Do you ever get started on a goal and you have a little bit of momentum going, but then all of a sudden, you find yourself giving up, procrastinating, sabotaging yourself, having a hard time keeping it up? Welcome to being a human. You’re not alone.
I feel like it’s something we all experience. But in today’s episode, I want to give you some tools and some things to think about so that you can keep it up, even when it’s hard.
Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.
Hello, my beautiful friends. I’ve been having a lot of people comment on how I’m showing up these days. People are saying, “Oh my god, your energy is shifting. I can tell the difference. There’s a spark in your eyes. You seem different.” And it’s true. I am different than I was even six months ago, definitely a year ago.
I am constantly evolving my self-image for more expansion, for more of life. And so, it doesn’t surprise me that I’m getting these comments. But I’m also practicing with the members of the School of Self-Image this month on elevating our energy. Everything in life, you all, is about energy.
And yet, a lot of us are walking through the world feeling low vibrational energies. And I want to teach women how to raise their vibration, how to feel better. Because when you feel better, you show up better. And when you show up better, you create better results in your life. It’s just the way the world works.
So, yeah, I am feeling better. And there are times where I’m like, “Can you feel better than what I’m feeling right now?” And then something happens and I’m like, “I guess you can.” And I want that for all of you.
But I will tell you, one of the reasons why I’m feeling so energized and so good is because I am keeping promises to myself. And that’s what this episode is all about.
So, last week, we talked about getting started even when you don’t want to. In today’s episode, I want to talk about keeping it up. So, once you’ve decided your goals and you have gone all in them, then it’s all about the follow through. And this is where I see so many women sabotage themselves.
And it’s not because something’s wrong with you. It’s because no one teaches us how to physics works, how our brains work. What you’re experiencing is so normal. And I know the immediate rush, the high you get when you’ve decided on a goal and you’ve gone all in. Sometimes, that’s the easiest part.
For me, I remember when I used to find a new diet, I would get so excited. I’m like, “This is the answer. This is the miracle.” I would have such a high at the prospect of finding a miracle outside of myself that would help me lose weight.
But then, when I stated to follow through on the diet, and then day one came, day two came, day three came, day four came, it’s almost like I ran out of willpower. I reverted back to the old version of me.
And that’s why I want to talk about the importance of self-image as it impacts your follow through, your ability to keep it up. Because if you’re still thinking like the old version of yourself and you’re trying to act against that version, the law of physics just says that can’t happen.
You’re always going to act in accordance to who you think you are. You are always going to prove yourself true. And I feel like this is why my clients have so much success. Because yes, we work through the resistance. But at the same time, they’re rewiring their brains for a new self-image that matches the goal that they want to achieve.
And so, whenever I set a goal for myself and I get started – and that’s the hardest part, getting the momentum moving in a different direction. But now that you’re moving in that direction, maybe you’ve had a day of working out and you’re like, “Okay, I did it.” Or maybe you’ve followed your plan of eating for a day and you’re like, “Yes, did it.” Or maybe you published a blog post or whatever it is that your goal is. Maybe you cleaned out a drawer in your closet.
Then what often happens is that we still have the thoughts from our old self, “But that’s not who I am. But I’m disorganized. But I’m overweight. But I’m not an athlete. But I’m not strong.”
And so, that’s when we start to encounter the dissonance between our goal and how we perceive ourselves. So, when I set a goal for myself, I like to think about the woman who has either achieved that goal, or if it’s a habit that I want to start incorporating, I like to think of the women who that habit is just what she does. And I imagine what she thinks.
So, let’s just take my example where I’m focused on fitness this year. I imagine the version of me who is fit and strong, she’s just like, “This is what I do. I love myself enough. I work out every single day. I love eating healthy, I love nourishing my body, I love taking good care of myself. I love the way I’m ageing.”
