Have You Made The One Choice That Changes Everything?

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There is one choice that can change everything about you.

It’s not choosing positive thinking, or a new workout regime. It’s not choosing which job to take or whom to date. These are all important choices but this choice is bigger.

It can change all of those things and more. It’s a revolutionary choice. It’s a dynamic choice; a choice that sets you apart from the crowd; a choice that stands at the center of your life.

The problem is it’s not an easy choice. It takes sacrifice, but it’s worth it. It’s worth almost anything you give up, because this choice is the first step to lasting transformation.

This amazing, rare, and hard choice is the choice to take responsibility for your life. You may think you’ve already done this. But lets look at what this choice is and what it isn’t.

Taking Responsibility Is Not About:

Blaming Yourself
Taking responsibility means empowering yourself. Whereas blaming yourself, means becoming a victim.

Responsibility isn’t about being perfect. It’s about accepting our imperfection and taking a step towards a whole way of being.

When you blame yourself, you become your faults. When you take responsibility, you become your potential for change.

Taking Control
Much of what happens is out of our control. It’s hard to accept but it’s true. And taking responsibility isn’t about trying to change that.

When we take responsibility, we just shift focus. We let got of the uncontrollable. And instead work to guide our own hearts and minds.

When we focus on our own growth, we find that the uncontrollable doesn’t change. But our relationship to it does.

Taking Responsibility for Others
No matter how hard we try, we can’t change anyone else. Taking responsibility isn’t about changing other people.

It’s about owning our own path. When we live our lives in integrity and faith, we give others the chance to do the same.

Taking Responsibility for the World
The world can be a crazy place. It’s worthwhile to have compassion, but we have to realize we aren’t responsible for the world’s problem.

We are only responsible for our inner peace or inner chaos. Wanting to change the world is wonderful. But before we can change the world, we must change ourselves.

Taking Responsibility Is About:

Owning Your Words
The first step to taking responsibility is owning what you say. Too often, we use language that blames others and disempowers ourselves.

Instead of saying, “I have to,” say “I choose to.” Everything we do is a choice. We may not like the other options and some choices are hard, but denying responsibility won’t help.

Instead of saying, “They made me,” say, “When they did x I chose to do y.” Reactivity happens, but if we want to be skillful, we have to own our reactions.

When we own what we say we start to see where we can make a change.

Owning Your Actions
Once you start owning what you say, you’ll find you almost have to own what you do. Our lives are made of everything we choose to do and not do.

By taking responsibility for our actions, we gain integrity. We also begin to gain insight into why we act the way we do. In this way, taking responsibility for our actions becomes the foundation for changing our lives.

Owning Your Thoughts
It all starts with your thoughts. If you don’t think it, you don’t do it. You can’t always choose what thoughts arise, but you can choose which ones to indulge.

Ask yourself, “Is this a helpful thought?” If it is, go for it. If it’s not, don’t put any more energy into it.

At first, this will seem impossible, but with practice, you can learn to let go of unhealthy thoughts and generate supportive ones.

Creating a Foundation for Respect
Once you start owning your words, actions, and thoughts something changes. You begin to respect yourself in a new way.

When you respect yourself, others will respect you as well. The best part is this respect isn’t based on power. It’s based on having a good heart and integrity.

This kind of respect can’t be manufactured. It has to be grown organically from a strong center of responsibility.

Making Transformation Possible
When we take responsibility, we begin to see who we are. Once we know this, we can choose who we want to be.

By taking responsibility of who we are, our light is able to shine through. Excuses, blaming, and complaining only hide that true light.

Don’t indulge them. Choose to shine.


Your Thoughts Don’t Matter

Your Thoughts Don’t Matter

Many people, who work in the realm of personal improvement, including personal trainers and coaches, engage in the practice of labeling thoughts ‘positive’ or ‘negative.’ They use techniques like visualization and thought replacement. The goal is to generate ‘positive’ thinking and banish ‘negative’ thoughts.

The problem is they often create anxiety around ‘negative’ thoughts. They insist we must avoid this thinking at all cost. But avoiding negative thoughts is about as easy as avoiding sunshine.

Ironically by trying to avoid ‘negative’ thinking we actually empower it. The true power of our thoughts comes from how we react to them. When we react strongly the thoughts grow in power and duration.

Anxious Alvin
Alvin is at mile ten of a half marathon. He is getting tired and the thought pops into his head, “This is too hard!” This is his first half, so this thought scares the bajebus out of him.

Questions begin to spin through his mind: “What if I don’t make it?” “What will my friends and family think?” “Why can’t I ever finish anything I start?” “What did I get myself into?”

As these thoughts grip Alvin his anxiety grows. His breath becomes shallow and his feet feel heavy. He feels his motivation lag. He starts to feel light-headed; he slows down, and starts to walk. He eventually finishes the race, but is disappointed with his performance.

It would be easy to blame Alvin’s performance on lack of character or strength of will. Perhaps we think he should have willed himself to not think about how hard it was or maybe he should just have trained harder. In either case we are missing the reason why Alvin’s thoughts grew into such a big problem.

Cool Chloe
Let’s take the same situation, but this time with a different perspective. Chloe is at mile ten of a half marathon. She is getting tired and the thought pops into her head, “This is too hard!” but Chloe has run many half marathons.

She knows this is the hardest part of the race. But she’s been here before and has faith that she’ll make it. She may worry briefly, but ultimately the thought merely vanishes. She finishes the race and achieves a personal best.

A Seasoned Beginner
In both of these examples the thought is the same “This is too hard!” The difference is that Alvin indulges the thought and it grows, while Chloe just let the thought go. Some of this comes from experience, but you don’t have to be a veteran to think like one. It is possible to face each new challenge from the cool Chloe perspective.

Whenever you take on a big challenge at some point, “This is too hard!” will pop into your head. The trick to being like Chloe is not to vanquish these thoughts, but to accept them as they arise.

Seeing Is The First Step To Letting Go
This is where mindfulness comes into play. When we practice mindful fitness our goal is to observe the mind without judgment.

When a thought arises we simply notice the thought, doing our best not to judge. We look to see what body sensations arise with the thought. We might notice our breath gets shallow, or we furrow our brow. Most importantly we don’t try to ‘fix’ the thought. We just let it be.

By observing our thoughts instead of trying to fix them we withhold their power over us. Each time we observe, even a little bit, we begin to grow space around our thoughts. As the space grows, it’s easier to let go of the thoughts without getting all worked up.

MindFitMove Practice:
Choose 1 – 3 ‘negative’ thought(s) that often arise when you workout or think about working out. Then one at a time repeat each thought in your mind and write down some observations:

  1. What do I feel in my body as I hold this thought?
  2. What other thoughts come along with this thought?
  3. What does my body do when I think these thoughts?

For one week, try and notice when these thoughts or their related sensations arise. Try to observe each thought without judging. If you get caught up anyway that’s ok, but notice that you got caught up.

At the end of the week revisit this list and write down anything else you notice. The hard part of this exercise is to avoid coming up with a strategy to defeat the thoughts. The purpose of this practice is to learn to observe your thoughts without judgment.

You don’t need to be fixed. You already have the tools you need for your transformation. The trick is to trust your own wisdom and to get out of your own way. Mindfulness is the first, second, and final practice that enables your true power to emerge.