By Valerie Carr CHC, CLC
Have you recently asked yourself “Why aren’t things working?” Maybe in regard to your budget, to your relationships, to your career and the promotion you want, or yes even your weight loss, or the lack thereof.
What’s behind our lack of progress? What is driving us to stop rather than succeed?
One reason I see all too often in my practice is the lack of follow through.
Follow through in its most basic form is quite simple. Perform the necessary action that is required to achieve the desired result, and you will find success.
However, for many, it is all too often more complicated. We find ourselves unable or more likely, unwilling to perform the necessary action that is required of us to achieve our desired result. We find ourselves stuck and unable to move forward, paralyzed by a fear of being uncomfortable or worse facing a failure. At that moment, in an attempt to protect ourselves, we find a reason, any reason to not act.
The reason, or better said, the excuse, at the time, seems legitimate to us and understandable as a way out of completing the task, but rather than feeling confident with our decision we become unhappy at the lack of success, our lack of follow through. We feel not only discouraged and disappointed with ourselves, but we also miss out on opportunities. Accomplishments that could have been ours are passed to someone else, the success we desired goes unrecognized, and we are left, unmoved, unchanged, unsuccessful.
When we fail to follow through, we are practicing a form of sabotage. The self, standing in the way of its own success. Follow through is at the heart of accomplishment. Whether it’s taking the initiative to contact someone for a job referral, making a call to a new acquaintance we’d like to make a friend, or, choosing to buy and eat the right foods and bypassing the ones that aren’t. These all require us to decide and act.
Follow through challenges us with action, to step out and step up in a way that we aren’t comfortable with or accustomed to. Follow through expects us to make choices that at the time aren’t easy. Follow through wants us to act when all we want is to stay safe and comfortable.
What makes following through so difficult?
Unfortunately, the answer is complex and individual. However, follow through not only requires action but it also requires discipline and determination. Discipline is uncomfortable and can come with a host of negative feelings rooted in our past. Determination requires effort and effort requires energy. Regrettably, many of us don’t like to expend much energy as we’d rather take the easy route. When we are faced with a task that requires discipline and determination the self cries out for comfort, and sadly this is where sabotage typically occurs. Spending recklessly when we are on a tight budget, eating poorly when we are on a weight loss program, or staying home rather than going to the gym, are all attempts to pacify the self. At first, it feels good, safe, but after, we suffer self-condemnation and shame.
However, when we choose to fight through our fears and face our situations with courage, and determination, we find growth. We discover capabilities that were hidden and a pride that propels us forward. What once was seen as daunting and insurmountable, is now achievable.
Think back to a time when you accomplished a difficult task. A task that required you to stretch yourself more than you ever have. An action that called for you to put forth an effort that made you uncomfortable. Recall that moment. Now, recall the feeling after you succeeded. Were you energized? Confident? And finally, ask yourself. Was I motivated to do more when I followed through or when I found a reason not to?
Decide today to step out and step up for yourself with action and follow through. Be determined to not let another opportunity pass you by. You just might be surprised what new things come your way.
If you are ready to take back control of your life and stop sabotaging behavior, download my free E-book, From Sabotage to Success, at www.vcwellnessllc.com.
Valerie Carr CHC, CLC is a functional nutrition and wellness coach who works with women to overcome sabotage and limited beliefs in order to achieve health, weight, and life goals. She can be reached at www.vcwellnessllc.com and at firstname.lastname@example.org.