believe we have the ability to do something relies on past experience telling us that we can. Our past experience in the main is that we can do this for short periods, and then we fall by the wayside, so its pretty difficult to believe that this time its going to be any different.

    To form a belief we first need faith. The faith that tells me that when my car breaks down the man in the garage is going to be able to fix it...I have no belief he can, I just have faith that if he calls himself a mechanic he knows how to fix cars. Its only when I have paid through the nose and driven my car away, that I believe he can do it. Next time I won't need the faith -- I have the belief. So how do we get from here to having faith in ourselves, in our ability.

    What we focus on multiplies. If we focus on the negative - we will get negative - just try it. If we focus on positive we will get positive. Prove it to yourself..go out with a grumpy face - see what reaction you get. Then go out and smile at everyone - see the difference. If we focus on positivity, it will multiply, and that makes us act and react in different ways. If we have faith ie in that we have a positive attitude, that positivity will multiply, and before long our faith/positivity will actually start to get positive results, and as the burden of the surplus weight decreases, our faith will turn into a belief that we can indeed do this thing.

    But what do I know.

  13. Cheryl, I could have written that post myself! Loved the line about the shoes!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm ready to climb right beside you! We can help each other along. Well said!
    Have a pretty day,

  14. @Mary I can relate to what you're saying...more than you know. I saw a preview for Jillian's Lose It for next week, and the woman being helped by Jillian said she hung on to stuff and to weight because she had already lost so much. The worse loss of all is relationship to those we love and who love us. And, yet, healthy relationships don't hinge on unhealthy habits, right?

    @Blue I love this because I think too often people, especially people of "faith", equate faith and belief, like they're the same thing. No, faith only exists where there's doubt, otherwise it's not faith at all, it's belief!

    Sometimes we have to rely on the faith of others until we get some of our own. I am becoming more and more convinced of the value of community, of the immense resource we can be to one another in reaching goals. And what, it only took me 50+ years to wake up!

    @Kristin Thank you for stopping in! One of these days both of us will have those legs in the red high heels!

  15. First of all, no matter how much weight I lose, I will not stand vertically in stiletto heels, no matter the color.

    Fear is there. It was hard to get rid of the big clothes. I have lost and regained before and I do not want to do it again. Getting rid of them was an act of faith.

    Fear is there because I do not know the person I will be. There are changes that take place. Increased confidence and self-esteem can be beneficial. Honestly, though, the extra attention and frequent praise can create quite the pendulum swing the other direction.


  16. @Ellen Me and stiletto's have never been friends, but I wouldn't mind a date now and then!

    Pendulum swinging, yes, seems to be a natural part of this journey/adventure! That fact alone makes it more important than ever to know our why's so we aren't thrown off track by the ups and downs.

    Thanks for your comment and for stopping by!