We have a story for everything, especially if the word “should” is part of our vernacular. When I “should” have done something and I didn’t, I have to justify, explain, make excuses and generally try to give a “story” that people will buy to let me off the hook of accountability or responsibility. I want to look good, so I need to justify why I did or didn’t do a particular thing.
An excuse, as I have mentioned before, is a skin of a truth stuffed with a lie! My grandson just posted on Facebook that he didn’t have his textbook for class. He had an exam and he didn’t have something else he needed for his physics class. He wanted us all to believe it was somebody else’s fault that he couldn’t find his stuff! When do we grow up and accept personal responsibility and say,“This is my education, my class, my exam, my results and my future”?
It is amazing the stories we can create. The stories for why we can’t lose weight are usually incredible. Here are some of the stories I have heard in my coaching business:
- “I can’t accept responsibility to monitor the food that I stick into my mouth!
- I can’t help it if my diet isn’t balanced.
- My jogging shorts are still in the wash.
- The dog is asleep on my exercise mat and I couldn’t possibly disturb poor Ritzy.
- The power went off so the alarm didn’t work so I didn’t get up early enough for my walk.
- I don’t eat healthy because the salad stuff gets caught in my teeth.
- I don’t exercise regularly because the dog next door barks when I go down the drive.
- I would stay disciplined if I didn’t need to check Facebook so often.
- I’m big-boned – if I lost too much weight my skin would be too taught.
- Exercise is bad for my knees and my back and even my neck hurts when I exercise.
- I don’t have time to exercise – by the time I have watched a little TV to relax it is too late to start.
- I’m too old to stress my body with all that exercise stuff and, besides, it’s impossible to exercise when I travel.
- When I have PMS, exercise is just too stressful for me.
- It’s fat-free ice cream and cake and everyone needs some luxury in their life.
- I have to eat everything on my plate because there are starving children in Africa and it isn’t fair to them for me to waste it”.
The challenge with the story is we repeat it so often we really do believe it. And our belief about the story keeps us stuck where we say we don’t want to be.
Anthony Robbins talks about the two motivators of pain and pleasure. Perhaps we haven’t put enough pain yet on staying stuck or given ourselves enough pleasure in achieving a goal. Or perhaps we have bought someone else’s story and believed that because they didn’t we can’t.
Finding and identifying “our story” can be such a liberating event for us. Once we realize all we need to say is, “I choose not to”our lives take on a new accountability. End of story. Then we don’t need to remember which story we used last time.
What stories have you told yourself about your lack of achievements? What stories have you placed on yourself about your limitations? Were your stories from someone else’s programming? What stories have you created and clung to as a way of excusing yourself from eating right, exercising regularly and living a healthy lifestyle? Are these stories really the truth, or something that you choose to believe because it is too much trouble to change? Now you know the only things keeping you from the body you want—the energy and vitality you want—the success you want–are the stories you buy and retell to yourself (and others). When I changed my story, my life changed. Yours will, too.