What you want versus what you get

Conflict is a constant in life. The “what you want versus what you get” of life never seems to go away.

It doesn’t matter how old or wise you get, there’s no avoiding this conflict.

Most of the time, the conflict seems to be about the difference between your values and your “shoulds”. A “should” being something you think you need to do, believe or whatever.

Something you feel society, friends, family, work, a spouse or anybody other than yourself think you should be doing.

See the problem with this? A “should” is something you believe. It’s not real.

It’s an expectation. And not a very good one either!

If you think about it, I’m sure you can find a “should” that is causing you all kinds of consternation, guilt or frustration.

Here’s the difficult part; Letting go of your “shoulds”.

Remember how I said the conflict seems to be about the difference between a value you have and a “should”?

Try it

Think of one of your core values. How about “integrity”? It’s a great value. Most people would probably say it’s one of their core values.

Now imagine a good friend asking you if you think they’re getting fat.

Imagine that, truthfully, you know they’ve been having a rough time. You also know they’ve been coping with this stress by eating less healthy than they have in the past. And, frankly, you’ve noticed they seem to eat and drink more too.

The consequence?

Their clothes do appear to fit a bit more snugly these days.

So how do you answer the question; “Do you think I’ve gained weight?”

With integrity, or the way society expects you to answer that question..?

Do you hold on to your integrity in and hurt your friend’s feelings?

The conflict of what you want versus what you get…

This example is trivial, but illustrates the point about emotionally getting what we want versus what we need.

The same thing applies to our priorities when it comes to training, eating food that nourishes us, or rest and recovery.

It’s in conflict.

In conflict with our need to make a living, cope with the stress of life events, people, deadlines and whatever else causes us stress.

Then the guilt of not doing what we should be doing; Training, eating healthy food for all of our meals, getting a good nights sleep, etc.

Most of us compromise.

A lot.

The trick

Forgive yourself.

I know…

Far easier said than done.

So let’s start with something potentially simple;

Think honestly about how you cope with stress. Try to identify a small thing you do that you know you “shouldn’t”.

Something, a choice you make, without really identifying why. It’s a thing you feel guilty about having done afterwards. Maybe not right away, but at some point. It tends to happen sometime after whenever you’ve been at your most stressed.

Something where, in spite of the guilt, you still do it. Pretty consistently actually.

Maybe it’s having a scoop or spoon of ice-cream?

A piece of chocolate (dark, of course, because it’s healthy!).

Baking something.

Doesn’t matter what it actually is, just try to identify it.

Today is a new day…

The next time you’ve felt stressed or out of sorts.

You made the choice to have whatever you have/do to cope.

Then, when the guilt starts to creep in.

Try to notice the feeling.

Ask yourself;

  • Why am I feeling guilt? Or,
  • Why am I feeling like I really shouldn’t have done that?

Is what you did, in isolation, so bad it’s actually worth the guilt?

Can you forgive yourself that transgression? (You probably can, once your realize what’s going on!)

Is there a way to identify why you made the choice you made?

What about the choice is making your feel guilty?

Why does that make you feel guilty? Is it because your choice violates one of your core values? Or because it’s something your current plans and goals means you should feel guilty about it?

If it’s the former (core values), can you come up with something to help you identify that conflict earlier in the process and evaluate your choices differently?

If it’s the latter (the “should”), ask your self why? Is that “should” important enough to add even more stress to your life?

Enjoy your training session today!