What was I thinking?! As this year races forward, many of us are tempted to ask this “quit or commit” question that either kills or builds our motivations for positive change. This double-edged question can pop into your mind as soon as you are met with intense resistance. But it’s such a great question to ask – provided you process it with intelligent emotions and “Real You” thinking. Many times, things seem to get worse before they get better. What are your reasons to keep going? If they’re solid reasons, isn’t it better to re-establish your goals, build your determination and keep at it? Let’s answer these questions together.
What were you actually thinking?
Let’s face it. If the changes you’re aiming to make are important, they usually require new understanding, some new thinking and new habits. For example, if you’re trying to change your relationship with food and exercise, you may have to change your habitual response to physical hunger, emotional stress and even social interactions. That’s a lot of change. When the heat gets turned up and it’s GO TIME for new eating and exercise choices, will you quit or commit to these new health habits? The “What was I thinking?!” question brings you face to face with how hard change can be. Has your self-talk ever sounded like this?
- “This is the worst time of year for me to be trying to lose weight! I have 3 work trips this month alone.”
- “My birthday is just around the corner and I might as well wait till afterwards. Everyone will expect me to party it up with them.”
- “I just need to get my life in order before I’ll feel I have enough time to exercise and not just fail at it! I’m tired of disappointing myself!”
What you are thinking really does matter. Your reasons for the change matter. Are they positive reasons based on the truth? Then commit, don’t quit. Are they “Real You” thoughts based on a healthy sense of your self worth? If yes, commit and push through the potential “things are getting worse before they get better “phenomenon that sometimes happens. Most meaningful changes are met with some resistance from you, others and/or the circumstances around you.
What’s “Real You” thinking?
I opened this conversation by mentioning that processing the “quit or commit” question requires intelligent emotions and “Real You” thinking. Since Dr. Lincoln has been focused recently on examining emotional intelligence, I’ll avoid repeating his excellent guidance and resources but here a just few of many recent posts from him:
Let’s camp on “Real You” thinking for a minute. These are the thoughts that align with who you really are. Purposefully made in God’s image, you are built from the inside out to express a specific set of inner strengths, drives and preferences. The Real You has a healthy self-image and a quality of thinking that can quickly connect to why you’re going to commit, rather than quit. The Real You can see exactly why you’re worth doing this hard thing. What’s more, the Real You can identify which strengths you possess that can be used to change. Simply put, the Real You entertains the reasons why you’re doing this hard thing and confirms that yes, I’m committing to this, not quitting.
Here’s a real-life example of how “Real You” thinking works. Say your goal is better time management. Each of us have different priorities for how we spend our valuable time. But as a limited human, these priorities don’t always reflect what you really want to be doing with your time. Committing to a more disciplined use of time and attention is something any of us can do. But we have to have focus on “Real You” thoughts to keep from zoning out. The Real You is fashioned after one of four core designs. And each use time differently.
If you’re a type of SP
Your goals for using time with more discipline must account for the enjoyment you are getting out of the present moment. You don’t want to camp too long in a moment that’s robbing you of joy if there’s a better, more positive moment ahead. But you also don’t want to pass up the chance to squeeze the joy out of the moment by moving too fast away from it. “Real SP” thinking will find just the right balance between enjoying the present moment without lingering so long that they miss other important opportunities.
If you’re a type of SJ
Your thoughts on a more disciplined use of time are totally different. You’ll be more cautious about time – knowing that it’s limited and can run out before you’ve finished the work you set out to finish. You’ll find yourself finishing work (or acting on the change you want to make) first, then enjoying a more casual activity with anything leftover. “Real SJ” thinking will result in a responsible use of your time but leave room for unplanned fun too.
Are you an NT?
An NT will focus on their goals until they are met. Their NO QUIT approach means they are loosely tethered to what time it is and more tightly tied to how close they are to finishing their projects. The “Real NT” way of thinking about time will have to include how their timing affects others around them if they want to succeed at disciplined time management. It’s very different than the other core designs.
When you’re an NF
You’re living in and for the future where you want to become your very best self. Future hopes, new opportunities and even more satisfying uses for your time are so important to you. To be more disciplined with your time requires “Real NF” thoughts like “Every yes means a no somewhere else. My future dreams are important. But when I finish what I start, I build others’ confidence in me that they can travel with me.”
Quit or Commit?
Don’t get lost in the “What was I thinking?!” doom loop. The “Real You” can quickly find and focus on your reasons to commit, rather than quit. Take this free assessment
to learn more about the Real You and how your InnerKinetics® helps you achieve your goals.
Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide you with personal coaching and a wonderful library of resources. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.
And here are a few other links you might enjoy:
- Pursuing a “Real You” Mindset
- Pursuing “Real You” Goals that Fit
- Daily “DO ITs” for a Crystal-Clear Self-Image
Here’s to your success in 2023!