28. How to Believe In Yourself
Welcome to episode 28 of the Mindful Weight Loss podcast. I am your host and your coach, Emily Erekuff and first off I need to apologize to you guys because some of you had a pretty bad experience listening to, or attempting to listen to the last episode because of overlapping audio in the beginning.
You guys, I'm so sorry. I do my own editing and I did not catch that, and clearly nor did I check the episode before uploading. Again, I'm sorry and I will do my best to make sure that doesn't happen again. And the episode is fixed now, so if you turned it off as I totally would have, you can go listen now and have a good experience.
Ok, so today I want to talk about how to believe in yourself, because that is really the foundation to create not just weight loss but ANYTHING.
And there are 3 main steps to believing in yourself and the change you want to create.
1. Decide what to believe
2. Create evidence to reinforce your belief
3. Celebrate that evidence and look for more
And now, there is sort of a sub step to step 1. In order to believe whatever you want you first have to believe that doing just that is even possible. I know some of you don't think you can. You don't think you can choose what to believe. You think you can only believe in what's true.
But really, beliefs are like ice cream flavors. Just as you can choose mint chocolate chip or cookie dough, you can choose to think "I'm losing weight" or "I'm gaining weight".
And if your brain says, "wait, but one of those statements really is true and the other is false" what you need to realize is that your thought is independent of reality. Your thought is the thing that creates reality. Your thought is primary. You may be gaining weight this very moment, but as soon as you choose to believe "I am losing weight" you change the course of your reality.
We are brought up to have a material view of the world. We think the world exists and then we think about it, and for many, that is the way it is and that's why they are always stuck.
We think there's some sort of safety in clinging to reality, but clinging to reality is just clinging to the past. The past is old news, because you are always creating your future in your mind. The problem is that when we are constantly looking to the past, that's what we keep recreating.
But if the wright brothers only believed in what was true, they never would have invented the airplane and if you only believe in what's true then you'll never change. You'll never lose weight and you'll never achieve things that you aren't already achieving.
And the thing that I think is just so amusing about this is that the very act of choosing to think that you can believe anything you want, proves that you can. You literally create that reality just by thinking the thought.
I can believe whatever I want. And so it is.
Step 1: Decide what to believe
So, ok, so you can believe whatever you want.
But then how do you choose. If there's no right and wrong. If it's not based on reality, how then do you evaluate which belief is best to choose?
Just like choosing an ice cream flavor, choose what you want. Choose what feels good.
Like the choice between losing weight or gaining weight, or even maintaining weight is pretty obvious right?
However there is some refinement that we may need to do here to make sure your belief is actually believable and best serves you.
Because what we tend to do is focus on the ultimate goal and life at the finish line. When we believe in weight loss, we picture ourselves having lost it all, which is awesomely motivating right?
But it can also be defeating when we see how far away we are from that goal. It's like too big of a leap for us to make and we idealize it and it becomes more of a dream than something we can actually create.
And here's the thing. If you were just to make that massive leap and become the thin person you dream of being overnight, you would miss the journey and all the learning, growth and becoming that comes with it. Ugh, I know. I want to role my eyes at that too. How many times can we be told that it's about the journey, not the destination? I'm right with you. It's like, hi we all love Amazon Prime because we get what we want as soon as possible without having to lift more than a finger. In fact, if it's something we really want, we'll even check the status of the order multiple times before we get it like 2 days later.
I'm right there with you, but you've got to step into that wiser, more spiritual, more mindful part of yourself and laugh at that impatient you. You've got to brainwash yourself and choose to believe that the journey really is an experience you won't want to miss AND that embracing the journey will actually get you to your destination that much faster.
Abraham Hicks says that the only reason we desire things in the first place is to have the joyful journey towards them.
And I would argue that's totally true, especially so with weight loss. I think the ultimate reason we are drawn to lose weight is because of the mental shift it requires. It's not really about being thin, it's about expanding who we are. And so yeah if you just woke up tomorrow thin, you would have missed out on all the expansion and the victory of being thin would feel incredibly hollow and meaningless, and you'd find something else to "fix" or quickly gain all the weight back.
So you want to break your goal down into smaller goals and here's the essential part that people miss when they do this: you need to maintain your focus on that larger goal and consciously see each small goal as an integral part of that larger one.
What happens for most is you break the goal down, but then you lose sight of the larger goal and the excitement, the positive motivation fades away. And when you're not as motivated it's easier to back out on the behaviors that produce results and tell yourself that these smaller changes don't matter.
But remember way back in Episode 18 I said that small changes matter so much because they change your brain.
So if you need to lose say 30 pounds, make each pound it's own goal and get just as excited about each pound as you would the 30, because each pound is part of the 30. It IS the 30. And you've got to maintain consciousness of that. If you aren't celebrating, appreciating and feeling immense gratitude for each pound, you are missing the journey and as a result you won't get to your destination.
This also kind of works the other way too in that the confidence and belief that you have in the smaller goal can influence your larger goal.
Compared to losing 30 pounds, loosing one pound sounds easy right. And yet, it's not really any different. You're just losing 1 pound 30 times.
