“If you’re searching for that one person that will change your life, take a look in the mirror.”
Getting to the truth
“Tell me why you want to lose fat and be lean?”
“I’m a Twink! Or at least I used to be. Lately my body hasn’t really matched the description — the fat kinda just started piling on. But I want to get my twink body back because I gotta look sexy, you know.”
“Why is it important for you to look sexy?”
“Then it’ll be easier to find a guy who wants me”
“Why is it important for you to find a guy who wants you?
“Because then I know I’m loveable and I will feel better about myself”
“Why is it important that you feel loved and feel better about yourself?”
“Because I don’t want to feel so self-conscious all the time. I’ve never really liked my body so I’ve always tried to work really hard and get to a point where I love looking at myself in the mirror. But I’ve never gotten to that point because then life gets in the way, and I also want to have some fun right — yolo.”
“So what would happen if you stopped feeling so self-conscious? If you stopped worrying about what others think of you? What would happen if you loved your body the way it is?”
“I’d probably have more time to do some of the things I dream of doing, because I wouldn’t have to spend so much time trying to fix my body. Sometimes, I think it would just be easier if I got the body I wanted so I could find a man who loves me and then I’d be confident enough to do everything I want to do — or he could do it for me, haha.”
“So ignore having a man in your life for a minute. What would it mean to you to do all the things you dream of doing in your life?”
“I’d be free. I would love my life. I guess it would give me some confidence to know I can do everything on my own. That I don’t need others to do things for me.”
“So it sounds like what you’re really looking for is to build some confidence to achieve a sense of freedom and independence. Is that right?”
“Well, I guess you’re right!”
In his famous Ted talk and book, Simon Sinek says businesses have to start with why if they want to be truly successful. This is excellent advice and it doesn’t just apply to businesses. It’s true on a personal level too. Why do you really want to lose weight; be fit and lean; be less anxious; be happier; be more confident; and so on?
Digging into the core reasons behind your desires gives you something concrete to work with. Something tangible and it brings purpose to the cause. There is always an underlying deeper reason and if we don’t find it, it makes it so much harder to achieve our goals.
By digging into the reasons why you want to achieve something, you actually start to build an awareness of why you have the problem in the first place. And this is key to your success.
It may bring up some stuff that’s hard to deal with, but it is there for a reason and if you ignore it, your problems won’t go away.
Don’t be afraid to explore your why. Go deep, be curious, ask yourself questions, explore what comes up, and check how it makes you feel. Now you can learn what you have to work on.
Not only is the above an example of regular conversations I have with my clients, it is also my personal experience — how I used to feel about myself.
Although it wasn’t the only factor playing a part in developing anxiety, it certainly was a big part of it. The feeling of never looking sexy enough or being loveable enough. And the fear of being seen.
This is not uncommon. In a 2017 survey, the gay men’s magazine Attitude found that more than 50% of gay men reported being unhappy with their body.
I get it. I’ve lived it and to be honest, it’s still something we all have to deal with from time to time. But that doesn’t mean it has to drive your behavior. It doesn’t have to be a deciding factor in your life. You can change that.
It’s not a competition
Start by shifting your mindset. “How do I do that” you say?
For starters it might be an idea to stop scrolling through instagram accounts that make you feel inadequate.
Stop flicking through magazines advertising sexy swimwear on photoshopped beach bodies.
Start noticing what you pay attention to, day to day. Do you obsess about what others look like — envying people who have sexy bodies and judging those who don’t?
Don’t worry, we all do it. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
But it is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves and knowing that, empowers us to change it.
If we can learn to love and accept ourselves exactly as we are, then we don’t even “care” what other people look like — nor what they think of us. It becomes irrelevant, because it’s no longer a competition. We no longer have to measure up. We are free.
When we love ourselves we invite others to love us too.
I’m not saying it’s easy to get to that point. I am saying it is possible with the right mindset.
My life changed dramatically when I started focusing on the things that are truly important to me, and ignoring the things that aren’t. I have met countless people from all walks of life who have experienced the same.
Suddenly, life becomes simpler as the weight on your shoulders lifts. It gives you freedom to live the life you’ve always dreamed of, knowing that you are enough as you are.
And knowing your why is a huge step in the right direction.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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