{Mindset Monday} Acknowledging Self-Limiting Beliefs

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ru·mi·na·tion

/ro͞oməˈnāSH(ə)n/

(noun)

1. a deep or considered thought about something. “philosophical ruminations about life and humanity”

2. the action of chewing the cud. “cows slow down their rumination”

Can we talk about how much I laughed and then sort of wept when I read this? I'd intended to start this post with my confession that I AM A RUMINATOR (in the context of overthinking and analysis). And then I did that thing where I stared at the word "ruminate" for too long, and it started to look weird, so I went to double check the spelling and this was the definition that popped up. I've always known its origin but somehow the folks at dictionary.com really hit me with some dry humor today. 

Let's get down to the business of chewin' some cud, shall we? 

Good nutrition is a skill. 

Take a moment and, um, ruminate on that. 

I will be the first to confess that that statement used to make me bristle a little bit. Thinking of something as a skill implies a lot of weird, emotionally icky things like: Good nutrition is something that takes instruction, intention, and most importantly, PRACTICE. Which means that, like any other skill, it requires work before becoming effortless.

In an ideal world, of course this wouldn't be the case. We would exit the womb with access to everything we need in the perfect amounts, we'd get a balanced array of vitamins and minerals and sunshine and rest and quality movement, we wouldn't have to deal with pesky death by curable disease and infection, we wouldn't have to navigate the confusing world of medicines and gut health and screen time and chronic stress and food insecurity and convenience and it DEFINITELY wouldn't all come wrapped up in a big bow of "your body should look this way and you should be happy and body positive BUT YOU SHOULD ALSO HATE YOURSELF AND CHANGE and here is this thing that you can use to change yourself, conveniently we're selling it at the low price of gazillions of dollars over time, and also this person who you should emulate isn't even real because we airbrushed out all of her body hair, armpit fat, cellulite, and ribs." 

So, our world is not ideal. And it may never be. And wherever we are on our journey - we're dragging along our own baggage (and likely the baggage of a few other people we've met along the way). Our experiences and our struggles are our own and they are unique and they are valid - and I don't think acknowledging this makes anyone a "special snowflake." It takes guts and grit to unpack this stuff, to truly dive into why it's been tough - and even MORE guts to say that DESPITE this baggage I'm working on unpacking, I am working finding my power and my sense of control over my actions. 

If you tend to get really caught up in this (aka, you're a "ruminator" like me), having a professional help you work through this deep shit is really valuable. I highly recommend it. 

This is why I don't just give you a meal plan or a training program and send you on your way. If that worked we'd all be healthy and strong and weigh whatever we wanted to weigh and feel how we want to feel. That stuff is EASY. 

What's not easy? Doing the work that's not tangible, that may or may not result in immediate outcomes. It's being able to acknowledge things like:

"I'm stuck because I feel like everything in my life is out of control, so I keep trying to find a sense of ownership by controlling what I eat, and inevitably I find myself inhaling cookies alone in the kitchen at night on Day 4 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox."

or,

"I'm stuck because I drink my face off every weekend even though I eat really well during the week, and I do this because I'm afraid that no one will like me or want to hang out with me if I'm not kind of buzzed, and/or I'm afraid that since drinking is all my friends and I do to socialize, that I won't have any friends if I decide to change." 

or,

"I'm stuck because my job/family life is really busy, and I've allowed myself to become indispensable to everyone except for myself. Also I keep telling myself that I'm not a morning workout person because that feels really hard." 

or,

"I don't want to write down what I'm eating because it makes me ashamed of my bad choices." 

Being able to speak something is the first step to removing its power over you (it's a well known kid tenet that scary monsters can't survive in the light) and allows you to begin to do the kind-of-messy-but-always-worth-it work on your mindset. 

Between the stimulus and the response is your greatest power—you have the freedom to choose your response. One of the most important things you choose is what you say. Your language is a good indicator of how you see yourself. A proactive person uses proactive language—I can, I will, I prefer, etc. A reactive person uses reactive language—I can’t, I have to, if only. Reactive people believe they are not responsible for what they say and do—they have no choice.
— Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

What are some self-limiting beliefs that you have? What are areas in your life over which you have control? What are areas that you CANNOT control but you allow to affect your decisions and your mindset?