Self-sabotage is when you say you want to lose 30 lbs but you find yourself eating chocolate cake every day. What is happening here? By eating the cake, you are completely undermining what you say …
53. How to Overcome Self-Sabotage
My name is Patrick McGilvray. And I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve learned that running more and eating less does not work for weight loss and that there’s a better way. Now I help runners like you to get leaner and get stronger, so you can run faster and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 53 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners. And today, this is actually the very first episode of 2021. This episode will come out on January the first. So Happy New Year, everyone. And I thought it was appropriate to talk about this topic, especially as we start the new year and that is how to overcome self-sabotage.
Self sabotage is one of those things that we all do. We’ve all done it. No one, none of us are immune to it. Self sabotage is like when you say I want to lose 30 pounds, but then you find yourself eating chocolate cake every day. What is happening? When you eat the cake, you’re undermining your goals. You’re undermining what you really want for yourself.
Okay, so if this sounds familiar to you this kind of thing. Rest assured you’re not alone, we all do it. The problem though most people think that self-sabotage is just something that happens. It’s like a part of life, and they have no control over it. That is not the case, the reality is that we absolutely can do something about it. So I’m going to talk about what self-sabotage is, and how we can overcome it in this episode. Okay.
Real quick, the Running Lean monthly coaching group opens in just a couple of days, January 3, 2021. This is my monthly group coaching program, where first of all, you get access to all of my online courses, including my flagship program called the weight loss training course for runners. This is where you learn exactly how to become an efficient fat-burning machine.
Right, you want to lose weight, you got to burn fat if you want to be able to run longer and farther and, and more efficiently. Fat is a great source of fuel. So you got to transform yourself into an efficient fat burner. So I’ll teach you exactly how to do that. You also get in the monthly coaching group, you get these live group coaching calls with me and your fellow runners.
So you get the group support, the encouragement, you get the accountability, you get help, you get to ask questions, and get answers. I want to help you reach your goals in 2021. Joining the monthly coaching group is a great way to do it. We’re also going to be doing a powerful goal-setting workshop in January called achieving the impossible I want to help you achieve some impossible goals in 2021.
So join the monthly coaching group and you can do all of that amazing stuff. Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join and let’s make 2021 a year of transformation. Become the badass runner you’ve always wanted to be; runningleanpodcast.com/join. And then I did want to mention that we have a new challenge that we just started over in the Running Lean community on Facebook.
So come check us out over there because we’re doing the January journal challenge and that is where I am challenging you to write in a journal every day for the month of January. Now you might be thinking Patrick, whatever. What is this like a dear diary kind of a thing? No, it is not.
This is like journaling, with intention. Journaling, with purpose journaling because you want to accomplish something. Journaling is an amazing way to help you reach your goals. Whether you’re journaling, for weight loss journaling, for some big running goal. Some people will call it a training log or a food log. You can call it whatever you want. There are different ways you can journal.
But the benefits of journaling are amazing in that it’s just such an incredible way of creating a new positive mindset, but also helping you create new thought habits, new thought patterns, and helping you to answer reach your goals. So we’re going to be talking all about what journaling is and how to do it the right way.
And I also have daily journal prompts that I’ll be offering up to you all through the month of January. So it’s going to be kind of a fun challenge that we’re doing in the Facebook group. So go just go to Facebook and search for Running Lean community. Okay.
Bring on the self-sabotage stuff. Today I’m talking about how to overcome self-sabotage. So let’s talk about what self-sabotage actually is. So the definition of self-sabotage, if you look it up, on the Googles, it says, self-sabotage refers to behaviors or thought patterns that hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do.
Self-sabotage is when you consciously or unconsciously undermine your thoughts, dreams, goals and desires. So when I look at those definitions, I’m like, Whoa, that is? That is a very, very good definition. So I kind of combine that and say self-sabotage is patterns of thoughts or behaviors that hold you back keep you stuck, or prevent you from reaching your goals. So how do you know if you’re self-sabotaging?
