Today’s episode is a lesson in word choice and how internal control is much more fulfilling and leads to greater long term success than external control.
The premise of the show is this difference between telling yourself that you can’t do something versus telling yourself that you won’t do something.
The ideas surrounding the word “can’t” are very restrictive and confining. Whether you are moving forward in a health journey from an eating or running perspective, there are certain rules to follow that say what you can and cannot do. When you do not connect to the rules, or you had no say in the creation of the rules, people tend to rebel and push back against them.
Can’t puts the control or a set of rules or beliefs outside of you. It can feel safe, but it cannot provide real joy. When the control is external, it can be magnified when the rules do not seem to apply evenly to everyone. Just as two athletes can train the same and achieve different results, two athletes can follow the same eating plan and end with different results. This unfair aspect tends to cause people to rebel entirely against the rules, or fall into depressed hopelessness.
To combat these outcomes, it is healthier to move to a place of won’t. The phrase I won’t puts the control inside of you. You understand the rules, but you are deciding how they are best applied to your life. The rules are no longer viewed as absolute restrictions, but rather best-practice suggestions to be tried by you in your experiment of one known as life.
In discussing the episode before we hit the record button, Angie pointed out that can’t and won’t both provide limits. Yes, won’t provides more internal control than can’t, but both are still limits being set and therefore negatives.
The best place to make health decisions is from a place of can and will. Reflect and decide on your core values, and then decisions become less tricky. Unfortunately, deciding on the core values is pretty difficult on its own.
So first, understand that you can do anything, then spend time deciding what you want to do, then make all future decisions based on the premise of what you will do to make what you want to do actually happen. Have fun.
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