"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."—George Bernard Shaw
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”—Winston Churchill
“Although we can’t always avoid the storms in our lives, we can control our response; we can trim the sails, batten down the hatches and make the best of it.”—Dan Millman, former Olympic gymnast, author of
No Ordinary Moments
The key to success is realizing you are responsible for your own life. We blame situations, circumstances, events and other people for where we are in our lives. Blame allows us to avoid taking a necessary action; it excuses us from acting responsibly.
Application: One of the key characteristics of all successful weight-losers is their ability to avoid blaming and accept responsibility for whatever trips them up. So, whether you have bad genes or no time because you work two jobs, you are still responsible for your weight.
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The best way to take responsibility is to alter the language you use. Listen to what you’re saying when you’re talking about yourself. If you’re making yourself the victim of other people’s actions (e.g., “If Harry hadn’t taken me to that Italian restaurant, I wouldn’t have eaten all that pasta”) or of circumstances (e.g., “My parents saddled me with terrible obesity genes”), what you need to do is turn those sentences around so that you become the primary actor and cause of whatever is happening in your world. One way to do that is by beginning your sentences with "I." Using "I" statements helps you change your behavior for the better. For instance: "I know that I often overeat when I'm in this situation.” Or, "I tend to (fill in the blank) when the going gets rough."
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“If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”—Henry Ford
“The only thing standing between me and success is me.”—Woody Allen
Interpretation: In order to succeed, you must believe that you can.
Application: Think about it this way: Would you ever get on an airplane once you'd overheard the pilot say, "I don't think I can make it all the way to Florida. I just know I'm going to crash; I'm so scared." Of course not. And aren't you the pilot of your own life? Do you really want to be the one convincing yourself that you won't succeed?
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Scolding ourselves is not productive. Holding ourselves accountable and committing to a new plan for the following week is both productive and motivational.
In fact, research reported in the Journal of Sports Sciences demonstrated this with two groups of golfers. While executing a series of putts, the first group was instructed to believe and tell themselves they would succeed, whereas the second group was asked to tell themselves they would fail. The players instructed to engage in negative self-talk performed much worse than those who used positive self-talk, regardless of their skill level.
Telling yourself you can’t lose weight or you can’t exercise will only hurt your chances of success.
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