I imagine that those are all of the things that she’s saying to herself. So, guess what my work is. I have to start being that women now because if I don’t, it’s going to be so hard to follow through. I’m going to be working in opposition to myself if I don’t change who I’m being. So, this requires that as I’m taking the action of my future self in the present, I’m also becoming my future self in the present.
Now, this is where we encounter what I call the awkward in between. I’ve actually recorded a podcast on this in the past. I highly recommend you go back to listen to it. I also did a podcast on the art of becoming, where I talk about this process as well. Two really good episodes that will help you incorporate and practice what I’m talking about in this one.
But the awkward in between is where your self-image hasn’t yet caught up with what you’re doing. And what happens is that you have a lot of discomfort come up during this stage and a lot of limiting beliefs. And that’s exactly what you have to keep walking towards, the discomfort, and working through the limiting beliefs. The beliefs that say, “This isn’t who you are. Don’t you know you’ve struggled with your weight for two decades? Who are you kidding?”
That’s part of the old self. So, what’s really happening in these moments is there’s like an internal battle between the old self and the new self. And it comes down to the story about the two wolves that live in all of us; the evil wolf and the good wolf. A little boy asks his grandad which one survives and the grandad said, “The one that you feed.”
You have to continue to feed your future self. And how do you feed her? By thinking like her. By practicing feeling like her. By showing up and doing the things that she would be doing.
Now, what often happens at this stage is, if you’re not seeing the immediate results, if you don’t see a loss of weight or if you don’t see an increase in income or if you don’t see the man show up at your door, you start to give up. You start looking to the external world for how you should feel instead of going within and reminding yourself of your why, your decision, and your commitment.
And when you do those three things, if you constantly remind yourself of your why, your decision, and your commitment, you will be compelled to keep it up, to keep showing up for yourself.
What I’ve told members of the School of Self-Image is that things began to change for me drastically when I stopped looking to the external world for how I should feel and instead I fell in love with the daily practice of how I get to show up, no matter what’s happening outside of me, no matter if I’m not getting the results, no matter if someone’s upset with me, no matter what is happening out there in the world, I bring it back home and I think about who I want to be in my life, what I want to be an example of.
I remind myself of my why. And that is what keeps me keeping it up, even when I don’t want to, even when I’m having an internal temper tantrum, I just soothe that part of me. And I’m like, “I get it, sweetie. I understand why you’re upset. But this is our daily practice. Let’s get back up, put our big girl panties on, and keep showing up for ourselves.”
The other thing that’s really helped me too is that I have trained myself to be addicted to feeling good. Now, what that means is I love feeling proud of myself. I think there’s no better feeling in the world. I love being a woman who shows up for herself.
In fact, just last night I had a big day at work and I had scheduled my workout for the morning. But something came up and I made a decision to take care of this other thing instead of my workout. And so, it was like eight o’clock and I just felt bad. I was like, “I didn’t show up for my workout today.”
And this is a number one priority for me. And I reminded myself of my why. I reminded myself of how good it feels to be a woman that shows up for herself. I reminded myself of how it feels to get stronger. And I got my butt down to the gym.
And I worked out for 45 minutes and I felt so good after. And I have to remind myself, even when I don’t want to show up, even when it’s hard to keep it up, that this is who I am. The keeping it up stage is the awkward in between. It is that keeping the momentum and the energy behind you and to keep pushing you forward.
But eventually, you’re going to have the momentum going so fast that it’s not going to take as much effort. It’s just like the rocket ship. Once it gets up off the ground, it doesn’t take as much effort. But it’s that getting it started and keeping it up until it becomes a part of who you are.
Over time, you will create a new identity. And this is just what you do. You don’t have to think about it. It’s just like driving. Do you have to think about how to drive? If you’re a driver and you’ve been driving for years, you don’t even have to think about it. It’s just what you do. But can you remember that awkward stage where you didn’t know how to drive and maybe you were scared to get in the car with the driver’s ed teacher, you didn’t know what you were doing. Maybe you ran a couple stop lights, hopefully no one was injured.
