An avid reader, I was struck when a character in a mystery I was enjoying proclaimed, “I won’t stop until I figure it out. There’s always a solution.” I wished right then and there that I could magically transfer this must-have, winning perspective into all the troubled eaters I know so they could focus on finding solutions rather dwelling on their problems.
Rather than devoting your full energy to problem solving, how many of you ruminate about your eating struggles and the feeling that you’re not progressing? Acknowledge your problems for sure, but dwelling on them will only suck the life force right out of you and leave you in despair. We all have problems—if it’s not eating, it’s your spouse/parent/sibling/partner/kids/neighbors/boss; if it’s not people, it’s your health, job or financial situation. Life is replete with difficulties, broken only by occasional breathers in which to gather up your strength to tackle the next challenge that comes your way.
There really is a difference between people who succeed and those who don’t. Succeeders are always looking forward and trying to knock down barriers or figure out how to go around them. They rarely look back, and figure that any step forward is going in the right direction. On the other hand, non-succeeders get caught up in what’s not fair and why they can’t or haven’t changed their lives. I see this mindset often in clients and message board members—putting far too much energy into talking about what hasn’t worked or isn’t working rather than being dedicated to what will and does. Yes, there’s a time to share and explore problems, but there’s also a time to move onto solutions.
Consider whether you’re problem or solution oriented. Be honest. If you allow yourself to get bogged down in complaining about your problems, where will you get the energy to figure out how to solve them? Do you have the certainty, like the character in my mystery, that your eating problems have a solution? Or do you think they’re so unsolvable that no solution will ever be found? Or see a solution but fear pursuing it because it’s unfamiliar or might make stretch you out of your comfort zone? Often, the way you know a solution is at hand is because it’s different than what you’ve done before, because it feels unfamiliar and increases your discomfort.
I guarantee that you’ll make headway in resolving your eating problems simply by acting as if they have a solution. Starting from that premise, the sky’s the limit to finding all your answers. Maybe not the ones you hoped for, but the ones that work. If you want to succeed, believe there’s a solution and pull out all the stops to find it.