In my last blog post I gave a brief synopsis of the amazing dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner’s presentation, “What’s Your Comeback Rate? How to Turn Struggles into Your Greatest Strengths.”
Dawn gave this talk at the annual Your Weight Matters Convention in New Orleans last week.
Dawn’s premise is based on research showing self-compassion (not self-berating) is an essential key to meeting all our goals.
As she worked with clients, Dawn realized this to be true.
“Successful people bounce back quickly, shake off the mistake and course-correct. People who don’t meet their goals wallow in the failure, take it personally and take too long to get back in the game,” Dawn explained.
Dawn shared with the audience her two-step plan to dig out from self-limiting beliefs and turn a ‘screw up’ into important learning.
Step 1: Forgive yourself. That’s the self-compassion part.
Step 2: Get curious. Really LOOK at what drove you to make the choice that sidelined your goal.
Dawn says there are typically five internal thoughts that drive us away from our goals, five messages encouraging us to stay in our comfort zone even when we want to change so badly.
Dawn has coined a term for these five familiar drivers of doom—the Mean Girls.
See if any of these’ girls’ sound familiar to you:
Ms. Procrastinator: “Why not finish off that box of cookies? You’ll get back on the wagon tomorrow.”
Ms. Hopeless: “Why shouldn’t I finish the box?? Nothing I ever do works anyway.”
Ms. Perfection: “I’ve already had sugar today so I’ve blown it. I can’t feel good about myself until I stay off sugar for at least …. [fill in the blank].”
Ms. Tantrum: “It’s not fair! Everyone else gets to eat whatever they want, no one else has to work this hard for so little!”
Ms. Panic: “I can’t STAND this feeling! I don’t have the willpower to resist like this all night!”
Oh yes, I personally know these girls well.
Dawn says the key to dealing with this pack of bullies is to change our response to them.
|Mean Girl||New Response|
|Ms. Procrastinator||“Success is what I do right now.”|
|Ms. Hopeless||“I’ve succeeded at things before; I can do this too.”|
|Ms. Perfection||“I’m going to focus on progress, not perfection.”|
|Ms. Tantrum||Think: how would I handle a screaming toddler? “Yes, it isn’t fair but it’s only for now. Later you can…”|
|Ms. Panic||“All emotions come in waves, they rise, peak and then subside. Hold on.”|
Dawn says it’s also important to look carefully at the external triggers influencing our actions and ask ourselves if changing those will make life easier.
For example, wouldn’t it be easier to not snack on cookies at night if you didn’t have them in the house?
Would it be easier to take a different route to work instead of driving past fast food highway?
Dawn encourages us to test out new behaviors to replace the ones tripping us up.
The bottom line though is that self-compassion piece. I know it seems like the last thing you need but keep your mind open to it.
What a concept–kindness trumps cruelty. Every time.