One of the primary reasons I wanted to lose weight was that I wanted to feel confident. I was sure that losing weight meant greater confidence & less insecurity.
I was wrong. At 350+ lbs, I really believed that losing weight automatically meant more confidence & I was wrong.
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I’m sharing this because I strongly believe that one of the reasons people aren’t reaching their goals and aren’t consistently doing the work to create change in their lives is because they don’t know what they really want.
I thought I really wanted weight loss. What I really wanted was confidence. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to lose weight – I did – but my primary pursuit was more for a feeling than an external target.
Getting that confused cost me a lot of time.
They are under the mistaken assumption that the goal they’re pursuing, whether it’s weight loss or debt reduction or a specific number of dollars in the bank, will deliver an emotional improvement.
That emotional fringe benefit is the thing they really want. That is the thing they should be pursuing.
Confidence. Peace. Happiness. Security.
My friends: those things are sold separately.
Too many people are pursuing external goals thinking they’ll hit an internal target.
Weight loss makes you weigh less.
More money means more money.
These external goals are separate from the internal targets we truly desire.
If anything, it is the internal target, when pursued, that creates the external change in eating or spending habits.
When we feel happier, more confident, more peaceful, more connected, we won’t turn to food, alcohol or shopping as often.
It’s not the other way around, my friends.
That’s what happened with me and I see it every day with my clients.
I wanted to lose weight. I said I wanted it more than anything in the world. I swore up and down that if I could just lose weight, everything would be easier. Everything would be better. I’d be happier. I’d have more friends. I’d be more confident, my marriage would get better.
I was wrong.
Weight loss made me weigh less.
Confidence is sold separately.
If I knew then what I know now, I’d have looked to pinpoint what specific thoughts made me feel that crippling lack of confidence. Thoughts like:
- Everyone is thinking about how big I am
- I can’t wear those boots – they make my calves look massive
- I can’t do that thing I want to do – I’m too big
I’m sure we all know someone who isn’t obese, who isn’t even overweight, who thinks that way, right?
Like everyone is judging them? Like they’re too big to wear that thing or everyone is watching what they eat?
Those thoughts are independent of weight. They’re not about your size. They’re about your mind.
They are assumptions. Detrimental assumptions and dangerous mental & emotional patterns.
This is the trap, my friends. Even if your pursuit isn’t confidence, we have to do the mindset work first and foremost.
When I got clear on what was eroding my confidence, I was able to address it more directly. Here’s what that means to me:
- I make no assumptions. I refuse to assume what others are or aren’t thinking about my body. That has way more to do with what I think than anyone else.
- I don’t buy into a story that it’s the boots that make my calves look big. My calves are either big or they aren’t. the boots don’t make them bigger or smaller.
- I am militantly on my own side. If I don’t like something, I can change it, but I’m not going to buy into the death trap of self judgement & criticism. I choose to focus on all that is good and right.
- I look for choices that increase my confidence and I make them.
- I study moments when I don’t feel confident and I evaluate what thoughts are contributing to the feeling. Usually it stems from assumption or fear.
If you aren’t careful, you’re going to do what most people do:
Work so hard to hit an external target only to end up unfulfilled by the achivement.
You’ll lose weight and put it back on.
You’ll get that new relationship and then sabotage it.
You’ll pay down debt and simply accrue it again.
Don’t pursue an external goal thinking you’ll hit an internal target.
Know how you want to feel.
Know the ways you’re contributing to not feeling that now.
Change your mindset.
Change your behavior.
Change your life.