If you want to move more effectively toward achieving better health, then almost always this means getting uncomfortable and doing hard things. Have you ever started down a path to create a meaningful change in your life and then for whatever reason found yourself not moving toward that outcome? Like there’s a part of you that simply refuses to move toward what you want?
Neuroscience tells us the brain naturally resists change because change represents uncertainty. Our brain likes what is familiar, even if that familiar thing isn’t good for us. This is why change is so hard to actually create. You can’t go into the unknown with confidence that you’re going to be successful because you just don’t know. You’ll never know if you’ll reach your goal until you get to the other side.
Confidence in your abilities comes after you accomplish something. All the stuff in the middle is the unknown, such as that fearful thing that crops up and hits us right in the face. Sometimes we let it stop us when really what we need to do is face it head on and embrace the discomfort because this is what allows for true growth. With this in mind, it’s important that we reflect on what we do when things get hard.
You see, setting goals is easy; achieving them is hard. The peculiar thing about setting goals is that it’s not about reaching them. In the end, when you are on the other side of the change you wanted to create, you realize what mattered is who you became during the process. You also learn how moving toward the change you wanted impacted your entire life – sometimes in unexpected ways and almost always, positively.
If there are health outcomes you want and have difficulty achieving, become curious about what’s on the other side of your health challenges. Give yourself time to really imagine what it would be like getting off blood pressure medication, having more energy, not being insulin dependent, not relying on statins or simply feeling good in your clothes.
Most people will never ask you to do hard things. Even your doctor might tell you to “drop a few pounds” when really you need to lose 80 pounds or more. I challenge you to get real and do hard things. Stick through the discomfort, get unreasonable with yourself, and do what you say you're going to do.
An interesting concept to remember when it comes to doing hard things is that you are either going to pay with effort now or pay with regret later. So, whether you do the work or don’t, there is always going to be a price to pay. Success has a cost, so does failure. You’ve got to pay your dues no matter what; it’s up to you to choose wisely. With all of this said, I hope you do choose to step up and into something that will be fulfilling and rewarding. The effort is so worth it!
Cheers to you, your success and a little bit of “good” discomfort.
Ashley Lucas has a doctorate in sports nutrition and chronic disease. She is also a registered dietitian nutritionist. She is the founder and owner of PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition, offering weight management and wellness services in the Four Corners. She can be reached at 764-4133.