Most people come up with all sorts of excuses, reasons, and stories for why they can’t accomplish something hard. You set out to lose weight so you change your diet but you eventually slip back …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 205 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners. And today, the problem is you. So most people come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons and stories for why they can’t accomplish something hard.
So you might set out to lose weight. So you change your diet, but eventually kind of slip back into old habits, and your new way of eating goes out the window. And when you ask most people why they do this, that’s when all the excuses and the reasons in the stories come into play.
There’s a different way to approach all of this. And in this episode, I’m going to show you the way most people think that the problem is out there. But when you accept that the problem is you, you can start accomplishing everything that you want in your life.
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Okay, so most people when they set out to accomplish something, and they start making some progress, and they find themselves slipping back into old habits or not following through on the things they said they were going to do, they come up with excuses, and reasons and stories.
And all these things can seem very valid. You know, you can say, oh, you know, I can’t stick to my diet because my husband doesn’t support me. Or, you know, I wasn’t able to stick to my running plan because my work schedule changed. And all of these things that we look to as reasons why we can’t accomplish the things that we want to accomplish in our lives.
All of these things are typically outside of us, they are outside of our control, meaning we only have control over three things, our own thoughts, feelings, and actions and everything else is outside of our control.
So when you start to blame outside circumstances, outside forces, for why you can’t accomplish something that feels very out of your hands, it’s out of your control, there’s nothing you can do about it, right?
And I want to talk about this, but I want to go back a little bit and talk about why we do this. So humans as we’ve evolved, we’ve been hard-wired, to look for problems and find solutions. And we are really, really good at this. This has helped us in the past to avoid danger, and to survive, and to evolve and to eventually become the beings that we are today.
So this problem-solving feature that we have as human beings is really fantastic. Okay, this is built into our DNA now, right? It’s, it’s a part of who we are, from an evolutionary standpoint, we look for problems, and we find solutions and we are good at this.
And from an evolutionary standpoint, finding problems was always really good, like looking outside of ourselves for problems was very important, right? Because we were faced with real dangers that were outside of us things like saber-toothed tigers, that were lurking in the shadows, long, cold winters that we had to survive, scarcity of food, you know, finding shelter going through childbirth, these are all things that were big problems and most of them were, you know, outside of our control.
And so, we had to look for and find these problems and find solutions for those problems. And so this is how we have evolved. We’re good at looking outside of ourselves to find what the problem is. The issue, though, is that nowadays, we don’t have those kinds of problems. But our genetic programming still wants to look outside of ourselves for problems.
So we inherently will look to, oh, my boss is being a jerk. That’s why, you know, I’m not performing well at work, or I’m in a really bad mood, because traffic was really crappy this morning on my way to work, or, you know, I would do better with my diet and stuff, but my spouse doesn’t really support me or it’s too cold outside, I don’t want to run, you know.
So we are looking outside of ourselves for problems. And when we do that, when we look outside of ourselves to find a problem, we will find problems. And we will find a lot of them.
When you’re constantly looking for the problem, and you’re looking outside of yourself, you will find it. You can find all kinds of excuses and stories and reasons why you can’t do this, or why this is too hard, or why you fail.
So instead of going outside, which is our programming, and I get that, and it’s hard to do this, but you have to look inside for the problems and the solutions. Because if the solution isn’t within you, there’s really nothing you can do about it.
Because you have no control over everything out there, you don’t have control over outside circumstances, you can only control your own thoughts, feelings and actions. That means if it’s not your own thoughts, feelings and actions, you have no control over it.
Everything else is out of your control. And if you extrapolate that out a little bit, that means that those things are not a problem for you. What other people think what other people feel what other people do, it’s out of your control, and therefore not your problem.
If it’s not within you, you can’t change it. And so it shouldn’t really be a problem for you. So always go within to find the problem. And the solution.
Sometimes other people’s actions will affect you. Like if somebody punches you in the face, that is an action that has affected you in a certain way. But it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a problem for you, you can be like, wow, that was crazy and just choose to walk away.
