127. What's awesome? Not what's awful.

By: Michael Beiter

 

"I need someone to be on my ass and tell me I'm a fat fuck and that I need to eat better and work out more." - Inquiring client

Too many people think this is what they need. It's not. 

If you're going to have any shot at changing your behavior for more than just a few weeks you need to realize people don't change in response to being told they suck. 

Don't get me wrong, I've tried. I used to provide scathing feedback and pointed out all the things that weren't being done well out of my clients. This did little more than demoralize them and get them one step closer to quitting. 

Once I started ignoring the bad and focusing on the good my business blew up and my clients started changing their lives. It was a matter of choosing optimism versus pessimism. 

You've heard the saying: "Do you look at a glass half empty or half full?"

Your response indicates your focus. Choose full and you're optimistic. Choose empty and you're pessimistic. 

You need to feel good about your abilities in order to build momentum for sustained change and that is NOT done by always trying to improve your awful behaviors. It is done by growing your awesome ones. 

Drink too much and too often? You're not a hopeless alcoholic with no control. You food logged a few times during the month and with more practice there you will surely reduce drinking. It costs too much. 

Stressed out and anxious so that you can't sleep? You aren't dealing with chemical imbalances or a faulty brain, you need to pump up your stress reducing activity numbers. 

Research shows we can positively learn how to be optimistic. Even if we have spent years as a pessimist. It works just like we suggest you to get better at eating and exercising. With practice. 

Practice => Skill => Mastery

You might have learned to be negative from your parents and acquaintances. You can unlearn that and replace it with positivity. 

It just takes reps. The sooner you start the sooner you will be able to change your behaviors. 

This is the same concept that encourages you to journal what you're grateful for. Just communicated differently. 

So, what do you do that is awesome? 

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