Hello stepparents! Recently I’ve done several episodes relating to wellness.
Like finding a sanity routine, find the show notes for that episode at www.synergisticstepparenting.com/7. And the benefits of yoga and how it led me to finding my stepparenting superpower, find the show notes for that episode at www.synergisticstepparenting.com/8.
In this episode I’d like to explore the most common obstacle that I’ve seen prevent stepparents from achieving their goals.
Recently I’ve been doing intermittent fasting. The way I do it is I eat relatively healthy during an 8-hour window and only drink liquids the rest of the time. During the first month of this lifestyle change, I became aware of my eating habits.
The Destructive Long Term Habit I Didn’t Realize I Had
I realized that what I had been doing prior was akin to hoarding food. Eating much larger portions than my body needed, past the point of hunger. Eating when I was bored or when I thought I was supposed to eat. Not just when my body needed to eat.
It was interesting to suddenly become aware of this habit that I had been practicing for decades without realization.
It also became apparent that a large contributing factor to developing this habit were my caregivers. Don’t get me wrong, my grandparents were remarkable people. But learning about their history, it was clear why food was how they showed love and why it was such a big deal.
My grandfather was on the front lines during WWII enlisting just before his 20th birthday. He walked from Kiev, Ukraine, to Trosiny, Poland on foot. He accomplished many heroic feats during those last 11 months of the war, among them freeing a concentration camp.
During that year he also became intimately familiar with hunger.
My grandmother evacuated Moscow, Russia fleeing to Omsk, Russia with her mother and sister at 14 years old. They lived there for 4 years, the remainder of WWII. The available rations of food were very small and in spite selling off family possessions for extra bits of food, they were starving.
Rumor has it some days her mother, my great grandmother, had to choose which child to feed.
How Your Thoughts, Beliefs and Actions Keep You Stuck
So, it’s no wonder I remember my grandmother cooking all the time and feeding everyone who chanced to stop by for a visit.
My grandparents raised me for most of my early life. They were truly magical people … full of love, a zest for life, a love for travel, erudite and exceedingly generous.
It’s not surprising given their history, though, that from an early age I had to finish everything on my plate. And when I was particularly resistant to it, I was bribed with sweets to do so.
You see the nuances of our caregivers’ thoughts, beliefs, and actions seep into us at a very young age when we’re absorbing knowledge like sponges. When we’re little, we take on their thoughts as our own. Beliefs are just thoughts we think for a long time.
And our beliefs affect and inform our actions.
#1 One Thing in the Way of Achieving Stepparenting Goals for My VIP Clients is Their Mindset
In my work with my VIP clients in the Stepparenting Breakthrough program – learn more about that at synergisticstepparenting.com/work – I noticed that the number one thing in the way of reaching their goals is their mindset.
When you are attached to your beliefs about what you can and can’t control, you are stuck. This directly impacts whether you can have the thing you want – be it a physical thing, a relationship, or success … however you define that.
You’re often under the influence of your beliefs, not realizing that the way you view things, is not the only way that it can be viewed.
So, it can be hard to see your beliefs for what they are – thoughts and habits that aren’t serving you and ones that you can choose to let go of or replace.
It’s common to think that there is only one way to think about things. Because that’s often what you’ve been exposed to through modeling from caregivers. You don’t know what you don’t know. Resistance to change is natural because it’s unfamiliar and uncomfortable.
You might not know how to help your mind automatically respond in an optimal way. But the first step is deciding – and believing – that there is an optimal way you can respond that serves you and your goals.
It comes down to recognizing what you can and can’t control and making the choice to do something about it by prioritizing it. There are tools and strategies for how to achieve this optimal functioning.
However, the first step is choosing a clear destination. Once you do that, everything else comes together to help you move towards it.
It’s about taking inventory, learning tools, how you use those tools and how committed you are to using them.
Until next time, be well!
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