Like how do you know that this is something you’re actually doing. One thing you can do is take a look at your current actions, your behaviors are the things you’re doing in alignment with your long-term goals. If not, then it could be a form of self-sabotage. For example, let’s say you want to lose weight, and you decide you’re going to stop eating sugar and flour. This is a pretty, pretty common thing to do, right? If you want to try to lose weight.
So you stop eating all the refined carbs, you stop eating all the sugar, and like you’re doing okay, maybe for a couple of weeks, you’re doing okay, but then you have like a stressful day at work. And there’s like an accident on your way home, it takes you forever get home, you’re stuck in traffic, you come home, you’re tired, you’re frustrated, you open up the fridge because you’re going to your plan on eating a healthy dinner, you got a salad and a piece of chicken that you’re gonna have for dinner.
So you open up the fridge, you’re standing there, lo and behold, there’s this beautiful chocolate cake just sitting right there calling out to you eat me, it’ll make you feel better. You’re all stressed out, this is going to fix all of your problems. Chocolate Cake talking to you. So instead of eating your healthy dinner of chicken and salad like you planned on doing, you just grab the cake and you eat the whole thing while you’re standing there with the door open.
And you’re like I don’t understand what’s happening. I’m self-sabotaging. So you have this long-term goal, you want to lose weight, but your behavior standing there in front of the fridge with the door open eating a whole chocolate cake is completely undermining your progress towards your goals. Right.
So this is what self-sabotage looks like. Okay. And I know this is kind of an extremely funny example. But we do it to some degree like this all the time. Okay. Here’s a more subtle example of self-sabotage. And this may be something that you can relate to, because this is my experience.
So a few years ago, I stopped doing the longer distance running, I stopped running marathons and running ultra marathons. And I loved doing that. This is like who I was. I was like the ultra marathon guy, you know, and I just love getting out there and running all the 50K’s and the 50 milers, and stuff like that.
And I just stopped doing it because I told myself all this stuff. I gave myself all these reasons why I didn’t want to keep doing these long-distance events. So I told myself I was getting too old is too hard on my body. It’s not good for me, oh, it’s hard on your knees. Whatever those days are behind me, you know, the glory days are behind like it’s just all gonna go downhill from here, whatever. I was telling myself all this stuff. That is not what I really wanted for myself though.
What I really wanted for myself was I wanted to continue to be the ultramarathon guy. I wanted to continue to run the long-distance events but subconsciously, I was telling myself all these little stories because I was afraid because training for those events and running those events is hard, and it’s uncomfortable.
And I was telling myself all these little lies, basically, because I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable. You know, it was getting me outside my comfort zone when I started thinking about running a marathon again are these Ultras, and I just didn’t want to feel uncomfortable. So I told myself all these lies, and then I just stopped running the long-distance stuff.
Okay, so that’s pretty subtle, right? I mean, you, you kind of think that you’re just, you know, these are just the this is just the truth. And this is just, these are all the reasons why I can’t do this anymore. But, you know, kind of underlying all that was this lie. This lie that I was trying to just stay safe and secure and comfortable.
When in reality, I really wanted to continue doing those things that brought me so much joy. Yeah, they’re hard to do, but they brought me so much joy and, and fulfillment when I did that, okay. But I was self-sabotaging by telling myself all these lies. You know, another subtle way of self-sabotaging is to just say to yourself, you know, I’m okay, being overweight, I’m okay, at this weight, I’m just, I’m fine the way I am. Even though, deep down inside, you really want to lose
30 pounds. And I’m not talking about like, body image issues or anything like that, if you’re okay with where you are, like, honestly, like you, you don’t want to lose weight, that is perfectly fine.
But if deep down inside, you really do want to lose weight. But you’re telling yourself, you know, lies like, I’m okay, where I am, or, you know, this just never really works for me anyway. Or it’s just kind of too hard. I don’t want to be that uncomfortable. All those things, we tell ourselves our little subtle forms of self-sabotage. Okay, so just be mindful of that.
