Nothing about Fibromyalgia Recovery sounds fast. Just putting the two words together conjures up a montage image of calendar pages falling to the floor, one slowly after the other, as depicted in old black & white movies. But if you’ve ever wished you could do an I Dream of Jeannie blink and make your goals happen faster, then read on.
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What Keeps Fibromyalgia Recovery Attempts in the Slow Lane?
If you’ve ever had any plans to improve your health, and you work toward a goal, you know the path goes in one of three ways.
We make plans and either …
- Never start –
- Start, but somehow fall off track before the finish line (sometimes way before) –
- Start, move forward, fall back, hit a roadblock, make a U-turn, find yourself back at the starting line, make another U-turn, move forward again, fall back, rinse and repeat –
Of course, there are times when we set and meet our goals, too. So, what’s that all about?
When asked, most people would say it has to do with motivation. Feeling it, not feeling it. Waiting for it. Trying to stir it up.
Motivation and Why it’s a Second-Rate Option
When it comes to how the mind works, and how it generates motivation, there’s too much to say here in this short post. For more details, read (or re-read) Chapters 2 and 7 in my book, Get Back into Whack.
To summarize, our brain works on a conscious level (where we think, plan, organize, create, etc.) and on a nonconscious level (where we take action, form beliefs, and are motivated based on the emotions we feel).
When it comes to taking action, we can generate motivation to do just about anything for the short-term at the conscious level (this takes a lot of effort). When it comes to anything long-term, however, the nonconscious mind runs the show. That’s where sustainable motivation for change is generated.
—>So, what drives motivation? Emotions.
—>And, what drives emotions? Every thought we think.
Here’s what that looks like. If you’re stuck and not making progress toward a health goal, perhaps one (or some) of these thoughts have twirled through your brain at least a few times.
I can’t do this
I don’t feel like it
Change is hard
I’ve failed in the past
I just don’t have it in me
Change is expensive
I don’t have the resources I need to make this happen
I don’t have the support I need
My body just doesn’t work as it should
I’m too tired
I’ll wait until next week (or month, quarter, etc.)
You can probably write your own list.
In any case, whether any of these are spot on or at least familiar, you’re in good company. I’ve thought all of the above at some point in time and most of my clients have thought these things, too. It’s not about proving whether these are true or not. That isn’t the point. Right now, we just want to notice what the thoughts are, and how they make us feel. Think neutral.
So what’s the key to the recovery fast track? Get ready to start your engines!
Fibromyalgia Recovery Fast Track Success
I’ve actually shared the answer to this in the previous section. But let’s do a quick study here. All I ask is that you read through this with objectivity and no judgment (for yourself or anyone else). Judgment only slows down progress and gets in the way.
Let’s use the example of the thought, change is hard. What emotions would that likely generate? Frustration? Exhaustion? Maybe even anger (depending on your past experiences)? And, what actions would follow these emotions? Very little action, for sure. If anything, those emotions would generate resistance to action. In fact, if you wanted to stay stuck, they’d be great emotions to perpetuate.
Most of us were raised to believe that our thoughts are “just who we are” and that we have no control over them.
Neither is true.
Being able to observe our thoughts from an objective viewpoint
– and change them if necessary –
is the key to success.
Therefore, if we want to generate the desired action moving toward a goal, what kind of thoughts can make that happen? Perhaps …
I’m open to the idea of taking small steps toward my goals
I’m curious about how my body can become stronger each day
Isn’t it interesting how I can discover ways to support my health that are simple and easy to do?
Small changes, done consistently (not perfectly!!) will create powerful change over time.
And because our thoughts drive our emotions, which drives our actions, we know where to begin. Awareness of the whole process is our door to creating change.
Start experimenting with this on your own. Play around with words and just become curious about how different phrases make you feel. Do your words make you feel stifled or stagnant? How about hopeful and optimistic? Practice changing your internal dialogue to create the success you desire.
It’s not easy because it’s new. New things always seem a bit hard until they’re no longer new. Changing your thoughts isn’t completely intuitive so it takes practice. But it is pretty simple. Surprisingly, some changes can happen fairly fast. Maybe not Jeannie-blink fast, but behaviors such as improved mood can happen very quickly.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
Would you like support with coming up with your own motivational phrases? Would you like guidance on how to change your thoughts on a more consistent basis? Connect with me, a Fibromyalgia Recovery Coach, on my Work With Sue, and let’s have a conversation.
In the meantime, I’ll see you on the fibromyalgia recovery race track!