When we present ourself to the outside world ( introdcing ourself, online profiles ) we make a picture of the person we want to be, not the one we really are. We lie not only to other people but ( most important ) to ourselves too. There is a very good bunch on information on the “why” question in a presentation you can find on youtube : “Honest liars — the psychology of self-deception: Cortney Warren at TEDxUNLV“.
In that presentation there is a reasoning for all these lies: “Freud – pshychological strategies that protect our egos from information that wil hurt us”. I tend to agree more with the theory that it is a life-protection machnism in our brains: if we admit that we failed many goals we wanted to achieve about ourselves we might get into a depresive spiral that leads to suicide. Therefore, with a little bit of lying, we keep being optimistic about our lives.
This is also a big obstacle in personal improvement.
Admit your faults
You can’t loose weight if you don’t admit you are overweight, you can’t improve your communication skills if you say that you are a misunderstood genius. You must gather all your willpower, be extremely onest with yourself and admit your faults. This is also a skill that gets better with exercise.
I call this “Moment zero” in personal development. The point where you start to improve. Just by admitting you have something to improve, automatically, you start taking steps. To maximise you results you must access your brain’s analytical functions: search information for an appropriate strategy for your particular situation, make a feasible plan and execute it.
A feasible plan
A feasible plan means that you can execute it ( have the resources ) and will execute it. You must take in account that you will face your “installed”
automatisms and you have to make new ones ( possibly erasing old ones).
It’s not about willpower, determination and being able to analyse all the time what you should do. That will not work! It’s about trying, failing, trying some more, building brick by brick until the new habits/automatisms are part of the new you.
In weightloss, Moment zero would be admitting that you are overweight. Easiest is to compare the healthy level of bodyfat ( 10-15% ) to your level. Today there are lots of weightscales that can measure body fat too. Easy to do … technically. The hard part is to step on the scale, really see your numbers and admit that you are overweight.
The weightloss plan must include strategies for recording the reasons for your meals. To sum it the “because I was feeling bad” family is the culprit. Therefore you plan must include, also, actions for diminishing the “feeling bad” moments (get out of difficult situations, improve self-esteem, improve emotional intelligence) , actions for installing another response to these moments (drink a glass of water) and actions for eating in “feeling good” moments, when we pay more attention to the quality of our food.