Okay, I’m just kind of going through what self-sabotage looks like, and how it can be kind of subtle. Why do we do this? Why do we self-sabotage? Why do we say we want to do something, but then do something different? And really, it has to do with wanting to stay comfortable, you know?
Our brains are always looking for safety, like our brains are really good at seeking comfort and avoiding pain. Okay, this is great. This is helped us to evolve as human beings over millions of years. You know, seek pleasure, avoid pain, this works really well. So when we self-sabotage, we’re actually getting a positive effect by doing this to ourselves.
Our brains are thinking that it’s a positive effect because we’re avoiding some sort of pain, right? Some sort of discomfort. Right? So it might be the feeling of safety, security, or just plain old comfort, right? So but that primitive part of our brain wants to avoid any sort of discomfort, discomfort, you know, feels like pain to our brain.
And so we might just go, oh, you know, running a marathon. That’s hard work that’s like, this is discomfort. I don’t want that. You got to stay safe. Come over here. The same thing with like, when you tell yourself, oh, losing weight is too hard, or I can’t do it. Or maybe I’m just okay being this way.
You’re telling yourself, I don’t want to go through the discomfort of losing the weight, I don’t want to go through any kind of discomfort. So instead of reaching this goal, that might be a little uncomfortable getting there.
I’m just going to keep telling myself that I’m okay where I am, even though that’s not really what you want. So that’s what self-sabotage looks like. And that’s kind of why we do it. Think about where in your life right now. You’re avoiding pain and discomfort.
You know, what goals do you have? Where you’re where you might have to get uncomfortable? And how are you avoiding achieving that goal or working towards that goal? How are you avoiding getting uncomfortable? Because your brain is telling you to stay safe? Think about that.
It’d be interesting to kind of hear what you guys think about where you’re seeing this in your own life. Okay. But self-sabotage the positive benefit we get from it is that it keeps us from having to feel uncomfortable, right, but disk Comfort is the price we have to pay if we want to achieve anything worthwhile. You know, I talk about this all the time, right?
Embrace the suck, embrace the discomfort. But for example, if I decide I’m never going to run another marathon, then I don’t have to go through any of that pain and discomfort of training for the marathon. If I never, if I say I’m never running an ultra again, you know ultras are too hard, that’s too hard on my body, I’m too old, those days are behind me, then I never have to go through the discomfort of training for one again, I can stay safe right here, my little comfort zone.
You know, if you say to yourself, I’m okay, being overweight, it’s too hard to lose weight, all that stuff, then you don’t have to endure any of that discomfort of losing the weight, right? You just keep eating the chocolate cake. And, and you’re good, you’re comfortable. You’ve succeeded in staying in your comfort zone, good job. You’ve succeeded in avoiding all the pain and seeking out the pleasure.
You’re satisfying that primitive part of your brain. But the things you really want for yourself, your hopes, your dreams, and your goals are all washed away. Right? So why do we self-sabotage as we think we’re getting some positive benefit, which is to stay comfortable. But is that what you really want for yourself? I say, no.
So here are some ways that we self sabotage some ways that are a little subtle, and you may not be thinking about all the time, but they’re not as obvious. So one way that we self-sabotage is by procrastinating. So this is the act of, you know, delaying, or postponing doing something. Okay, so we put something off because we don’t feel like doing it. Well, I’ll do it tomorrow.
When you put it off, when you say I’ll do it tomorrow, you don’t have to deal with it right now, you don’t have to do anything uncomfortable right now. Right? When you say, Oh, I’m going to change my diet, I’m going to change the way I eat, I’m going to focus on my nutrition, you know, starting next month.
So that’s a very safe thing for you to do, it causes no immediate discomfort, you just push it off. And then when next month comes, you’re like, I know, I said I was going to do that. But I’m really not ready for that yet. And I’ve got all these other things going on in my life. So I’m just going to, I’m going to do it next month. And we just keep doing this right, we just keep delaying the discomfort. It’s just a constant delay, delay, delay.
