Why we do things we know are bad for us.

Two years ago I had been experiencing a phase of my life that felt near perfect. I was happy, feeling better than ever, looking better than ever, and in true connection with myself, my husband, and my kids. Work was great, clients were pouring in… everything was seeming to go my way.


This time of bliss had also included a trip to Hawaii for my 38th birthday where my husband and I had six days of uninterrupted “us” time. Freedom to go where we wanted, when we wanted without worry about the needs of our three tiny humans. It was glorious.


I remember walking down the main drag in Honolulu, sporting my jean shorts and bikini top and having the most surreal experience. Wow, I actually did it. I booked this vacation when funds weren’t flowing, trusting that they would. And they did. I committed to healthy food and exercise for two months and now feel better than ever. I am experiencing my strongest body ever. I said yes to receiving unlimited potential in my business and new clients are coming on board daily. And it all started because I believed that little voice that knew what was good for me — that voice that urges us to make decisions that nourish our mind, body and soul.


Otherwise, I would have never booked the trip, would have skipped out on my diet/exercise plan (assuming any 38-year-old woman who has had three kids is WAY past her prime physically), and would have assumed that if I wasn’t hustling, clients wouldn’t appear.


But somehow deep down I knew what I needed. I knew what was best for me. This wasn’t a “challenge the universe” moment where out of rebellion or frustration I bought tickets to Hawaii and said, “show me the money!” Nope, it was a decision from a different place. An inner voice of wisdom that was clear and yet quiet.


The funny thing is, we find it’s harder to hold onto what we want once we get it than to attain it in the first place. Have you experienced this? Losing weight then gaining it all back despite your best intentions, quitting smoking or drinking just to pick it up again even when you know it’s a bad idea, or paying off debt saying you’ll never be in debt again only to find yourself frivolously spending yet again?


We actually put effort into returning to where we were before. We go out of our way to eat more, pick up the drink or start shopping…. This takes effort! So why do we do this?


We are in shock at how good things actually can be, and in this new, unknown world of ease and pleasure without effort… we get scared and uncomfortable. Our need to control kicks in and we begin to white-knuckle the bliss. We feel the scarcity of effortless pleasure and so we grasp at it, convincing ourselves that it will take a lot of effort to BE ________________ [slim, sober, rich, whatever].


And this is why we purposely bring ourselves back to the less happy place — simply because our belief for what our life can be hasn’t caught up with the reality… of what our life is.


Experts say this is because of habits or the nature of addiction. Or that we’re processing trauma through consumption. In other words, we put ourselves where we believe we’re meant to be.


It’s even in our language. “I will keep off the weight.” “I will stay sober.” “I will remain out of debt.” Each verb carries effort… to keep off weight means fighting against it coming back. The words “keep off” actually carry the energy of struggle. Likewise, staying sober and remaining debt-free take effort. To stay or remain means to hold yourself somewhere… how restricting does that feel? Very!


On the other hand, language like I AM sober, I AM slim, I AM financially wise grounds us in a staying place. It’s where we are, and if we do nothing, we’ll stay there.


What if we believed that to be our best, to stay in alignment with our best life, we actually just needed to learn to receive? Receive feeling amazing without the effort of trying to feel amazing. Receive the feeling of being debt-free without needing to actively guard against going into debt. Receive being totally present and connected without fighting the temptation of the fog of drugs, alcohol, etc.


It’s not that we have to fight to stay where we are, it’s that we have to reprogram our minds to see that we are now different. We have arrived in a new state of being that no longer is the person who struggles with ____________ . And then we can BE that person with ease when we BELIEVE we are that person.


It can be unsettling and scary to make your dreams come true. To actually get what you ask for. To me, it’s felt like floating… feet off the ground and my sense of control weakening. It’s unknown territory to be someone I’ve been working toward, dreaming about, wanting so badly… and it can make me feel vulnerable.


When you feel a loss of control what is your tendency? Do you get stern? Do you stress eat? Drink? Hideaway and put your head down trying to plan and strategize? It’s in these moments that we often seek comfort vs. total radical expansiveness. Success in something you’ve been dreaming about has to be ready to be received. You have to become the person who already has the success, feeling that it is the real you, so you can sustain it when it arrives.


Life is on our side. If we can stop fighting it and follow what we know is best for us, we’d each live our best lives in one connected and ever-present world. Sit with me now, and just be. Connect with me in stillness and allow the not understood but widely felt force of life be present and captivating. Are you ready to welcome everything you want? Will you be able to receive it all? I hope so. Practice being ready and eventually you will be.


If you need any support being reminded of just how powerful you are, we are here to match you with a private coach to hold your dream in the moments when you can’t believe in it. Get matched with a coach today.