I’ve been wanting to write something about this quote for some time. The topic keeps coming up during conversations and I come back to this quote because it is so true.
For a long time I thought that change naturally came after keen self-awareness. Most of the time we change things we don’t like or things that we are tired of. So, it was nice for me to think that change would reasonably follow that process—that as soon as we saw something we wanted to change, we would work on changing it. But it doesn’t happen that way. People often recognize things that they don’t like and want to change but it does not mean that change is following.
So, when does it happen? When does committed action follow a desire for change? When is that turning point that gets YOU to change?
When you get tired of your own bullshit.
You have to get to a point where you see all the excuses you have been giving yourself for why you are not where you want to be. All the reasons you tell yourself why you do not have what you want to have. You have to get to a point where you see them for what they are.
You see, we all create our situations and experiences. This definitely includes our own excuses. We are the Wizards of Oz behind the curtains in our lives. When you can see your own bullshit and get really tired of it, transformation will follow. I am sure.
And by bullshit, I mean all the reasons you give yourself and others for not having what you want and for not doing what you say you are going to do. This includes all the ways you give yourself an “out.” For example, I have talked to a lot of people who have told me that they want to lose weight. I usually ask very specific questions next, “how much do you want to lose?”, “when would you like to lose it by?” “HOW MUCH DO YOU WEIGH RIGHT NOW?” If their answer is, “I do not know” to any of those questions or similar questions, I question whether they really want to lose weight. Because, why wouldn’t you know that? The fact that you don’t know is bullshit. Why wouldn’t you have weighed yourself by now? If your goal is to lose weight, that tells me that your weight matters to you. If your weight matters to you, why wouldn’t you know what it is?
If you want to get to point B from point A, shouldn’t you know where point A is? Shouldn’t you know where you are starting? Shouldn’t you know where you are going? There’s a reason why you might not know these things and that is probably where the bullshit lies.
The thing that is crazy is that we are really good at believing our own bullshit. This is why this stuff is hard! These are habits and ways of being that have been reinforced by our own repetitive behaviors through most of our lives. But this behavior does not serve us. Like when you see a WOD with all the exercises that you hate and you immediately feel how tired you are, you remember that you should really write that paper, that you should go see your grandma, etc. Conveniently missing days at the gym that do not cater to what you like or to your strengths is bullshit, also. Not doing what you say you are going to do is bullshit.
So, you might see what you want to change, recognize it and still no change. When you get more tired than you are comfortable, change will follow. It’s when it really matters to you that it will happen. Because there is no action where there is bullshit.
So, when you recognize some bullshit, what do you do? How do we push our way out of our comfort zones as I mentioned above?
You have to be an interruption to it. You have to choose DIFFERENTLY, DELIBERATELY and PURPOSEFULLY. And you must do this repeatedly.
Full disclosure: I avoid by analyzing. It allows me to stay in indecision so I don’t have to take action or….surprise, surprise…so I don’t have to make a decision. When I started going to the gym early in the morning, I was working out by myself and often did not know every detail of my programming or I how I should be scaling it, etc. Though I get up really early to go to the gym, I don’t necessarily enjoy waking up that early to go. I used to wake up just dreading everything. Then, I would drink coffee while deciding what I should do, how I should do it and if maybe I should wait for Tony to get out of work to ask him. I had to literally tell myself, “Stop!” and then gather my stuff and leave. To be an interruption to my behavior, I just had to walk out. I had to take action.
And everything within me wanted to resist my interruption. Because doing what you usually DON’T do is unfamiliar and does not feel easy. My mind would race with questions like, “What’s the point in going if you don’t know what you’re going to do? What if you go and it’s a waste of time? Etc.” I purposefully looked for ways to distract my mind and told myself not to think about these questions. And you know what, guys? I figured out what to do at the gym when I got there. Most of you know that I’m also a coach. Lol. So, why was I worried about those things? Because it was my bullshit; because it was my way to give myself an “out” of a situation, to delay it until it was too late to go and then I did not have to do it.
You gotta walk the talk. If you want something, it will show. You won’t have to tell people about what you want or what you are up to because it will show by your actions day in and day out. With my sisters, we always say, “if someone was watching your life like a TV show but with no sound on, could they tell what your priorities are? Could they tell what you are up to in life without you having to tell them?” If your actions line up with what you want, there will no room for any other interpretation in your life. It will be clear to everyone. You will push your way out of your comfort zone even if it’s in baby steps. And at first, it might really suck. EXPECT YOUR OWN RESISTANCE and prepare for it. It might feel like so much freaking work. But it gets better. Just like you developed the habits that you have, you can develop new ones. But new ones will not develop doing things the old way. The old way got you what you do not want right now.
In a sense, your transformation and goal attainment is your feedback. If you are not where you want to be, think about why. Think about whatever bullshit you might be feeding yourself, whatever is making you complacent where you are, whatever is telling you that you are okay in your comfort zone. Then, if you’re tired of it, fight it. Fight the bullshit.