Delay is a killer of hopes and dreams. If you just keep putting stuff off, you’re never gonna get it done. Okay? This is a very common way that we self-sabotage procrastination.
Another way we self-sabotage is by doing something called buffering. Buffering is where we use some external thing, food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, whatever, to try to make us feel good. Inside, we have difficult emotions we’re dealing with. And so we use something external, like food or alcohol, to feel better, right? We’re using something external to feel better internally.
You put a buffer between you and your emotions. And you know, it’s buffering because it always comes with some kind of negative consequences, right? So you might be stressed out. And so you eat and you gain weight. Right? you overeat, you eat all the chocolate cake, and you gain weight and you never reach your goal. This is when you know it’s buffering, okay?
Some people use shopping in the same way you get that little dopamine hit every time you buy something, you know, and it kind of feels good. People use drugs, and people use, you know, cigarettes and alcohol. Some people even use exercise as a form of buffering because they don’t want to deal with the stress in their life.
And so, instead of dealing with the emotional experiences you’re having, you just use something to feel better temporarily. Right? It doesn’t really help you with the emotion you’re experiencing with the stress with the anger with the sadness, whatever it is you’re experiencing. It just covers it up temporarily. It just kind of makes you feel good in the moment, right? Very, a very common way that people self-sabotage is using some substance or something to just try to make themselves feel better.
And it’s self-sabotage because, you know, think about it like alcoholics who drink too much. They know they shouldn’t drink but they do it anyway. They know that drinking is going to cost them their marriage, their job, they won’t see their kids they may lose everything, but they drink anyway, this is a very common way that alcoholics self-sabotage, right.
They would rather drink than have to deal with all the feelings and especially the feeling of like not having that alcohol in their system. Okay, so buffering, with food, with alcohol, with drugs, or with shopping is another way that we self-sabotage.
Another pretty subtle way we self-sabotage is by just never starting anything. And this is like procrastination. But it just kind of goes on and on, you actually never do anything at all. And I see this, a lot of times, I talk to people all the time about changing their diet, right, and changing their relationship with food and changing their health and their fitness. And they tell me, without a doubt, I’m ready, I’m ready to lose weight, I’m ready to change my diet, I’m ready to, you know, go all-in on this, but then they never do anything about it.
You know, they just keep talking about it, they just keep saying they want to do it. I talk to people all the time, let’s say this. They want a different life for themselves. They want to be healthier. They want to eat better, they want to lose weight, they want to be in better shape, but they never do anything about they never get started.
I mean, it’s a little different than procrastinating, like constant procrastination. It’s like procrastination to the next level. Just never starting you, you just have to start. But again, it’s like one of those things, it’s uncomfortable. And we know it’s going to be hard. And so just talking about it is much easier than actually doing something about it. But the very, very common way that we self-sabotage.
How many things in your life have you been talking about doing? Think about it. How many things have you said, you know, it’d be nice to do that, to take that vacation, to change this about myself, to run a marathon, to whatever your goals are? Quit your job, start your own business, make more money, you know, get married, whatever it is, what is it that you just keep talking about, but never doing?
I’ll be honest with you, I keep talking about wanting to get out of here in the winter, and go live somewhere warm for at least a couple of months. And I keep talking about it. And I never do anything about it. I self-sabotage in that way. I’m gonna have to do something about it probably this year. Since I’m now that I’m bringing it up. I’m totally calling myself out on this. Oh my god.
But like, it’s one of those things that I’ve been talking about for a couple of years. And I really haven’t done anything about it. And I just need to like pull the trigger and do something about it. Go somewhere warm. Go live on a beach for 30 days in the winter. Oh my gosh, that’d be amazing. So I’m gonna do something about it. You watch.
Alright, another kind of subtle way that we self-sabotage is we just quit? I guess this isn’t that subtle. Right? Quitting is different from what I call failing. So, you know, there’s really no such thing as failure. Like, I think, you know, true failure is just quitting, honestly. But I think failure is a part of the process of accomplishing anything that you want in your life.