And you just did it over and over again until eventually you went from, “I don’t know what I’m doing, this is hard,” to, “Of course I’m a driver. I don’t even think about it. It’s just what I do.” That’s what it feels like. But you have to be willing to, number one, get started and then commit to keeping it up no matter what. And over time, it’s just who you are.
You may have heard me say this on the podcast before, but I remember a time, you all, where I could not conceive of a time in my life where I would not be obsessed with food and it would forever be a struggle. That was my old self-image.
But over time, I’ve created a completely new woman who enjoys food. It’s just no big deal. She eats when she’s hungry. She stops when she’s elegantly satisfied. If sometimes she overeats, she doesn’t beat herself up. She just knows she’s human. And that is how I discovered lasting weight loss. Not through all these crazy extremes, but just by being a woman who has the self-image of having a happy weight and no struggles with food.
But I had to go through this process of getting started and keeping it up in order to get to a place where it’s just now who I am. It’s that identity shift that I had where I woke up one day and I realized, “Wow, I didn’t think about food all day today until now. Okay, I’ve got a little bit more work to do.”
And then, eventually unless I’m talking about it with you guys, I don’t think about it. It’s just not who I am anymore. I have a completely new identity, but it was going through these stages of, number one, getting started, and number two committing to keeping it up until it becomes a part of who I am.
Here’s the thing. If you think something long enough and then you do based off of that thinking, you take action based off of that thinking, eventually you become it. Think, do, become. That’s how it works.
But you have to be willing to go through this awkward in between stage and commit to keeping it up no matter what. And the only way to do that is to remind yourself of your why, to get addicted to feeling good by showing up for yourself, by being a woman who follows through.
Make that a priority. Don’t even think about the result you’re trying to get. Make it a priority that the result you want to have is to be a woman who, when she says she’s going to do something, she does it for herself. And then remember, over time, it’s just who you are. It’s who you become.
I have so many examples of this in my life, of how I have used this process to have major identity shifts, to up-level my self-image. I even remember when I was broke. I’m talking really broke. I started to play around with what it would be like to be a wealthy woman, “I am a wealthy woman, how does she show up? How does she think?”
I started to hang out in wealthy places like luxury hotel lobbies where I didn’t have to pay to stay there, I could just hang out there. And I started to get into the energy of wealth. And then I thought, “How does a wealthy woman treat her money? Well, she’s not not-looking at it. She’s not overspending. She knows where her money is coming from. She knows where she wants to put it. She’s very intentional.”
And over time, by thinking like a wealthy woman, doing things that a wealthy woman does, I have become a wealthy woman. And it’s just how it works. You have to think, do, in order to become. But a lot of you are thinking like your old self and trying to do based on your new self. And so, you’ve got a lot of disharmony happening. Or you’re doing things like your old self but trying to think like your new self and it’s still disharmony. The magic occurs when you think, practice thinking like your new self.
You practice showing up like your new self, and eventually, you become that new self. You have to be her now, which means you have to commit to keeping it up no matter what. And expect it to be uncomfortable. Expect that you’re going to have the old thoughts and beliefs come up. We’re all human. We’re all going to have that. That’s part of the identity shift. Don’t fight it.
Recognize that it’s a normal part of this journey and that’s exactly what you must work through in order to become the woman that you want to be. So, keep it up, you all. Do not give up on yourself.
If you have a day where you have a setback, you get to decide what you make that mean. You can make it mean that you’re a failure, you’re never going to get there, it’s not working, which is part of the old self. That’s something the old self would say.
What would the new self say? She’d be like, “Girl, get back up. This is part of the process. Success was built on a mountain of failures. Let’s keep going.” So, even define your setbacks in a way that fuels you to keep moving forward. Keep it up. I love you all. I’ll see you in the next episode.
Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to schoolofselfimage.com/manifesto and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.