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Old 10-21-2010, 12:44 PM   #1
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I've been seeing this cognitive behavioral coach recently. It's a 6 week program where I'm to learn a bunch of specific techniques to use my mind to control, in my case, anxiety. They use this program to help people with other stuff, too, like chronic pain, etc.

Anyway, I am learning a whole lot about the power of my mind to think about things differently to change my reality. And something the coach said today really struck me and I thought I would share it, because I think it has huge implications for achieving any goal.

My coach watches some show called "Ultimate Fighter". I think it's a reality show where all the guys live in a house and train to ultimate fight, then they get paired up to fight one another. Something along those lines. He said that sometimes one of the guys is really scared to fight a certain person, that they don't feel ready, or the other guy is a lot bigger, or just in general they feel like they are going to get their *ss kicked. He said the trainers have the person work on actually visualizing winning the fight, being the victor, kicking the crap out of the other person. And they say that if they allow themselves to believe that the other person can win, then they simply have no chance - the fight has already been lost before they even step in the ring.

This is SO obvious, but how true is it?! I know for me losing weight, I have in the past CONSTANTLY questioned my ability to actually do it. I know I can lose weight - but actually make it to goal? And live my life the way I have always wanted to live it? Sometimes it seems like an impossible dream. But I know I'm going to spend a few minutes a day consciously BELEIVING it, until the doubt goes away and it is just a matter of time.

Just thought I'd share!
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannonmb View Post
This is SO obvious, but how true is it?! I know for me losing weight, I have in the past CONSTANTLY questioned my ability to actually do it. I know I can lose weight - but actually make it to goal? And live my life the way I have always wanted to live it? Sometimes it seems like an impossible dream. But I know I'm going to spend a few minutes a day consciously BELEIVING it, until the doubt goes away and it is just a matter of time.
So true! I started listening to Inside Out Weight Loss (they are free podcasts on iTunes) and the woman talks about visualizing yourself as how you want to be. Visualize a slender, healthy you. She says NOT to pictuer how you looked when you were once at your goal weight, but rather to visualize how you will look in the FUTURE as a slim, trim, fit you. I thought that part was interesting - about NOT visualizing a past picture, but a future picture.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:40 PM   #3
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Hey! this is great, I do this with a lot of stuff in life, the old 'fake it till you make it'
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:40 PM   #4
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One of my favorite quotes is "Argue your limitations, and they are yours."

So, so true!
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:58 PM   #5
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To quote my grandmother "Can't never could"
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:59 PM   #6
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I have a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology, and I do strongly believe that attitudes and beliefs affect behavior, but I think sometimes that "mind over matter" is overemphasized.

For example, it's long been believed that the martial artists who can break boards and even concrete with their hands, feet and foreheads can do so because of mind over matter - that they're essentially doing the impossible. However, xrays show that repeated injuries to these areas result in a significant thickening/stregthening of the bones. The resulting increased bone strength accounts for the ability to break the concrete and wood.

I have more doubts and less confidence than ever before (in almost 40 years of dieting) and yet I'm experiencing more success than I ever have before. In the beginning, I think I was almost losing "despite" myself. I decided that I would commit to a course of action, even though I doubted it would work. Doubting didn't stop me from succeeding, and I've gained confidence from the success. It doesn't always matter if the confidence comes before or after the action.

I'm not underestimating the power of belief and confidence, but by telling people they have to have it in order to succeed, I think some people decide they shouldn't even bother trying because they don't have that belief/confidence. They get the message, "If I think I can't, I might as well not even try."

Instead, I think the message should be "if you think you can't, try anyway, you might just surprise yourself."
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
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kaplods,
As usual, you really make me think.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:35 PM   #8
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"Create Your Own World!" I have to put a big cheesy grin with that because it makes me think of my grandpa. He's a big believer in "positive thinking" and frankly, so am I. I grew up with it and was lectured about its power from a very early age. "Create Your Own World" was a set of tapes my brother and I listened to for children about creating your own world, or the power the mind has over you and the life you want to have.