If you want to lose weight, let’s say, and you are trying a bunch of different things, and they’re just not working. Those are like little failures. And that’s okay. You just got to keep trying stuff until you figure out what works for you, right. I’ve been experiencing this lately, learning how to do a handstand, right? This is a goal of mine, it’s really hard to do.
It’s very, very challenging. And I keep failing, I keep falling down. And I can’t balance properly. And I’m not strong enough yet. But I keep doing it. So the only way that I could actually fail at that is if I just quit, like quitting is the ultimate self-sabotage. If I just keep trying, and I keep having these little failures, and I but I keep going and I keep learning what works and what doesn’t.
And this is what I’m doing. I’m falling down. I’m trying to get my hands down and falling down. I’m learning that I have to be I have to work on my balance. That’s a big part of this right and my core strength. So I’m working on those things, and I’m learning as I go. But if I were to just say like, oh, I tried it once and I can’t do it. And I quit. That’s like the ultimate self-sabotage. So I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna keep going.
So you may not even be aware of why you’re quitting. It’s kind of like what I was talking about earlier when I decided I wasn’t going to run the long-distance events anymore. I was justifying it and it sounded like, you know, justifiable, it sounded like these were good reasons for not wanting to run long distances anymore.
Oh, I’m too old. It’s too hard. I don’t like doing that. But really, I was just quitting, I just quit. I just gave up. I didn’t want to do that. That’s total self-sabotage right there. So those are a few other ways that we self-sabotage, some subtle, some not so much. But here’s what happens. Here are some of the negative side effects that we experience when we self-sabotage.
So you’ve you feel like you’re choosing safety and security, you feel like you’re staying comfortable. But what you’re really doing is you’re, you’re hurting yourself. And here’s how, when you self sabotage, in whatever way that looks like for you, whether it’s procrastination, quitting, whether that’s you know, buffering, or just like never starting anything, you just stay stuck where you are.
Right, if you want something that you don’t have, like, you have to get out of your comfort zone, right, everything you want, that you don’t already have is outside your comfort zone. But getting out of your comfort zone does not feel good is scary out there. It’s uncomfortable. It’s why it’s called comfort zone. It’s the unknown. In order to grow, in order to become the best version of you.
Like, let’s say you want to lose the weight and run faster, run farther, whatever that looks like for you. Whatever vision of yourself, you have for yourself, the person that you ultimately want to be, you can’t do any of those things. If you just stay stuck and comfortable where you are, you have to get uncomfortable.
When you self sabotage, you hold yourself back from reaching all these goals from becoming who you want to become. So you’ll never become that person. You’ll never know what you’re capable of achieving. You’re gonna miss the opportunity to find out what you can do and what you’re really made of. You’re never going to realize your full potential.
This is one of the most costly side effects of self-sabotage is that you’ll never reach your full potential. I have big goals for myself in 2021 I am very aware of the ways that I self-sabotage okay. I do it in some subtle ways. Sometimes it’s it looks like procrastination. Sometimes it looks like quitting. But I’m so aware of this now I know what I’m doing it.
And I know that when I find myself seeking comfort when I when I’m seeking when I’m when I would just want to feel safe and comfortable and complacent. I know I’m probably self-sabotaging in some way. I know when I find myself feeling uncomfortable, maybe a little bit afraid. Maybe a little bit on the edge. I know I’m not self-sabotaging. And I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be because I’m getting out of my comfort zone. I do that.
Isn’t that crazy, though? Like embracing the discomfort is kind of the opposite of what we’re taught our whole lives, right? We’re always taught like just feel good. You just want to feel good all the time. Just feel comfortable, safe, and secure. But that’s not how these things work. Because it’s not how you become more. Right? Self-sabotaging does make you feel safe and secure. But it also prevents you from becoming who you want to be. It prevents you from achieving big things.
So what do we do about all this? It’s probably what you’ve been asking yourself this whole time. How do we overcome self-sabotage, Patrick? Well, I’m gonna tell you right now, the first thing you want to do to overcome self-sabotage is to focus on taking aligned action on your goals and dreams.
