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sedentary life style
bad eating habits
excessive weight gain
work colleague
internal critic
bad habit
biggest loser
brother sister
guises
term goals
Is Your Motivation Being Sabotaged? Beware The Secret Enabler
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Is Your Motivation Being Sabotaged? Beware The Secret Enabler

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit, set yourself short and long term goals, but for some reason you find it difficult to start or to stay motivated and you don’t really know why? If that’s happened to you – what did you do?

Perhaps you looked back and wondered why you couldn't get motivated. Your internal critic may have got to work and told you that you’re a failure, not strong enough, lazy .... blah, blah, blah., and by the time you finished, you'd convinced yourself that it’s all your fault and you should just try harder. This negative self-talk is destructive and a waste of time. Of course you need to consider whether there's anything you're doing that may be knocking you off course but it's also worth thinking about whether your motivation is being sabotaged by anyone else.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was watching an edition of one of my favourite television programmes - Biggest Loser USA. If you haven’t seen the programme it’s a reality programme where contestants (men and women ) compete to lose the most weight and win the ultimate prize of 250,000 dollars. I’m fascinated by the stories of the contestants, why they’ve put on so much weight and what’s motivated them to do something about it at this particular time in their lives.

Having watched several series now (we’re well behind in the UK) I’ve noticed a common theme among the contestants. Most if not all the contestants have a secret enabler. The secret enabler in this case is someone who has actually supported them in their excessive weight gain. They haven't necessarily done this deliberately, but they have bought or cooked the wrong food, accepted their sedentary life style, been reluctant to challenge their bad eating habits or health problems and ignore the impact it might be having on their lives.

Now enablers come in different guises. They may be a husband, wife, brother , sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, work colleague ... and many are unaware of what they’re doing. Certainly in the Biggest Loser programme most of the relatives and friends don’t see how they may be enabling their loved ones to live an unhealthy lifestyle.

So if you're struggling getting motivated or reaching your goals and you recognise that you have a secret enabler, you need to sit down and talk to them. Discuss your goals, what you want to do and what support you need from them. Be honest and point out particular behaviours that are sabotaging your goal setting and motivation. You may be surprised by their reaction and you may be able to turn them into your “goal buddy“ rather than an enabler.

Summary If you’re struggling with your motivation, shut out the negative self-talk and consider whether your efforts are being sabotaged. If you’ve examined your own behaviour and dismissed it being self-sabotage, it’s always worth considering whether you have a secret enabler who by their behaviour is sabotaging your efforts. If you recognise that’s happening – then take responsibility and talk to them. You want your enabler to be working with you towards your goal, not encouraging old habits or damaging behaviours.


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