Home > Uncategorized > The Sexy Paradox of Being Overly Optimistic

The Sexy Paradox of Being Overly Optimistic

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

It seems that if we constantly barrage ourselves with how we ate too many Doritos, how we watched too much Jersey Shore on television, or how we are stupid for skipping out on our exercise that day, we will eventually push ourselves in the right direction.  That by constantly criticising ourselves of our faults, we will change them.  Now this may actually work for some people, but in my particular case and what I have observed out there in the world, this has the reverse effect.

I am still currently doing my 30 day positive thought challenge, and one of the amazing things I have noticed is that since I have been looking at the positive side of even my failures, that I am actually less prone to make them.

It seems weird (and to a point this wouldn’t work, if you use it as an excuse to deceive and lie to yourself) that if we eat too many chips and say something along the lines of,  “Oh well, I learned that I feel like crap afterwards and now I get to experience working off that fat!” we can actually start to change the behavior.  Technically, it shouldn’t work.  Telling ourselves that was dumb and that we should have eaten spinach soaked in Vitamin D should work, because that is telling it how it is, and what should have been done.

But the thing is, most of those comments are actually just beating yourself up. You already know you made the wrong decision. You don’t need to beat the living hell out of yourself to learn your lesson.  It is the equivalent of having your race horse fall down right in the middle of a big competition, then breaking its leg with a bat for losing the race, and yelling that it should do better the next time.  Now it has a broken leg and will be so scared the next time that it won’t be secure enough in itself to try its best.

A very important part of self-esteem is positive self-talk.  The negative comments reduce self-esteem. The amount of self-esteem you have will directly affect the decisions you make.  If you focus on raising your self-esteem, eventually you will simply look at those chips and say screw that! I want to feel good and make healthy choices for myself!

Think about this situation.  You walk outside into the beautiful day, smell the fresh air, and right when you are about to get into your car, someone you absolutely despise tells you that you should wash your car.  Do you go wash it?  If someone gives you advice, whom you do not respect, do you follow their advice?  The bottom line is, no matter how much you tell yourself you should eat a salad rather than that juicy double-decker burger, if you don’t respect yourself, then you won’t respect your advice to yourself either.

In my journey to changing my thoughts and my self-talk, I started to exercise more often simply because I like myself more and want to feel good.  Whereas before, I was still exercising but not daily, I have begun to respect myself to the point that I value my mental health (I have discovered that my mental health is heavily affected by my exercise habits) and thus I am exercising more.  I deserve to feel good.

Are there major changes you are trying to make?  Do you want to eat better foods, exercise more, get out more or meet more people?  Although techniques, such as not having any chips or candy in the house, can also work for certain habits and bettering your life, ultimately when it comes down to it, you are as good as your self-esteem allows you to be.  Try developing positive self-talk and respect for yourself and see what happens.  Remember, it isn’t what you do that makes you worth your love.  It only makes sense that if you truly respect yourself and believe that eating healthy is beneficial, that your choice of food will be a no-brainer.  Sure you will have some slip-ups every now and then just like everyone else, but you will be able to tell yourself “I’ll do better next time” and believe it.

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