Why don’t we do the things we know would be good for us?

...Because part of us doesn't believe we deserve the good things. If you want to stop going round in frustrating circles, then it's that underlying belief that needs attention first.


I think all of us are familiar with the frustration that comes from knowing what’s good for you and just not doing it. Whether it’s food choices or exercise habits, having a difficult conversation, less screen time, cutting down on alcohol or not repeating the same patterns of behaviour in relationships or with money, there are so many things that can trigger that mild feeling of shame around what we don’t do.

We are encouraged by the world around us to “just have more discipline” - as if the problem is some weakness or flaw in us. But it’s not - it’s just an underlying belief, which is something you can change.

Why you can’t just be more disciplined

You can’t suddenly just start doing things that you’ve resisted or avoided doing before now. If you take that route, you’ll waste a lot of precious energy on endless fresh starts, new routines, make-or-break deadlines, etc. But whatever it is that’s really stopping you will remain underneath it all, anchoring you to that behaviour of not doing what you know would be good for you.

The solution? Find out why you’re not doing these things. Identify the belief - and then change it.

The why is often a deep-seated belief that we don’t deserve to have what we want. And by deep-seated I mean unconscious, so it’s unlikely that you’re aware of it unless you’ve actually stopped to examine your language and behaviours.

“I don't deserve it” might not be a belief many of us admit to having - and yet, so many of us do have it. There will be subtle signs that it's there. Like:

  • giving up quickly when you try to do something new or establish healthier habits
  • a fear of failure that often means you don't even start
  • being really hard on yourself
  • feeling powerless to make any changes in your life
  • failing at discipline and consistency

This can also manifest as a fear of success, which sounds insane. But it’s the fear of actually living the life you say you want and having nothing to moan about. Some of us really build an identity around having something to complain about or feel sad about, which will feed our negative view of ourselves and the world. It feels familiar and safe. As a result, when an opportunity presents itself to be happy, satisfied, etc, we sabotage it. Because deep down we don’t believe we deserve it.

The main message here is that you can invest £££s in fitness, take your vitamins, hydrate, date, feng shui your home, buy new things, get your hair done, etc, but if you don’t deal with what’s going on in your head, nothing will actually change for you.

You will forever waste energy trying to make positive changes to your mind, body, relationships, work, how you think and how you act if you don't stop and look at what's been preventing you from doing that before now. It’s like being attached to an elastic band that repeatedly pings you back to the place where you’ve been stuck for years.

Is it time to change the habits of a lifetime?

As a resilience coach, it's my job to help you uncover what is anchoring you to where you don’t want to be. I can show you the steps between “I don't think I can” and “I did it!”. I’ve been doing this for a while now and can tell you that this process is always much simpler than you think it’s going to be. It's not necessarily easy, but it's simple.

Through our sessions, you’ll be able to see exactly what it is that keeps you from doing the things you wish you could. You'll get the tools to change that underlying belief for something much more positive and empowering.

I guarantee your current stuckness has nothing to do with not being able to do the things that are good for you. It has everything to do with just not having found the right approach - or the right coach. Book an intro call today if you think that might be me.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Winchester, Hampshire, SO23
Written by Alex Pett
Winchester, Hampshire, SO23

Alex is an ICF trained and NLP cert coach focused on helping people to deepen their resources to adapt and bounce back - and go on to thrive. She works with resilience to help clients build confidence, motivation, recover from burnout, set boundaries, find joy and move beyond limiting beliefs. Clients achieve tangible change in 6-9 sessions.

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