Read: James 1:5-8 Extra: James, Galatians 5:16-6:10
• Discontent is less about reality & more about the disconnect between what we say we want & what we actually do.
• Identifying & Reality Checking the false limiting beliefs that drive our behavior is essential to reconciling our intentions & our actions
If you want to lean out, tone up, and get control of your eating habits, the first step of creating #holyhabits is to cultivate a practice of relentless honesty. Until we are honest with ourselves about our desires, our motivations, and what we truly believe (which drives our actions), we will never make change that sticks or change with which we are content.
In today's passages we get a very clear picture of the practice of honesty & the picture of deception. Throughout everything, though, there is no doubt that a person of one mind walks, i.e., behaves, in a way concurrent with their beliefs, with the help of God's spirit.
But often we don't even realize we are double-minded!
Instead, it shows up as wanting to lose weight, but eating sweets until we're sick. It shows up as using the word "should" about our goals, but never taking action around reaching them. It shows up as saying fitness is important, but choosing extra sleep, rest, or work priorities over moving our own bodies...
... and then we feel miserable, bloated, and blah.
Here's the truth:
When we say we want one thing,
but do another,
we experience discontent. But we have trouble reconciling our actions with our intentions because we believe we'll experience pain when we change. Yes, pain.
We change when it hurts more to stay right where we are than to do something different. I don't know if you ever crammed for tests in school, but there comes a point when the perceived pain of studying becomes less than the perceived pain of a failing grade...
...and so we study.
We start working out in January when the perceived pain of going to the gym is less than the perceived pain of being fluffy. Does it hurt to exercise and learn new eating habits?
But does it hurt more to go through each and every day hating your body?
It might not yet.
Which brings us back to the disconnect between our intentions and our actions. You see, there's a game going on all around you that separates women who successfully lose weight, move their bodies, and love their lives - seemingly effortlessly - from the ones who are always on a diet, always on a weight roller coaster, and never can be satisfied with their bodies. The successful women constantly practice of relentless honesty in their lives by:
- Increasing awareness of the disconnect between intentions & actions in priority areas, &
- Reality checking & eliminating false beliefs
- Reconciling their intentions with their actions.
Reality Checking Your Beliefs
We all believe things that may or may not be true, but which guide our behavior. These beliefs come from diverse places - culture, family of origin, church, and our own experience - but shape how we see the world, how we show up in life, what risks we take or avoid, and how we embrace change.
For example, when I first moved in with my husband after we married I was in the process of losing weight. He kept cereal in the house and I believed I could control myself & only eat one bowl.
Instead, I ate cereal until I was stuffed, bloated, and about to birth my food baby.
But the next time we went shopping we bought more cereal because I knew that this time I could do better.
This never happened.
Only when I identified the underlying belief - I believe I can control myself with cereal - and reality checked it (Is this true?) - NO - could I begin to stop the cycle and move forward. I either needed to let go of losing weight for now and enjoy cereal OR stop keeping cereal in the house.
We eliminated the cereal.
I lost the weight.
And now I buy cereal only when I am okay with eating the whole box.
Here's another example. When I moved to Boston, it was hard to get back into my normal fitness routine because my gym was so far away and a host of other excuses.
I believed I could do it on my own and tried unsuccessfully for several months with spotty results. As a coach myself, I know consistency is more important than the program, so I finally had my "come to Jesus moment" with this disconnect.
Belief: I can begin my regular fitness habit on my own.
No. Solution: Hire a trainer.
When I put my money where my mouth was, the pain of wasting $XX per unused session hurt worse than getting my butt up and out the door to train.
Not only did I never miss a session, but I was excited and engaged to train. Now that I no longer work with that coach, the habit of training every Tuesday/Thursday, no matter, what has stuck and is easy to continue.
Until we practice honesty with ourselves (and practice accountability too!), we can never reconcile what we say we want with what we actually do.
Often, we deceive ourselves, but God's word is clear - you'll know what you care about by what you actually do.
The perceived pain of our biggest fears is often less than continuing the dull, chronic pain of continuing in circumstances in which we no longer feel comfortable, but until we identify those beliefs, we'll stay stuck.
When you identify and reality check your beliefs, however, you can quickly shift the perceived pain to staying in your current reality and sky rocket your progress. 🙂