Why you are likely your own worst enemy and yet greatest asset

Ever wondered why you regularly set out with good intentions but somehow end up right back where you started, like every time you try? Well, it's not by accident but by design. Let me explain. 

Image

In a nutshell, we all have a self-image embedded within our subconscious. This representation as to who we think we are regulates many of our behaviours and habits. For example if we have a self-image of someone who always falls short, struggles to be consistent and just isn't very disciplined when it comes to our eating and drinking habits and indeed exercise routines, our behaviours and habits, in the end, line up to this self-image.

We, of course, reinforce this self-image as we repeatedly fall short, but also as we talk ourselves into more of the same. You see, this self-image was formed over many years. Over the years we likely told ourselves the stories we tell ourselves as to why we fail. Too busy, too tired, too stressed, just not the right time or even that we're different to everybody else and our bodies just don't respond like other people's do. And in the end we believe these stories. Our brain doesn't know or care for the truth. It just listens and responds to whatever is repeated most.  

To help get an idea as to what is going on, we have a pencil-thick strip at the base of our brain stem called our Reticular Activating System or RAS for short. Its job is to filter all the millions of bits of data coming in every second to help us make sense of the world and so not become overwhelmed with information. 

Our inner dialogue and experience over time determine these filters. To be clear when we repeatedly tell ourselves we lack willpower, for example, eventually our RAS filters the world to reinforce that we lack willpower ignoring any evidence that we do, amplifying at every opportunity that we don't.

Eventually this subconscious process becomes so refined we are doomed before we even begin. We are doomed because we only attempt to alter our behaviours since as we alter only our behaviours, we create a disconnect between who our brain believes we are and what action we are now taking. In turn, our behaviours are realigned to match our self-concept (not the other way around). We don't do this on purpose. But then most of our patterns of behaviour occur on autopilot i.e. are subconscious. 

So what?

Well, the 'so what' is that if we have experienced time and time again the same outcome despite what we feel are our best efforts. If we feel like we constantly self-sabotage our best efforts. If we keep ending up in the same place despite our best efforts, it's probably time to change our approach. 

The approach I would recommend is one of changing our RAS. One of recreating a more supportive self-image. One of working on our inner dialogue and making sure that when we alter our behaviours we avoid that disconnect and, instead, get our ducks all lined up in a row properly. 

Of course, getting help would be smart, and coaching is the ticket. Coaching to shift that self-image, rework your inner dialogue and ultimately rewire your brain for the specific success you seek is the answer. 

Visit my profile or contact me below to learn more. Would love to help!

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

Share this article with a friend
Image
Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9NW
Image
Written by Darren Tebbenham, BSc, MSc (Weight Loss Coaching)
Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9NW

Darren Tebbenham holds a Masters degree in sport psychology and has spent most of the last 20 years refining his coaching work to help members of the public with their mental strength and resilience is the fitness, weight loss and mental health space. Check out www.darrentebbenham.com for more info.

Show comments
Image

Find a coach dealing with Health coaching

All coaches are verified professionals

All coaches are verified professionals

Related Articles

More articles