ASK COLETTE: Overcoming Resolution Regret and Self-doubt
Looking for intuitive guidance about love, finding a new purpose, managing stress or connecting with your own sense of spirituality — or maybe you just want to be a tad naughty and chat about sex? Zoomer guru Colette Baron-Reid invites you bring your deepest heartfelt questions to Ask Colette.
Here, Colette talks to readers about resolution regret and overcoming self-doubt.
At the end of each year, I get excited about the New Year. It’s a time to wipe the slate clean and start again. That feeling lasts only a little while because as soon as I look back on my previous resolutions, I feel discouraged that once again I disappointed myself. I did not stick with them. I didn’t change my eating habits, I didn’t lose the weight, I didn’t get more sleep, I didn’t pay off my credit cards and I didn’t quit smoking. How can I make a final change in my habits and not fail again? —Resolution Regret
Dear Resolution Regret,
First of all, how about a great big, compassionate hug – first from me to you and then from YOU to you!Just because you struggle with making large changes does not make you a failure. Loosen up your fixation on your problems and, rather than focus on large, measurable goals, make smaller, more life-affirming resolutions.
In my new book, Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much, I talk about when beginning any new program for change it’s easy to be excited and determined and then once you realize it’s difficult you find distractions. If you are a person who can easily get caught up in the emotions of people and events around you it’s almost inevitable that you can get detoured away from your goals and towards unhealthy behaviors such as empathy eating, lack of sleep and even shopping as a substitute for feeling happy.
Rather than have stringent New Year’s resolutions such as lose 25 pounds and stop smoking, focus on shifts in your mindset and begin with small habits. Here are a few to get you started.
- Reconnect with your thought processes. Become aware of negative self-talk whenever it occurs and immediately replace it with positive self-talk that supports happiness and confidence.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Every meal has to have a beginning, middle, and end. No eating standing up or kidding yourself about calories consumed while you’re on the run and avoiding your emotions!
- Every morning, write in a journal what you intend to accomplish. Each evening, write in your journal about how well you did and why, and identify at least one thing you did right.
- Be kind to yourself. Battling your weight or your body is counterproductive. Be loving and self-compassionate and you’ll see better results.
- Keep it simple. Follow a simple eating plan, do simple movement, and maintain a simple emotional field.
- Avoid stimulating your emotions by consuming media.
- Establish a new habit of experiencing joy. Do what makes you happy and make feeling joyful a top priority. Redecorate and rearrange your space, getting rid of anything in it that doesn’t support your joy.
- Establish a new habit of connecting with Spirit. Use meditation and time spent in nature and prayer.
- Perfectionism and stressing out about time are common detours because people who feel too much hate feeling out of control and are scared of criticism.
- Don’t “bond over bitching.” Don’t share garbage with others by venting. Share solutions and emotional support.
- Don’t fill your cart with drama. You have the choice about what you want to bring into your life. You don’t have to choose to bring in drama that stimulates you and churns up your emotions, distracts you, and drives you to detour away from healthy eating.
- Keep it light. Learn to laugh at the everyday things that would otherwise frustrate you.
- Get yourself moving in ways you find enjoyable. You may do better with low-stimulation exercises, such as walking, yoga, swimming, and yoga, rather than high-stimulation exercises such as taking aerobic exercise classes. Assert yourself in creating opportunities for movement that make you feel comfortable. Change instructors or classes if you have to.
Wishing you the best New Year of your life – one small shift at a time!
Love and blessings,
NEXT: How to silence self-doubt
Here, Colette advises a reader on embracing the positive.
One of the things I want to work on this year is my self-doubt. I want to become stronger in my self-belief so that I can finally create my life and my business to its fullest potential. I have been reading a lot about affirmations but I am not sure I can really wrap my head around it. When I create these positive statements I have a hard time believing them and accepting them as part of my life. Do you have any advice for a practical, logical, critical-thinking type who truly wants to embrace positive self-talk? – Struggling to Believe
Dear Struggling to Believe,
You are not alone in your challenges with embracing the concept of affirmations. Many of us grew up believing hard work and determination was all we needed to succeed. What we have come to learn is our thoughts determine our actions and our actions determine our habits. If you want to change your habits, you have to start with your thoughts.
Picture me smiling while I say this to you – you don’t have to be a card-carrying Woo-woo to embrace and benefit from affirmations. To satisfy your logical, critical-thinking mind I’d like to share this interesting fact. The U.S. Navy SEALS have discovered the effectiveness of actively replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations. When we change our internal chatter to have a positive quality, our primitive, limbic brain, which is responsible for setting off a fear response of fight-or-flight, begins to calm down. The power of positive thinking is even stronger if we’re also using a visualization or doing something physical to quiet our system. In moments of stress, there’s actually more blood flow to this panic center, and less blood flow to your prefrontal cortex where you can think clearly, make good decisions, and check your impulses. So when you find yourself feeling fear and doubt about steps you need to take in your business and your personal life, affirmations will help you get past the obstacles your negative talk tends to make impassable.
Remember: words create emotions, and emotions have a biochemical reality in our bodies. When you replace your negative interior dialogue with positive thoughts, the cells in your body respond. With practice (and, yes, you have to practice!), you can replace that endless disempowering chatter with a positive string of beliefs—and you will believe what you are telling yourself. They become your truths. Make sure your self-talk nurtures and supports you.
There is “science” behind affirmations and you can use it to your advantage.
For more information about the power of affirmations and how to incorporate them into your daily life, please check out my new book, Weight Loss for People Who Feel Too Much.
Love and blessings,
If you have a question for Colette, you can email her at [email protected].