“That doesn’t sound right to me,” she said. “I only deserve to feel well if I work really hard.”
Ouch, I thought.
I had a new coaching client in her late 50’s, who’d been overweight for a long time. Several decades of overeating, trying lots of restrictive diets, and obviously not feeling like she deserves to be well. The good news is she was very open and willing to hear a new, empowering perspective. The other good news is that now after months of coaching with me, she’s more consistently mindfully eating than ever and she’s losing weight without being on a diet, for the first time ever.
“You deserve to feel well,” I had said. She added, “only if I work hard.”
The parts of life where you have the greatest challenges, you also have funky beliefs getting in the way. A belief isn’t always true. A belief is simply a thought you continue to think repeatedly. It carries so much momentum that it can stick forever unless you decide it’s not actually the truth.
To feel well, you need to engage in healthy behaviors very consistently. Sometimes this can feel hard, but sometimes it can feel automatic, effortless, and even enjoyable and fun. Sometimes, it’s easier for weeks, months, and even years. You can have a hard day, a hard week, or go on feeling the resistance for even longer. It’s your choice (really). It’s your perspective that beats your beliefs into the ground.
You deserve to feel well. Period.
This week I talked to her again. She had a bad day since we last talked. She overate and had extremely painful abdominal pain all day long. It was so bad that it made her not want to ever eat like that again. She told me that she “deserved to be in so much pain because of how she ate.”
I offered her a way to reframe it: “How about looking at it like cause-and-effect? You were in so much pain because of how you ate. Let’s take the deservingness out of the equation.”
Deservingness is a precious feeling. It overlaps with self-worth and your inherent goodness. You deserve to feel well.
You deserve to feel well. You deserve to feel well. You deserve to feel well. Now go out there with a little more deservingness and enthusiasm, and do what you say you’re going to do.