It's the dramatic shift of the 30 pounds that drives that excitement; that makes it seem more like a dream. The one pound is less dreamy, but it's more certain. The one pound is less exciting, and more calm. And the one pound is less dramatic, but you have more confidence in it.
And that's a good thing. We want the 30 pounds to become a reality, right? We don't want it to be an exciting dream. We kind of want it to be ho hum, to an extent. So as you contemplate your goal, really make a point of sort of zooming into the small goals and zooming back out to the larger goal and allow yourself to see that they are one in the same and allow yourself to borrow the feelings of the one to positively feed the other. Allow your feelings about the big goal to drive your excitement to reach those small goals and allow your feelings about the small goals to drive your confidence to reach the large one.
There is no reason you shouldn't be just as confident and certain that you can lose 30 pounds as you are about losing one. Again, 30 pounds is just 1 pound lost 30 times.
So when you are deciding what to believe, break your goal down into subparts that you can be certain that you will achieve, and practice believing in both your larger and smaller goals.
Step 2: Create evidence to reinforce your belief
In step 2 you create evidence to support what you choose to believe. And small steps here are fantastic because this is a case where quantity kind of trumps quality a bit because the more evidence we have the stronger we reinforce our belief.
So say your belief is. "I'm going to lose 1 pound within the next week."
Now think about all the small things that could contribute to that: getting enough sleep each night, staying hydrated each day, planning balanced meals each day, maybe swapping fruit for a more indulgent dessert one night of the week, taking a walk around the block after lunch a few times during the week, planning for snacks and being aware of your hunger levels during those times so you don't overdo it, or making sure you don't restrict yourself and planning for something you really love and enjoying every single bite of it.
And I don't say this to overwhelm you - this is not what's required. Rather this is a list of all that is possible. There is a veritable buffet of small actions you can take during the week to lose that pound and you can choose the ones you want to do.
And now you might say, ok, walking around the block after lunch sounds good, but that's not going to help me lose weight is it?
And my answer is: It is if you believe it is.
Because it's not about the calories burned. That action is so much more than that and we need to stop reducing our actions to that single factor. A walk after lunch might provide you stress relief and enjoyment which might help you not overeat at other times. It might give you some vitamin D. It gives you time to be more mindful and tune into your direct experience. It might help you eat a lighter lunch. If you plan for it and follow through, it does wonders for your own sense of integrity and your view of how you keep your commitments. And if you allow yourself to feel proud of yourself for doing it, it will motivate you to create more small wins and it's when these things all compound that we lose that 1 pound.
Step 3: Celebrate that evidence and look for more
Celebrate that evidence AND look for more.
And a journal of some kind is really essential so that you can write these things down. The goal here is to create a nice long list so you can recognize all that you are doing to make your goal a reality.
If you are going to lose 1 pound in a week, you might title the list, all the amazing things I'm doing to lose 1 pound:
And then you can write down and celebrate all the steps you are taking as you take them. Look back each day and record your wins. Ooh, today, I slept 8 hours. I ate a balanced breakfast with protein carbohydrates and fat. I had a handful of nuts for a snack. I listened to my body at lunch and stopped when I was satisfied. I drank 60 oz of water.
And then do it again the next day and add all those wins to your list.
And don't record only those wins that you planned for, look for others because there are so many more. Just about any time you aren't overeating and you are taking care of yourself you are contributing to weight loss. And when you consciously look for that evidence, you will find it.
Maybe you already get enough sleep. Well that's still a win. Maybe you already meditate for a few minutes each day. That's also a win. Or you might notice that you managed your stress really well one day. And maybe on another you notice that you didn't criticize yourself for a mistake like you normally would. Maybe you smiled at yourself in the mirror. Maybe you skipped your daily chocolate after dinner because you didn't feel like it or you just forgot. Maybe you were satisfied with one glass of wine instead of two. And maybe you really savored your dinner and felt really satisfied. Maybe you were really in the present moment when you had a conversation with someone.
Really the sky is the limit here. If you can see any contribution to maintaining a positive frame of mind, you can call that a win towards weight loss. And then look at how much of your life can contribute to helping you get what you want.
Heck, just making this list each day is a huge win.
And from here you simply rinse and repeat. Each day you can renew your commitment to your belief, create more evidence to support it and then celebrate all the ways you are binging yourself closer to your goal. Add them all up over the week or whatever timeline you choose, and watch as they compound and create weight loss.
Give this a try this week and see how enjoyable this process can be - step 4 in particular. Believing in yourself is such a good feeling and each and you deserve to have that each and every day. And as you do this you will come to really understand that losing weight is about feeling good. This is one of the best demonstrations of that there is. This is enjoying the journey.
Gosh, I'm feeling so good about this. I'm so excited for you to try this. Hey and if you do, I'd love to hear about your experience. Connect with me on Instagram or Facebook and post a comment or send me a message.
And if you haven't taken my free course, why not make this the week that you do and you'll create tons more evidence to add to your list.
Take care and I'll see you next week.