#78: Status Quo or Bust?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Are you motivated to lose weight and gain better health? What if you were told that motivation isn't enough to ensure substantial change?
In today's Psychology Today magazine author Robert Wicks explains why this may be so.
"One of the primary reasons that motivation, of itself, does not automatically lead to change is that we fear that the demands involved may be too costly. We may have to see our own role in the problems we are having and do something about it.
"In addition, we worry about how other people will react when our behavior patterns change; the move toward health can be also surprisingly upsetting to those who are used to "the devil they know" (a person's usual defensive style.) They may even feel challenged to change and they might be uncomfortable in dealing with this.
"Finally, seeing our own role in our problems does cause some negative reflection about the past and how much time we have wasted in behaving as we have.
"...the "advantages" of staying the same are very costly...
"...two ways we can improve our own self-awareness are by increasing our sensitivity to our defensiveness, and by taking what actions we can to outflank our resistances."
In other words, we need to acknowledge what is holding us back from success and figure out ways to change our thinking and our behaviors.
To me this means we must admit to ourselves that the life we have led to this point is not one we're happy with. Then we must admit that we want to change. Finally, we must take decisive action to alter what we are currently are -- overweight, out of shape and, often, disgusted with ourselves.
These may seem to be pretty blunt words but sometimes we (I include myself here) have to be shocked into opening our eyes to the unhappy, unsatisfied, unfulfilled person we have become.
But, remember, motivation is not always enough. We may need to spend time giving thought to how we got in the condition we're in today. Is our overeating due to an unfilled emotional need? is our lack of exercise due to a fear of losing friends who become defensive about being the overweight, out of shape one if we succeed?
It appears that merely wanting a change requires some analysis of our lives to-date. Often that is painful. But it may be the kick in the pants we need to finally embark on a true journey to fitness.