I visualise myself being thinner all the time! All the time! And I always have. But it certainly made things a lot easier once I reached the point of believing this was possible.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:15 PM   #9
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"If you think you can, you're right; if you think you can't, you're right too."
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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I sort of bristle at this mind over matter stuff. Thoughts, beliefs, and opinions aren't necessarily reality. Thoughts don't change anything. Actions do. If thoughts did have the power to affect reality I'd have a severly incapacitated boss and some ex's missing kneecaps. I've had all sorts of thoughts and beliefs about myself during various weightless attempts and the only thing that had the power to change my reality in terms of weight loss was me sticking with the program. I'm not saying thoughts aren't disruptive or even counterproductive to our lives at times. They just aren't real (as in reality) and creating new thoughts or beliefs only creates new thoughts and beliefs not new realities.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemyboy View Post
I sort of bristle at this mind over matter stuff. Thoughts, beliefs, and opinions aren't necessarily reality. Thoughts don't change anything. Actions do. If thoughts did have the power to affect reality I'd have a severly incapacitated boss and some ex's missing kneecaps. I've had all sorts of thoughts and beliefs about myself during various weightless attempts and the only thing that had the power to change my reality in terms of weight loss was me sticking with the program. I'm not saying thoughts aren't disruptive or even counterproductive to our lives at times. They just aren't real (as in reality) and creating new thoughts or beliefs only creates new thoughts and beliefs not new realities.
Yes, I'm inclined to think this too. It doesn't matter so much (to me) whether I think I'll succeed, whether I wake up every morning shouting "yes I can!"

All that matters is that I drag myself to the gym a few times a week, and not stuff my face at every opportunity. All that matters is that I make the right choices every time I am faced with a choice.

Now for some people, that kind of affirmation of belief in your ability to reach the ultimate goal helps you make the right choices. I fully acknowledge that. For me, though, I almost have to forget the ultimate goal and concentrate with laser focus on the choice in front of me.

Put another way - do I have what it takes to get trim and fit - who the heck knows? That takes doing a thousand things right for a really, really long time - it's too much think about. But do I have what it takes not to put that donut in my mouth - yeah, that I can manage. After all, it's not the last donut I'll ever see.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:36 PM   #12
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I have been using "mind over matter" for a few years now. My husband suggested that I stop telling myself that I felt sick (or depressed, or whatever) all the time. It is true that I had a personal culture of illness. I have long suffered from stomach problems, and I was often saying I didn't feel well. Over time, I became convinced that my husband was correct. Now, even at the first sign of a sniffle, I tell myself that I feel *terrific!* and then head out to take a walk or take some vitamin C. I have been sick exactly once in three years and that lasted about four days. It was a minor cold.

Whether or not you believe in the Law of Attraction the way that it is "written," the results are still possible. We begin by cutting out the negative talk from our lives. We stop *saying* negative things. For example, I will stop saying that losing weight is impossible. The less I say it (and the more I tell myself that I can lose all the weight I need to), the more I will begin to think the thoughts associated with the words. "I can lose weight." Then finally the actions follow the thoughts. In this case, the process is more positive if it involves behaviors. I stop telling myself "Diet plans are impossible! I always feel hungry!" and begin telling myself "I can do this. I feel satisfied after a meal, particularly if I eat enough protein." Then the words become thoughts, and the thoughts, over time, become actions. In this case I may eat more frequently at consume more protein (since this is what works for me).

I don't believe that mind over matter works in a "magical" sense. I think that it works in a practical sense. You will act on what you believe. If you believe that you are destined to be fat your entire life (and deserve to be), it will be very difficult for you to stick to any kind of a healthy eating plan. If you believe that you deserve to be happy and healthy, then you are more likely to reach that goal because you will behave accordingly.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:04 PM   #13
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This is what finally hit me one day - others have done it, "why not me? Why NOT me??"

For me, in the end, when I finally decided to do this, it wasn't only that I can do this, but it was "I am going to do this. I AM GOING TO DO THIS!"

And when you decide to do this, you make darn certain that it happens. You MAKE it happen. You acquire the skills, the means it takes to get it done.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:09 PM   #14
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Cliche's usually have a ring of truth, but they're rarely the whole truth. I've seen many people succeed (including myself) without expectations of success. I've seen people surprise themselves, even when they were positive they were going to fail.

When I was a probation officer, I dealt with this a lot, and I suggested that people "try" for the life they wanted, even if they didn't believe they could get it. For some of them, it was getting a job (no one will hire me), for some it was being clean and sober, for some it was staying out of legal trouble.

A lot of people were cocky and sure of their ability to succeed, and failed anyway because they had little but a vision of success. They didn't understand the work and steps it would take to succeed.

A lot of people were convinced they were going to fail, but willing to at least try some of the steps towards their goal (for some of them, it wasn't even their goal when they started, just the terms of their probation).

Ultimately, you can sabotage yourself with lack of belief, but belief doesn't have to be your first step - it can be something you gather and build along the way.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:20 PM   #15
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No matter how deluded I may be, I cannot flap my arms and fly. However, if I believe I can fly and I take action upon that belief to get myself a pilot's license or a plane ticket or a hot air baloon...then yes, indeedy, fly can I. I may be full of doubt, in fact I oftem and doubtful of my own abilities, BUT...I follow through and make improvements until my goals are met.

Perhaps "mind over matter" isn't as accurate as "belief with action". I can't imagine anyone who would try to do something if they believed 100% that they would fail. There has to be some tiny hope if not a full blown belief in the possiblity of success...no?

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