To every woman I’ve ever known, including myself.
I was speaking with a client the other day, and we were reviewing her goals. One is weight loss, the motivational factors for this went something along the lines of…
“I’m not happy with what I see in the mirror, I’m not the same size as my friends and family, and I don’t fit in my clothes.”
Now I’m not the best coach at sitting quietly and letting the client come to their own realisations. I probably could do that, but having asked if it’s okay to challenge some thinking, I go for it: “Have you noticed that all your motivation is about negatives you see in yourself?”.
Do you see that? The photo that the slimming club told you to stick on the fridge to remind you how much you don’t want to open the fridge and eat.
My main two problems with that are:
1. Most of the time you’re in your holiday swimming cossie and loving life. Then you look back on the photo and hate your body, completely overlooking the fact that, at the time, you were rockin’ a Margarita and loving life.
2. You might be really hungry, but you’re using body hatred to stop yourself addressing your basic needs. Don’t get me started on how messed up that is for us all. Why thank you, dieting industry!
Yes, motivation can come from pain and discomfort, but that has to be temporary. Pleasure is what sustains change. Let me put it this way: Love is the greatest change agent the world has ever known. Get some for yourself, and you will see change. Hating yourself never changed a thing for good. Never.
Another example; my friend who has been juggling her child with disabilities at home and a hectic work life. Now she asks for a kick up the bum to get motivated. Here are two red flags when you know your motivation isn’t coming from a place of self-care and compassion:
1. I need to pull myself together.
2. I need a kick up the arse.
I can bet that nine times out of 10, these are said in response to you feeling demotivated, knackered and low in mood. And is it a bloody surprise? My friend has a lot on, and the cultural and societal expectation is for her to keep going, to push through. Surprise, surprise! Self-care is the thing that gets missed. The very thing that’s been calling out for attention.
So today please, I beg of you, can you ask yourself what you really need and pay attention? Act on the need to rest, recharge, have fun and some peace. I know it isn’t easy to make that happen, but it will nurture the most powerful motivation of all that is within you: self-compassion.
In the words of Carl Rogers: “The curious paradox is that just when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.”
If you want to work on your self-care and self-compassion, Click here for a 15 minute chat with me.