Act 3, episode 5: Sabotage

I recently witnessed an extreme story of a woman who was convinced that

her life was hard, and that

she was not lucky.

She saw all of the things that weren't what she wanted and

thought about them all of the time.


She accepted a job but didn't believe she could be successful at it.

In front of others, she attempted optimism, but couldn't maintain it because of her beliefs.

I can't.

I'm not good enough.

Everyone else is just so darn lucky.

I hate them all.


Behind the scenes, she sabotaged her own work.

She destroyed all of the positive things that were happening in preparation for this awesome event she was in charge of.


This was presented with drama, costumes and suspense.

But isn't this what we do sometimes, in our tiny little moments.


Maybe you don't. Maybe this is something that is common to me,

and to those I have witnessed in my life. Or I perceive to witness.

Please tell me if you disagree, but I'm going to go with this as my premise.


Let's say you want to be successful at something, and do a good job.

You want to get an A in English this semester (YES!)

You want to lose 10 pounds before the holidays, so you can gain 5 without any guilt whatsoever.

You want to clean out your garage so you can park the car in there.

You want to start a business so you can work at home and do it until you retire.

Whatever it is, you think of it and the idea makes you feel

excited?

scared?

overwhelmed?


However it makes you feel, that's what determines what you will do next.


So, I want to organize (optimize!) my garage. I've thought about it several times.

I park my car in the driveway, because I can't fit it into the garage,

and I open the door and bring my groceries in through the pathway I am maintaining,

and I think about how I haven't done it, and it feels

overwhelming.


Or, I make a plan for losing 10 pounds before Thanksgiving, so I can eat without guilt.

I make a chart or print blank calendars and put them on the fridge,

and I am going to exercise an hour every morning, or 90 minutes at night while I watch my shows.

I do the math of how many calories I can burn this way, and

choose how many calories I want to eat in the day,

and list out all the foods that will fit into that calorie pool.

From this I can see that it is scientifically possible to lose 3/4 pound a week.

Huh, that's not enough.

I'll eat less. That's what I'll do.

But then a few days into this plan, cookies magically appear,

or the drive-thru sign seems incredibly large as you run your errands,

and that feels

defeating.


See, I was right, I can't do it.


What went wrong here?

There was a desire, a plan, motivation of a shiny new thing to work on.


There was also, "I should, I haven't, I can't."


This is starting to feel kind of heavy, isn't it?


Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.


There's nothing wrong here. That's a bit of a calming thought.

There is nothing wrong here.

Or better: everything is as it should be. Ooo.


I like to play with my feelings, by amping up my thoughts about things.

But I haven't always. This is a big lesson for me in the last three years.

It's been quite amazing to figure out that my feelings are entirely up to me and

not dependent on anyone or anything else.


I've had spurts of it, for sure. I would often think,

I was happy, joyful even, in the most dark, lonely, and unattractive of places,

so I can be happy here.

But it didn't always work. I felt guilty for not being more positive.


For me, when I've been most overwhelmed, I've added a lot of extra weight to my body.

So when I see pictures of the last 30 years in which I am larger, I think,

Oh, she looks unhappy.


YES, you can be happy and be any size, truly.

But I know my patterns and how I try to sooth my FEELINGS

with whatever is available.


So how do we turn this around? Is there any good news here?

(Am I wasting my time reading this?)


Our first example: she has committed to a job, and

has thoughts that she won't be able to do it. Which feels terrible.

When she first starts to feel terrible,

before she's sabotaged or even lost initial motivation,

at the first inkling of discomfort,

(because she knows herself, she knows she's going to sabotage it)

she stops everything, takes a huge breath, and thinks:


Nope, not this time, I have everything I need for this to be successful.

I am the perfect person for it, right here, right now.

I've learned so much in all of my experiences.

I'm ready to make this happen.


And that is how you create a great life, every day.