So figure out what it is you want to accomplish. What are your goals? If you don’t have any goals, that’s actually a form of self-sabotage too, just FYI, right. Oh, I don’t have goals. No, you’re not going to you’re not going to achieve much then. Okay. But if you do have goals, I encourage you to have goals.
Think about one of your goals. And then think about everything you did yesterday. What did you do yesterday to work toward that goal? Did you do anything? Did you do a couple of things? Why or why not? This is what it means to take aligned action, you have a goal, and there’s something important that you want to achieve.
And then every day, every day, you take little steps towards reaching that goal. So your goal could be I want to run a marathon. And so yesterday, you ran a mile, and you logged your workout in your training journal, and you wrote a few notes about how you felt about that run. This is the kind of stuff we’ll be talking about in the journal challenge in the Facebook group, FYI.
So you took a line action, right, you ran and you logged some stuff in your trading journal, and you’re keeping track of your progress. And you stuck to your plan and you ran your workout yesterday. Perfect, you’re taking aligned action towards that goal.
Let’s say your goal is to lose 30 pounds. So you look at what you did yesterday, you planned your meals ahead of time, you didn’t snack between meals, you stuck to your plan, and you logged everything in your food journal, perfect. Another form of taking aligned action towards your goal. That’s what it means to take aligned action.
So if you’re not doing something each day, to move towards this goal that you say is so important to you. That could be a form of self-sabotage. Okay, so the number one thing you can do, to overcome self-sabotage is to take aligned action every day, when you focus on taking some sort of action that moves you in the direction of your goals of your hopes of your dreams, you can avoid self-sabotage.
The second thing you can do to overcome self-sabotage is to stop focusing on the past and focus on the future instead. If all of your attention, and all of your focus is on your past, who you used to be the all the ways that you have failed, all the things that have not worked for you, you are just going to stay stuck in that past, you’re going to keep creating more and more of that past in your future.
When we focus on all of our past shortcomings, and the things that have never worked for us, we just create more and more of that, in our future. Your past is just a series of thought patterns. It’s a series of mostly subconscious mental habits. And we need to break those old habits, we need to break out of those patterns, we need to start working on new thought patterns, we need to create new mental habits for our future.
We don’t want to keep doing and thinking and feeling the same things over and over again, that we’ve been doing in the past, right? So who is it you want to be in the future? Think about this, think about the future version of yourself. So you’ve already achieved your goal.
Let’s say you, you want to lose 30 pounds, you’re already there? What does that person look like? How do you think differently? Because you’ve already achieved this goal? How do you feel about yourself? Focus on that amazing future version of you. Instead of focusing on what you’ve done or not done in the past.
I have this vision for myself. I want to be stronger. I want to be more muscular. I want to be ripped. Okay. And I think about that future version of myself all the time, I see myself standing in the mirror looking at myself, and I’m kind of jacked. You know, I’m feeling really good about how I look and how I feel about myself.
And if I were to just focus on my past and how I haven’t really been able to build much muscle in the past, I only see my future vision of myself would be just that skinny guy who I used to be who lacks muscle definition. Focusing my attention on who I want to be that jacked version of myself who I want to become keeps me motivated and moving in that direction.
Whereas if I focused all my attention on how I’ve always been the skinny guy and I’ve never really been very muscular. I just feel All terrible about myself. And I’d always be moving in that direction. And when I say the skinny guy, I don’t, because I was pretty fat at some point, but I was still never had like muscle definition, right? I just had like fat arms, I didn’t have muscular arms, you know, and I want that. That’s what I’m working on.
But where you focus, your attention is the direction you move. So if I’m focusing my intention on this amazing, healthy, muscular version of myself in the future, I’m going to be moving in that direction. If I keep focusing on this person I used to be, that just doesn’t feel good at all. But I’ll be moving in that direction. I don’t want to do that.
So my encouragement for you in a way that you can really stop the self-sabotage is to stop focusing on what’s in your past, stop focusing on what hasn’t worked on your failures, and all that other stuff, and start focusing on who you want to become. Focus on the future you, and then you’ll always be moving in that direction.
