Updated: Jul 14, 2021
Do you ever say "I'll do it... but later", and part of you believes you'll actually do it, yet another part says "really? come on, you soooo aren't". It could be doing a workout, meal planning, making a phone call, responding to an email, or tidying something up.
You know that doing whatever "it" is will make you feel better and take some stress away, but there's something that is just making you flat out resist it.
(by the way, if your struggling specifically with sticking to a nutrition plan, you'll want to read this). "Are you struggling to lose weight and get fit, because you can't find a style that fits your life?"
This sucks right? Because you hate that you aren't taking action, but you can't figure out why the fuck you aren't just doing it.
HERE'S THE WTF ON "ALL TALK NO ACTION"
Anytime there's a resistance to taking action, consider it a message for you. It's a way that part of you is trying to communicate there's something that needs addressing first, before you can meet that commitment.
Just remember, there's a reason you aren't taking action, if there was no reason, you wouldn't be feeling the way you do.
Imagine that feeling of avoiding something, is a separate part of you, like it's its own person. It's supportive of you and wants the same things as you, but like a business partner, it has it's own concerns about how to get to the end result.
Now, pretend it is in fact a business partner, do you take the time to talk with your business partner? To listen to their concerns? If you want to do well with your business, then yes absolutely you do!
So now, you and your avoidance are going to have a talk.
With my fitness and nutrition coaching clients, I refer to this talk as a round table discussion, where we invite "avoidance" or whatever feelings my clients might be dealing with, to show up and discuss their obstacles, concerns and needs, and again, it's as though each feeling is it's own person. Have a little fun with this, sometimes my clients will imagine this discussion occurring over cocktails, other times it's in an boardroom, whatever atmosphere you need to create in your head to make this comfortable and fun is what you should do.
We literally acknowledge the feeling and give it a name “Hey Avoidance, thanks for coming, I know you have some important things to say and I’m here to listen.” This may sound ridiculous but you'd be surprised at how well this works! Now, the trick is, you do have to really, and I mean really listen to what Avoidance has to say with no interruptions; because this meeting will quickly become heated, end in everyone being irritated, resentful and it will've been a complete waste of time, I HATE those meetings, lets keep it short, direct and to the point!
Once everyone has voiced their concerns, the next step is to find a way forward.
Here's how this looks:
1. Next time you're avoiding something, acknowledge avoidance is standing right there "Hey, I see you." (be nice to it)
2. Literally invite it to have a conversation about why it's there. "Why are you avoiding (whatever you're avoiding)" ex, doing your workout, meal planning, finishing that project.
3. Listen to what it has to say.
It might say something like this:
"I'm avoiding the workout because it's hard"
"I'm avoiding the project because it's not fun"
"I'm avoiding meal planning because it's too much work"
4. Ask Avoidance "what would you need in order to want to (whatever you're avoiding)
From here, the answers are usually quite simple, like,
"I would need it to feel easy"
"I would need to turn some music on to make it fun"
"Meal planning is too big, I would need to break it down and do one step at a time"
Sometimes you might not get the answer right away, be patient and supportive of that avoidance feeling, and eventually it will feel like it's safe enough to tell you what it needs, that may sound weird but if you don't work WITH your feelings, you're working against them.
Save this post so the next time you're avoiding something, you'll have the steps to be efficient, effective and accomplished, not only with your fitness and nutrition goals, but in other areas of your life too.
Certified Personal Trainer and Life Coach
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