Even the smallest of life changes can be very difficult. We get into our routines and the speed of life puts us on autopilot. I know personally am I’m terrible at this.  I get so consumed with getting things done and forget about what’s really important.  Why am I working so hard? Why is this so important to me that I’m losing sleep over it?  Anyone who has ever worked in my program or listen to me talk knows that one of the biggest questions I have always asked people is “why?” Why are you doing this?  Through some recent interactions and conversations, another question keeps presenting itself.  “Who are you doing this for?” Do you truly want to make a change for yourself or is there someone else you’re placing more value on?  Most of my life because of the way I grew up and the insecurities I formed, my main motivating factor was to please others.  I desperately craved to make others happy and just couldn’t say no.  I definitely enjoyed my football career but honestly, it never was as fulfilling as it should have been. Often times it felt like I wanted to be successful in football because that’s what everyone expected of me. 

I wish someone would have grabbed me early on and made me answer this crucial question, “Who are you doing this for?”  Accomplishing goals or making changes are much more difficult when our value chain is out of line.  Your value chain is your totem pole of importance.  What value are you placing as the most important reason you want this? For most of us, to no fault of our own, it is for someone other than ourselves.  We want to lose weight to impress someone of the opposite sex… We want to be successful at our job to prove to others that, yes I can do it…  Why aren’t we doing these things to empower ourselves? I had to learn this lesson the hard way! 

Since most of my life my main motivating factors for doing anything was external, I would find that initially, I could get very motivated but as with most, it would quickly fade.  External motivation should only be used as a spark that lights the fire within.  What I mean by that is unless your main motivating factor is very internal and emotionally binding it simply won’t last.  When it came to my weight loss journey I knew from the start it was something I needed to do for myself to help me work through my insecurities. The problem was, along the way I would lose sight of that and turn my highest value on something external.  I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but for me, one thing that has always provided a good source of motivation for me is “I’ll prove them wrong.”  I loved it when someone would doubt I could do something; it would simply pour fuel on the fire.  When I first started my weight loss journey from 305 pounds I would tell people, “one day I promise you I will have visible abs.”  To see the look on people’s faces it was almost like they were holding back laughter and while most people verbally supported me I could still see the doubt in their eyes.

While it was a great source of motivation it was temporary and more importantly, it was very unfulfilling.  Once I attained that goal and I came to the realization that the reason it was incredibly satisfying was not that I proved the others wrong.  It was because I had just proven to myself that I could do it.  I can set a goal for myself and even though it will be one of the most difficult and grueling things I have ever done, I CAN DO IT!  So I ask you now, “Who are you doing this for?” It is up to you to answer that question but I promise you if the answer is “ME!” your chances of success dramatically increase.  Are you not worth it? Are you not important enough to do this for yourself?  Yes, you are! You deserve this! You can do this!