Alright, and then the third way that we can overcome self-sabotage is to manage our minds. Right, we self sabotage, because we have thoughts and feelings about why we can’t do something or about how will never amount to anything, or it’s too hard, or that’s just not who I am anymore. Whatever thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves, you have to understand something, these thoughts that you have about yourself are not the truth. They’re just thoughts. They’re thoughts in your head. They’re just like sentences, you keep saying to yourself over and over again.
And sometimes we say these things to ourselves so often, and for so long, that they just become these deep-seated beliefs that we have about ourselves, even though they’re just thoughts, they’re not the truth. I had these beliefs that running Ultras was too hard, that I’m too old. And I thought these things over and over again until I quit training for those events. And in they became true for me.
So beliefs are just recurring thoughts that we have, like habitual patterns of thoughts. And honestly, you can change them if you want, you don’t have to hold on to them. I was holding on to them. And it was keeping me feeling terrible about myself and staying stuck and staying small. So if you have a belief that, like, let’s say, you have a belief that no matter what, you’ll never be able to lose weight, I can almost guarantee that you never, ever will be able to lose weight.
If this is a strong belief that you have about yourself, you’re never gonna be able to lose weight, I guarantee you. In order to stop the self-sabotage, you have to change these thought patterns. Right? And one of the first steps is just to recognize that all these thoughts are just that they’re just thoughts, then they’re not necessarily true. Just have that awareness. Your thoughts are just how you are choosing to respond to the world around you.
So here’s my example. You know, I had all these thoughts about how you know Ultras, were too hard. I’m too old. I don’t like doing them. Maybe just like running half marathons is better. Yeah, that’s what it was. Half marathons are better. This is like a thought that I was telling people like, oh, you know, you get it done in like two hours. And you know, the training is easier, and all these other things. And so I really believe this.
All of these thoughts, though, like, these beliefs that I had created, created this, like, whole belief system around ultras being too hard, and, you know, half-marathons being easier. And, man, it just became like, part of who I was, but it wasn’t the truth. You know, when I stopped to look at this and to really think about like, what am I doing here? Like, are marathons really too hard? Am I too old? Are halves really better than full marathons are Ultras, you know, only in my past?
And when I really sat down and asked myself these questions, the answer was like, no, none of this stuff is actually true. Lots of people would say, marathons are not too hard, or they’re not too old. I know people that are like in their 70s and 80s that still run marathons or Ultras, I know a lot of people that say a half marathons are not better than full marathons.
Like, I can decide what’s true for me. So I chose, eventually, that all these thought patterns that I had these beliefs that I had, were just that in that I don’t have to, like, hang on to this stuff anymore. Because hanging on to this stuff was just keeping me feeling small and safe and comfortable. Yeah, but also, I wasn’t doing the things I really wanted to do. pretty subtle. But it felt so true for me.
I really could justify not wanting to do these harder events because of these deep-seated belief systems they created all-around how hard this stuff was. And so this is like total self-sabotage, for me. So why this is so important is because your thoughts, create your reality, everything that you have in your life right now. All of it is created by your thoughts.
Things happen in your life, you have circumstances that happen in your life, and then you have thoughts about those circumstances. Right? Always, always, always you have thoughts about stuff that’s going on around you. And it’s your thoughts that create your feelings. So if you feel motivated, it’s because you had a thought about something that created that feeling of motivation. And then those feelings drive your actions.
So when you feel motivated, you take certain actions like usually, if you’re motivated in the right direction, those actions you’re taking are aligned actions that move you towards your goal. So when you think marathons are too hard, that creates a feeling of deep motivation inside you. And when you feel demotivated, you’re probably going to take action, that’s like self-sabotaging action, or you don’t do anything at all right, you just give up, you just quit, you don’t do it. That was my experience.
