Health or Hate…think about what you have been thinking about …How can we flip our mindset for the better?

Health or Hate…think about what you have been thinking about …How can we flip our mindset for the better?

Do you ever have those days when you wonder… what am I really doing this for?

Yep, me too. As an athlete, a wife, a mother, a coach, a teacher, and as a woman, I have felt all the feels… and there are those random days where you are kicking goals at every turn, and then there are the other days…

We all have days when we feel tired, defeated, flat, fat, un-motivated, useless, un-wanted, un-seen unworthy… that we don’t matter… There are also the days when we feel all of those things but we are driven by the fact that we have something to prove, that we want to be accepted, that if we can just do this, achieve this, become this, it will be ok…

For some, this is the moment where they let those feelings and emotions take over their actions. Where they either give up on the things they know are important and step into what that they think are going to make things better, easier, happier… or they persist with the things that will not, because it is what everyone does and says they should do…

I have been there, let me tell you, I HAVE BEEN THERE….

It was always in my personality to be that person to persist…I thought that if I could stick it out , do more, and be more I would feel better, and it would get easier… I mean thats what they all said, its hard at first but if you stick to it, it gets easier…and let me tell you that this is not always the case if you are on the bus with everyone else and are not the driver of your own thoughts, emotions and actions…

You see, your personality is YOUR PERSONAL REALITY. It is the way you think, feel and act. So if your thoughts, feelings and actions are coming from a negative place then everything and anything we do from that point forward will not bring us joy or success… it will feel like the HARD slog…

I was privileged to be speaking to a group of 15 year girls just this week about this exact topic, with the purpose of bringing awareness to the the purpose of their actions and how it impacts on their health and wellbeing. We spoke about the source of hate … FEAR… As they spread their wings and seek to enter into their adult life, they will be testing the waters as individuals with less influence from parents, one of the driving factors for their actions will be acceptance in their new social world…and that acceptance, or fear of NOT being accepted, or being different can be a huge motivator, that is not always a positive one.

We also spoke about source of health … LOVE… our health is holistic, and it encompasses our physical, social, emotional and spiritual health… it is also heavily impacted upon by our environment. The underlying driver for good health is love… love FOR our body, love FOR those who we interact with, love FOR our thoughts and feeling for ourselves, love FOR our growing awareness and consciousness, love FOR living our life on purpose… and when we care about selves more than the judgement of others and go out into the world with Love as our focus, the side effect is good health.

We talked about how we change and learn as we grow up… babies and children constantly find amazement in their own form and abilities, think about that a baby who is infatuated with their hands, or who finds joys in the ability to blow a raspberry, until someone tells them to stop-don’t don’t that… little children who just want to play, who don’t care how old you are, what colour you are, if you are boy or a girl, what size you are, how good you are, until someone tells them they can’t do that… the child who thinks they can climb to the top of the tree… until someone tells them they are too small, they will fall…our realisation of difference and limitation is a learned response… we are taught to identify differences, we are taught judgement, we are taught that failure is a bad thing…we a taught that if it doesn’t fit ,then you don’t fit… we a taught to think that we are not enough…

So I challenged them, with this… Imagine you have an apple that looks perfect, its bright red, glossy, the right shape and size, it was produced organically, and bought at the local market, this stall holder is best around, so they all say… then, when you take a bite, it’s not what you expected, in fact its sour, floury and rotten at the core and it leaves a taste in your mouth you cant seem to get rid of… what we expected wasn’t true, and what we thought it would taste like , it didn’t, and you swore you would never eat another apple as bad as that ever again…. And then one day you pull an apple from your lunchbox that is small, has imperfect skin, isn’t bright red and round but is a funny shape, that your mum gave you because the apple tree that she nourished, cared for and grew herself at home is full, that in comparison to the other apple you had really doesn’t look any good at all, and because the other one tasted so terrible you really didn’t want to try it at all… so you have a choice…what will you do? …. think that all apples are terrible and the ones that look like this one could only be worse, or be open trying the apple and risk disappointment… So what if when you take a bite it is the sweetest, juiciest, crunchiest apple you have ever tasted…. what have you learned….

It has been recorded that the things that influence young adults most are:

  • The media – a highlight reel of someone else’s ideas, fears, and outlooks that actively narrows our perception and ideas of acceptance through algorithms and marketing , if it bleeds it leads, and sex sells
  • Past experiences – judgements, punishments or praise for our past actions that trigger emotions and decisions in our present regardless of the new reality that is in front of us
  • Instant gratification – choosing not to live and grow now, but to do what is comfortable, to constantly hold back or hold off result of fear of judgement or failure, focusing on our weaknesses and imperfections as excuses or justification for our actions or inactions.

There are so many young people and adults for that matter who are driven by fear to the detriment of their health and wellbeing. Allowing the influences on our past and present to dictate the way we think feel and act, to decide on our personality. I have been there, many times…

I have been that person who felt so bad about herself that she wasn’t a size # that she skipped meals and starved herself. I have been that person who pounded the pavement and spent hours at the gym, even after she was exhausted or injured to punish herself for not fitting into the size # jeans or for not getting a grade, or the job she had worked hard for. I have been that person who hid my successes because she just couldn’t take another derogatory comment and got sick of feeling like she was the only one who cared… I have been that girl who refused to try out for the team because she didn’t think she was good enough … I didn’t think I was enough… I chose to let the media tell how I should look even though it was someone else’s idea’s and perceptions, I chose to let my past experiences and my fear of failure dictate my emotions and my decisions despite the fact that this was not the same situation, I chose to be comfortable, to hold off and to let myself down… I chose hate… I had an obsession with it…and I had let that become my own personal reality… my personality….

So what flipped it for me….? Well thats a long story that I will tell one day, but in short, I punished myself fo so long that I got so sick of myself that I made myself sick… that I made myself injured and broken…I got so low that those who matter to me had to tell me that they were losing me… So, I had to make a choice… I had to decide that I matter enough, that I was worthy enough, and that I could see that I was more than the weaknesses I was so focused on… I had to choose to find the love, confidence, and willingness to grow in myself that once had a child…I had UNLEARN and I had to change my mindset from hate to health…

The thing about life is there are no short cuts… there will be days when it will hard work, when we will wonder “why the hell am I doing this?” and there will be days when we fail. UNLEARNING is tough… breaking a habit is tough, changing your mindset is tough… but when you start to believe you are enough, you can be tough…and these things helped me…

  • Turn off the news feed, stop buying into someone else’s ideas, and ask yourself if you really need to consume it, or at least turn off your notifications, and unfollow unhelpful or negative people or posts so you can be in charge of what, when and where you consume.
  • Be brave enough to reach out and find real people, the people who are like minded or who exhibit the traits and habits that are born from health and love, and who see and bring out the best in you…
  • Be open to personal growth… read, listen, meditate, learn new things to replace the old and understand that the person you are looking for is inside you, and to get to the roots of who that person is you need to nourish that apple tree.
  • Be mindful abut the purpose of your actions – ask yourself why do I need this, and ensure that it is coming from a place of love with a focus on your health… e.g. I am going for a walk / run so I can have some time to clear my head, and feel energised…. rather than I am going for a walk/run because I have to work off the lunch I just ate so I don’t get fatter
  • Refocus your self talk – you listen to yourself more than anyone else so make sure that what you say to yourself is constructive and purposeful, imagine that you are saying those words to a loved one..

So, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if you need to get off the bus, and drive yourself? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself why am I doing this? What if you decided to unlearn all the negative, unhealthy and hate filled things that you have been taught? So what are you going to do today that will flip it for you… to Health not hate…?

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