Here’s a note a got from a client (let’s call her Holly):
“In October and November before Thanksgiving I lost 10 pounds, and maintained through the holidays without gaining any weight.
I can fit into clothes I formerly couldn’t.
My body is changing for the better — Every time friends see me they remark about how much I’m shrinking.
Clothes that used to be binding are now wearable.
My lower legs are smaller, my thighs are smaller, my upper arms are smaller.
“Why?” I asked, “That’s a great report!”
And here’s the reply that I want to talk about today:
“Because I’m not seeing the number on the scale that I want to see.”
Mind you, I want to tread very carefully here.
It is never my intention to discount any feelings.
But I do want to use this (common) mindset as a teaching tool today:
Holly and I have a long list of successes. Many of you reading this would give your left arm to make progress like that. (You don’t have to, by the way, all you have to do is call me.)
But Holly is still frustrated because of The Number. It overrides everything.
(Those of you with psychology backgrounds should have red flags popping up all over.)
To Holly (and many other people), all self-esteem and personal value is about The Number.
She can disregard all other measures and evidence of progress because The Number isn’t what she thinks it should be.
If you had a list of successes like Holly, but never got on the scale, how would you feel about your progress?
And if you weighed yourself and The Number wasn’t what you hoped, would you discount everything you have accomplished and feel bad? Be honest.
So if you too have found yourself hung up on one thing (The Number) that you have allowed to define you, let me pose these questions for you to ponder:
1) What do you think The Number should be?
2) Where did you come up with that number?
3) What is your opinion of yourself if you don’t see that number?
4) How are you envisioning that your life will change if that number appears?
5) Who taught you that this number is the only important thing?
In psychology, allowing something outside of you to define you or determine how you feel is known as an EXTERNAL LOCUS OF CONTROL.
And it is responsible for a pile of problems like stress, self-esteem issues, depression, and substance abuse.
So this is my invitation to you to watch out for letting any one thing override reality and crush your self esteem.
You deserve better than having your head explode like that!
So if you’d like to talk about an addiction to The Number, or anything else that’s on your mind, just drop me a note and ask for a call.
Let’s rack up some successes together!
Your friend and Coach,