So I had all these thoughts, they created these feelings of like, discouragement, uncomfortable, or D motivation. And then I just gave up, right? This is all based on my thoughts. So the trick here is that you have to learn to control how you respond to everything happening in the world around you. Your thoughts, always create your feelings, your feelings, always drive your actions. Just know this, when you know this, you can start making some changes here.
Another example of how your thoughts create your results is if you constantly think you can’t lose weight, and you’re going to feel that those thoughts are going to make you feel defeated. Those thoughts or that feeling of being defeated is going to keep you from taking aligned action, right. So you’ll just stand in front of the fridge with the door open and eat the whole chocolate cake.
This is a classic, you know, self-sabotage. And it’s all caused by your own thoughts and feelings. Think about this, your current weight is a direct result of your thoughts, your beliefs, and your belief systems. And the emotions you create by your thoughts. All of it creates your current weight, it creates everything in your life right now.
And if you think well, doesn’t matter what I’ve done in my past, I’m going to lose these 30 pounds no matter what no matter how long it takes, I’m going to do whatever it takes. And I’m going to get there. This is a whole different way of thinking. This is going to make you feel super motivated. This is going to keep you sticking to your plan.
You’re going to take aligned action, regardless of there being chocolate cake in the fridge. And I can guarantee that you will lose weight. I see this all the time in my clients that tell me oh yeah, I just got through Christmas and there were all these cookies around and pies and everything and I didn’t even want to eat it. I stuck to my plan. And I felt so good about myself. And I’ve lost a few more pounds this week. That is amazing. It’s all because they’re choosing what to believe about themselves. They’re choosing thoughts that help them to stay motivated.
Change your thoughts. You change your reality change your thoughts, you can change your weight, change your thoughts and you can run an ultra. Okay. This is what it looks like when I say you got to manage your mind right you have to change what you’re thinking mindset is the key to all of this and you won’t get it perfect right away. This is a daily practice, I still work on this.
But when you have that awareness, when you keep working on it when you keep thinking about your thoughts, pretty meta, but when you keep focused on how your thinking is creating the results that you’re getting in your life, you can absolutely do something about it and you can start creating the results that you really want in your life by just changing your thoughts. Okay, and there, there becomes nothing that you can’t accomplish. There’s nothing you can’t do with the right mindset.
So quick recap here, self-sabotage. It’s patterns of thoughts and behaviors that hold you back that keep you stuck that prevent you from becoming who you really want to be. How do you know if you’re self sabotaging? Usually, it’s because your actions, your habits, and your behaviors are not in alignment with your long-term goals.
Why do we self-sabotage? Because our brains think we’re gonna get some kind of positive benefit from it. Like we’re avoiding pain, we’re seeking pleasure trying to stay comfortable. Some of the common ways we self-sabotage are by procrastination, buffering, we never start anything or we just quit, we just give up.
And some of the negative consequences of self-sabotage are really it just keeps us stuck. It holds us back and prevents us from becoming who we want to be from reaching our goals, from accomplishing our big impossible goals and dreams. And we just stay small. We never get to become the best version of ourselves.
And how do we overcome self-sabotage? Well, take aligned action towards your goals and dreams every single day. Remember to focus on your future, that future amazing version of you instead of your past. And then learn how to manage your thoughts and feelings. You change your thoughts, you change your results. Cool.
All right, I hope you got something out of this today. Remember, the Running Lean monthly coaching group opens up January 3, everything I just talked about here, how to take aligned action towards your goals, how to focus on your future, how to manage your mind, all of that stuff. We’re going to be talking about all of that in the monthly coaching group. I’ve got this brand new course called achieving the impossible. It’s going to be amazing.
You also get access to the weight loss training course for runners to learn exactly how to become a lean fat-burning machine, you get those live group coaching calls with me. Just go to runningleanpodcast.com/join. Enrollment opens January 3, go all-in on yourself, make 2021 the year you transform yourself into a lean, fat-burning running machine. Cool.
You got this, my friends. Hey, thank you for joining me every week here in 2020. I am looking so forward to 2021. As always, lots and lots of love to each and every one of you keep on Running Lean. I’ll talk to you soon.
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