Person thinks about opening fridge in their brain.

Harness the “I’ll Show You” Mentality for Positive Motivation Towards Healthy Goals

Most of us have been there at some point; a place where we find a sudden bolt of motivation to do something for the specific reason to prove someone else wrong about ourselves or our abilities.

Motivation and diabetes self-management

Often times though, this motivation is driven from a negative place. I usually hear this in the arena of food choices, when the diabetes police try to tell you what you can and cannot eat because “you have diabetes.” Then cue the line, “oh yeah…” or “watch this,” or “I’ll show you!” Many times, this isn’t even spoken out loud or done in the presence of the person or thing. It’s perfectly normal to want to assert your independence in response to others putting limits on you.

Ask yourself the important questions

Do you ever find yourself on the receiving end of limiting comments based on diabetes, your health, or other reasons? If so, I encourage you to ask yourself some important questions:

  • How do you respond, not just verbally but with your actions and emotions?
  • How can you harness this for good?
  • Are there times in the past that you have utilized the “I’ll show you” mentality?
  • How can you put that to practice now to help reach your goals?
  • Do you find that you are the one putting these limits on yourself?

Silence self-limiting beliefs

This strategy can be utilized for the internal battle of self-limiting beliefs. Self-limiting beliefs are just that; beliefs that define boundaries of what is possible for yourself. Oftentimes, these are formed young and reinforced throughout your life. They often go hand-in-hand with cultural perceptions and expectations about age, gender, size, financial status, etc.

In my work, I frequently see individuals struggling with self-limiting beliefs when it comes to incorporating healthy behavior change.

“I could never do that.”

“I’m too old.”

“I’m too busy.”

“I don’t know how to do that.” 

These statements often come up in discussions of healthy eating and cooking, exercise, and self-care practices. I encourage you to identify times when you may be holding yourself back due to a self-limiting belief. Recognize it and challenge these limitations. Avoid the temptation to define your abilities without giving yourself the opportunity to try. Harness that motivation from a place of “I’ll show you!”

Identify your victories

I recently spoke with a client about this concept and how the limiting comments from others can drive us to do things that are not in our best interest. He, like many, has certainly been the victim of falling into the negative side, especially eating so-called “off-limits food” in the face of those offering unwanted and misguided judgment.

But we also discussed how to harness this in a way that will help to drive positive change. And we also learned that he had, in fact, utilized this in the past for more than one major physical endeavor. When taking the time to think about the positive side of this motivation, he was able to identify that he had once cycled 20 miles in the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure. And, he had completed multiple backpacking trips of more than 70 miles.

Identifying these victories over limitations was a helpful tool in highlighting the inner strength that already lies within. We were able to identify how this strength could be harness for not just physical endeavors, but for conquering healthy daily habits too.

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