Okay now. Tell the truth. Have you ever started a sentence to yourself this way?
If I reach that goal I will ….
If I do this I will ….
When I get there I will …
What precipitated all this was a card I had carefully decorated and designed for myself a few years ago. It said: Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong. The recipe card was yellow and tattered but the sparkles, I used to decorate, it still twinkled.
What on earth am I telling myself when I started my sentences with the examples I listed? Am I not good enough to have something nice? Am I not important enough that I do not, dare I say, deserve this prize?
I was thinking about setting up a path of little steps so I would look great in a bath suit this summer. I almost set up a little system that I would allow myself a reward for my good behavior. They were just inconclusive things such as a massage, a manicure or a new haircut. When I walked every day or watched what I ate I would go out and do something for myself as a small reward for a small step.
Who was I kidding? I had gone and created a goal, really lost track of my path in life and told myself that I did not really deserve to be treated well. I had completely forgotten what I was really aiming for: a different lifestyle.
I wanted a lifestyle where I was active every single day, in one way or another, what I ate made me feel good and look good with no side effects. I am a great human being and want to love myself on the pathway of my life. If I set up steps was I not really just making a goal and forgetting the most important thing of all? I wanted to be truly conscious of how each mouthful of food tasted and what it did to me. I wanted to work hard in my garden, sit down afterwards and look, with pleasure, at what my hands had created. I wanted to be living life, treating myself special because that is what I deserved.
It's so easy to change the words of what I was doing: "little steps" for "goals".
It was so easy to fall into the trap of believing that the end reward would be an incentive to move forward. What a conundrum! Here I was offering myself a reward to say "Good girl, you reached your goal!" when what I was really telling my unconscious mind was that I was not good enough now – UNTIL I reached the end of the goal. How motivated is that?
What I was telling myself, before I even started, was that I probably was not going to achieve the goal because I was flawed to begin with! Why else would I reward myself AFTERWARDS!
I know that treating myself like a precious object makes me strong. Strong enough to live the life I want. I am strong enough to treat myself special by eating what feels and tastes good, by eating what makes me healthy, by being active with the things I love to do. I believe that because I am special I deserve to have all those rewards. The strength that comes with that will give me the body that feels good in whatever clothing I will be wearing this summer or for the rest of my life.
I cleared out my closet of all the things that did not fit and reminded me of where I was before. I cleared out all the ugly clothes that DID fit which I had not wanted to replace till I looked perfect. I bought some comfortable, pretty, summer clothes, got a manicure, my hair styled and treated myself like a precious object.
Look out summer! And that card is stuck up on my bathroom mirror. I want it there to remind myself that it does not always work to reward myself IF I decide to create some silly goal. I am only telling myself I'm just not worth it as I am now. I really do deserve to be treated like a precious object.