Believe stoneThere’s a saying I’m sure you’ve all heard – Believe it to achieve it. It’s cliché and trite, but I keep thinking about it because I also find it to be true. I see so often that the people I deeply wish could find their reason, their faith in themselves, and their success are wonderful people who, deep down inside, don’t believe they can reach their goals. This makes me sad. Perhaps even more so because far too often I am one of them too.

I wish that I could say I’d found the definitive solution or some secret mantra that would provide everyone with the self-confidence and knowledge that they have everything they need inside, right now, to achieve whatever they set their mind to. Unfortunately, this area is one that I continue to struggle with all the time. My dear friend over at Rising Tide Triathlon Coaching broached the topic the other day and it got me thinking about my own recent experience with it.

This time last year, I had been consistently eating 95% (or maybe even 98%) Paleo for several months. I was working out more regularly than ever before and was very focused on my health. I’ll admit that there was an element of wanting to look and feel good in my clothes, but once I got truly settled into eating the right food for my body, it became much more than that. I could really feel that my mind and body were working together towards the same goal and it was more than just the size of my jeans. There was a sense of rhythm to my energy – I ate when I needed fuel, I had zero desire to eat things that didn’t make me feel vibrant, I was in tune with what worked and what didn’t. It felt so good that when I look back from where I sit today, I wonder why I ever changed what I was doing.

I feel like I was better able to face life’s challenges when I was in that space, so why stop doing what was working? I guess life isn’t a straight line or a series of successes, though. At least it isn’t for me. It seems that it is more like a wave with ups and downs, over and over again. Sometimes I am riding on top with a clear line of site to wherever it is I’m headed, and then other times I’m at the bottom of the wave, just trying to figure my way out.

There was one other distinct difference, though. I also firmly believed that I could be successful. I didn’t doubt my choices, my reasons, my self. I just acted with clear intention – give my body what it needs to feel great. It seems so simple and easy when I look at it like that. But for me, for so many people that I know, doing what’s right for my body is utterly entangled with my past. My ability to make good choices in any particular moment seems hi-jacked by my emotional state, leaving me feeling helpless. This isn’t true; I am not helpless, of course. I always have a choice.

Lately, like for the past 6 months, I’ve been making a different choice. In some ways, it has definitely been a learning experience. I am still trying to figure out how to balance a love of all foods, the pleasure of enjoying a cocktail, and the slippery slope that indulgence is for me, with the strength and confidence that I derive from following a stricter Paleo lifestyle. It feels like it shouldn’t be difficult, but for me it still is. I thought I was handling it, and I’ve balanced it better than in the past, but here I am at the end of the summer wishing I had done things differently. That’s somewhere that I don’t want to spend much time. I would like to live my life with confidence, proud of my choices, happy with my days and nights. With that, it’s time to take a look at the old habits that have crept back in and do a bit of course correction.

A few friends and I have embarked on 21 days of squeaky-clean whatever. For me it’s Paleo, for others it is what makes them feel their best. We’re a few days in and doing it together so that we can support and motivate each other. Like I said in the beginning, though, believing in myself and what I want to achieve is fundamental to my success. What I want is to feel strong, confident, healthy, beautiful, energetic, and whole.

My friend at Rising Tide also said, “The brain knows the difference between lip service and your deepest feelings.” I guess that means I have some work to do to figure out where the obstacles to my success lie and what I need to do to overcome them. It also means I need to look a little more deeply to figure out what keeps me from believing that I deserve balance and ease and health. On to the next lesson…


7 thoughts on “Believe

  1. Beautifully put, Michelle! I am myself coming off a very low wave and am starting up. Two truths that I love how you wrote them: life is like waves, sometimes your view is clear, other times it is not. And the other truth is the mind knows the difference between true intention and lip service. You have succinctly written my jumbled, half thoughts from the last month or two. Thank you!

      • The first time I had to really deal with this, or felt I desperately needed to, I was about in my late twenties. I was in a very dark place with a wife and two very young children.

        I NEEDED to produce financial success by a certain time.

        I lucked into a thought process I’ve tried to teach my children and recall when I needed it in my life – Use your brain as a muscle… Your absolutely strongest muscle.

        I tried to find every book on success, overcoming obstacles, Yada, Yada.

        I was cautioned by friends that it was just useless drivel.

        I achieved the success I needed. And more.

        I went back to the “well” often in life, most often with success.

        I think it was Napoleon Hill in his book THINK AND GROW RICH, who said “What the mind can see and believe, it can achieve.” The variance in achievement of and toward a goal was delt with by Maxwell Maltz… The cybernetic principle first studied scientifically for torpedoes in World War II, the don’t go straight to their targets, the vary, positively and negatively around a straight line, with less and less variance until just before striking the target, THE GOAL. His book PSYCHOCYBERNETICS was also a world best seller at a time I desperately needed to understand this.

        If you haven’t read them, do.

        The trick of “seeing” and “believing” and achieving your goals is a function of your plan, it’s clarity, it’s rationality and your will… Using your brain as a muscle.

        Just my thoughts and experience, hope it helps.

  2. Plans are composed of steps. If a step is rational, meaning it really can be achieved, than a plan, composed of many of these steps, can be achieved. All one needs is the will (brain muscle – we all have enough – to take each step and the belief, the vision, and sometimes a little help from a friend. You Can achieve.

  3. Pingback: Whole30 – 2016TD17 | Balancing Paleo

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