I got fat.
Five years ago I gained 4 oz. in one week! No big deal, right? Except for the fact that I continued to gain 4 oz. every week for the next 260 weeks (5 years). This ‘situation,’ that started out as microscopic in nature, became a HUGE problem, so to speak.
There are three significant lessons I learned from this most ‘interesting’ experience in my life. I want to share them with you now that I’ve lost most of the weight, and I’ve discovered all of the issues.
Anything we do in excess (eat, drink, exercise, shop, etc.) is usually because we suffer from anxiety. Anxiety, in the spiritual sense of the word, is when our ego has an agenda for us in direct conflict with the plan from our greater light (inner wisdom, God-self, etc.)
The larger the space between these two agendas, the more anxiety and fear you will experience and the more you will resort to your default coping mechanism.
What starts out as a coping mechanism to reduce our anxiety can quickly morph into just one more problem about which to be anxious.
For example, many people start smoking because they’re anxious and, initially, smoking does help relieve their anxiety. Down the road, however, once they’re smoking regularly, then smoking becomes just one more source of anxiety to deal with (as in, “OMG smoking is going to kill me).
(I ate some more)
This pattern is, very frequently, in response to some internal signal that it’s time to play a much bigger game in our lives. That’s right. We will unconsciously resort to destructive behavior when the opportunity for greatness is most closely at hand. It’s called ‘fear’ (a close friend of anxiety).
Maybe it’s time to write a book, or get a promotion, or end or enter a relationship. Maybe it’s starting a new business or closing an old one. The specifics don’t matter.
What ultimately matters is that once you recognize this pattern in your life, you have a choice.
You would not be given a hope or a dream or a vision without also having the ability to make it happen. The only choice you need to make is to pursue it, or not. That’s it.
If you’re truly committed to having the most positive impact that you’re capable of having, then you only have one other choice to make: increase your impact now or do it later. That’s it.
(I stopped eating)
Here’s the formula:
· Your life calls you to play a bigger game (to be more of yourself, and to do more, resulting in greater impact).
· Playing a bigger game creates anxiety (your inner wisdom cheers you on and holds the vision for you, and your ego reminds you of every nasty thing anyone has ever said to you).
· Anxiety naturally makes you want to hide.
· You resort to your default coping mechanism; this gives you a ‘legitimate’ reason not to play a bigger game, to reduce your anxiety, and to hide.
· End game? You stay small, feel bad and beat yourself up. Really.
You, too, have an excuse. You use it when it’s convenient. You have a thing that you do or, perhaps, that you don’t do that you know will keep you playing a smaller game than what you’re built for.
Once you name this excuse, the only choice you have left is to continue to use your excuse. Or not.
What excuses do you use in your life? How do you stop yourself, slow yourself down or sabotage your impact? I’d love to see your comments below.