Or, you know, oh, my boss just dumped this big project on me. This affects you, you have to work late now, you wanted to work out or something like that, but you now you have to work late. But it doesn’t mean that it’s a problem for you. You choose what you want that situation to mean, you’re always assigning meaning to your circumstances, always.
You have a flat tire and you’re ready to work, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be in a bad mood all day, you can choose to be in a bad mood about that or not, it does not have to be a problem for you. So the solution is always within whatever the problem is, then the solution is within, okay.
If the problem is you know your own thoughts, feelings and actions, then you need to look at your own thoughts, feelings and actions to see what needs to change here. Because if it’s outside of you, it’s not your problem. If it’s within you, you can do something about that.
So that becomes where you need to put your focus. Most people will never do this. They don’t want to look at themselves. They always want to blame and complain and have stories and reasons and excuses. And when they do that, if you’re somebody that does that, it’s really easy to not have to do anything.
You don’t have to change yourself. You don’t have to become more you don’t have to grow. You don’t have to do anything hard. You can just sit there and be like, I’m a victim. And all this stuff is happening to me. With that attitude, though, what are you going to accomplish? Nothing.
You’re never going to grow, you’re never going to accomplish something bigger, and you’re never going to move past where you are right now. And if you want to move past where you are right now, and if there’s this other version of you that you’re working towards, then I’m going to tell you right now you have to stop blaming, you have to take responsibility.
So often times we look inside for the problem, and that’s a good thing. But you can do that and do it sort of the wrong way. You can be asking yourself really terrible questions. Like you can say to yourself, why is losing weight so hard for me? How come I can never run faster? How can I fail at everything I do? These are known as, and I say this a lot, these are called terrible questions.
They’re terrible. Because when you ask questions like, why is losing weight so hard? You’re going to find answers. You know, oh, because I always eat junk food. And I can never do this. And I’m never good enough.
Why can’t I run faster? Because I’m slow. I’ll always be slow. I just keep getting slow. Why do I fail at everything? Because I can never accomplish anything. I’m destined to be a failure. I’m never good enough. I can’t be successful like other people. These are terrible questions.
Don’t ask yourself those kinds of questions. Stay away from questions like that. Okay? Instead, you want to reframe these questions, you want to start asking yourself better questions. So it’s good that you’re looking within for the problem, and the solution, but you have to ask better questions.
So instead of why is losing weight so hard, say how can I make losing weight easier? What do I need to do to make this process easier for me? Do I need to write a list every day and make a plan every single day? Do I need to include foods that I really enjoy and make it fun?
Like, what do I need to do to run faster? Instead of why can’t I ever run fast? Oh, I need to do more speed work? I can start focusing on tempo runs? You know, instead of why do I always fail and everything, it’s like, how can I start being a success?
What can I do today, that’s going to help me to succeed at this thing, losing weight, getting stronger, getting faster? Stop the blame game, and start taking radical responsibility. You have to stop blaming everyone and everything that’s outside of you for why you can’t accomplish what you want to accomplish.
If you want to lose weight, if you want to run faster if you want to get stronger, stop blaming, and start taking radical responsibility. Radical responsibility means you take responsibility for all of the results that you’re getting, or not getting in your life.
If it’s not working, the problem is you. If it is working, you did that. Okay. It has nothing to do with what’s out there. What’s outside of you has nothing to do with whether or not you can accomplish the things that you want for yourself. But it has everything to do with what’s inside you. So once you see that the problem is you that’s good.
Okay, now you can get to work fixing it because you can you can control that. You can take control over what is within you. The only thing you can control. Radical responsibility means you accept responsibility for everything in your life.
Every result that you’re getting, or not getting, everything good, bad, and ugly in your life. You did that. When you get to that place of taking radical responsibility, that is a humongous first step in you know, being able to accomplish all these things that you want for yourself, okay?
Once you take radical responsibility, you can be like, oh, great, now I’m the problem. And here’s my situation. And here’s what I need to do to get things back on track. Okay, if the problem is always out there, you have every excuse in the world to fail. But if the problem is you, you have everything you need within you to succeed.
And listen, you always, always get to choose. Okay, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I will talk to you soon.