We humans are funny creatures. We are constantly battling with ourselves over things we want.
I want to lose weight AND I want to eat what I want.
I want to get stuff done AND I want to watch Netflix.
I want a clean toilet BUT I don’t want to clean the toilet.
The battle isn’t very fun. In fact, we tend to make ourselves downright miserable sometimes. This is, in part, because we aren’t firm in what we really want. If you really want to lose weight, you have to want it much more than you want to eat the thing.
You have the power to stop the battle. But how?
I hate getting up in the morning. I’m always tired. I always want to hit snooze. I never want to get up when my alarm goes off. BUT… I want to get up early and get a jump on the day. I like getting things done and getting up early is one of the best ways I’ve found to make that happen. So I decided to tackle this battle I’ve been having with myself.
I noticed that the first thought my brain offers when my alarm goes off is “Ugh.” It’s not even a sentence. It’s just an overly dramatic sound that makes me feel miserable and starts my day off on the wrong foot. This sound is usually followed by “I don’t want to get up.”
So I DECIDED, from this moment forward, I’m not going to indulge in that anymore. I actually do want to get up and telling myself I don’t isn’t useful. So I told my brain it’s not allowed to go there anymore. There will be no more “ugh”s and no more “I don’t want to get up”s.
Next, I replaced it with something neutral: “It’s time to get up.” No moaning. No tone. Just matter of fact. It’s time to get up. And I practiced. My brain has been doing this ugh routine for a long time. So I thought it was going to be hard to change. But it wasn’t. As long as I’m intentional and stay conscious, my brain does exactly what I want it to.
After I practiced for about a week, I decided to take it further. I switched out my neutral “it’s time to get up” for a positive “today’s going to be a great day.”
Alarm goes off. Today’s going to be a great day. Immediately get out of bed thinking about all the ways I’m going to make today great.
I’m still just as tired first thing in the morning. But I’m not miserable anymore. I’ve stopped the battle within myself. Of course, in the moment, I still want to stay in bed and sleep longer. But I don’t let myself think about it. I skip the battle, I skip the part where I make myself miserable. I put down my boxing gloves.
When I choose my thoughts on purpose, and I’m very intentional about thinking what I want to think, rather than letting my brain run away and think whatever it wants, I have the power. I have the control. I can have what I really want without fighting myself over things I think I want in the moment.
How to Stop Battling With Yourself
- Get clear on what you really want and why you want it.
- Uncover your battle thoughts. What are you thinking right before you make the choice that you didn’t really want to make?
- Decide to never think this thought again. It’s non-negotiable.
- Replace it with something neutral.
- Replace it again with a positive thought that fuels your body with the emotion you want. Try it on and make sure it makes you feel the way you want to feel.
- Always Be Intentional.
Steps 3 and 4 may not be necessary in all cases. Sometimes you can go straight to the positive thought and skip the neutral one. Other times your brain throws a fit when you try to do that and it’s easier to stop at neutral first. Try it both ways and see what works best for you.
Let me know if you have questions on how to apply these steps to your exact situation. You have the power, my friend. Use it.