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How to Retake Control of Your Life in 5 Seconds or Less

If you have kids, you must've heard stuff like this at one time or another.

Daddy, the iPad's screen broke

• Translation - I dropped the iPad on the floor

Daddy, the inside of the car’s wet

• Translation - I hosed down the car while the windows were open

Daddy, your iPod doesn't work

• Translation - I trashed your iPod when I filled the headphone jack with clay

(What can I say, we’ve had one hell of a run with Apple devices this past couple of weeks...)

Now, all that’s pretty much expected from children, right?

It flooded, it caught fire, the cat's whiskers are shorter - all freak events that just sort of happened spontaneously.

But here's something really scary.

We adults can be just as bad.

Don't believe me? Well, I get told stuff like this all the time.

“My weight isn’t coming down…”

“I'm not focused today…”

“I ended up having too much to drink last night…”

And I'm not pointing fingers because I catch myself doing pretty much the same thing!

Like just this morning I found myself saying:

"I didn't have time..."

and

"I can't ski very well..."

</cringe>

Why is that such a big deal? Because it's the start of a downward spiral into learned helplessness where we become little more than passive observers of whatever events happen to us.

Effectively, we're saying "Mom, it wasn't my fault - I couldn't help it!"

And before long, we end up repeating that in our own heads to the point where we actually begin to believe it.

So, let's take responsibility for our actions so that we end up becoming empowered rather than disempowered.

Instead of saying "My weight isn’t coming down…", tell yourself:

I’m not consistently taking the actions required to lose weight

Instead of saying "I'm not focused today…", tell yourself:

I’m choosing to not do what it takes to focus as hard as I know I’m capable of

Instead of saying “I ended up having too much to drink last night…”, tell yourself:

I made some really poor decisions last night that caused me to feel like crap this morning

And, hey, don't forget - I'm not letting myself off the hook here, either.

"I didn't have time..."

It wasn't important enough for me to make time

"I can't ski very well..."

I ski at a level that reflects the amount of effort I've devoted to improving

Harsh but true, right?

After all, we can’t control our actions and our lives if we’re unconsciously conditioning ourselves into believing that someone else out there is calling the shots.

Here's a really important example of what I'm talking about.

A study back in 1992 showed how obese folks were not only more likely to both underestimate food consumption and overestimate physical activity, they also tended to perceive that their obesity was caused by unfavorable genetics or some kind of metabolic disorder.

How can you lose weight if you've conditioned yourself into believing that it's completely outside your control?

You can't.

And all of us fall into that way of thinking at some level.

The bottom line is we're in the driver's seat and we all have a hidden powerhouse within us, just waiting to be untapped.

But before we can start unleashing that power we have to recognize that we actually possess it in the first place.

And we can begin to do that anytime we want by using language that empowers us rather than disempowers us.

Honesty creates freedom.

Freedom from self-imposed limitations.

Freedom from feelings of inadequacy and learned helplessness.

Freedom from unfounded beliefs about not being strong enough, smart enough or having whatever it takes to succeed.

All we need is to be aware of the language we use habitually, both aloud and inside our own heads.

Just that one simple shift will make your life immeasurably better.

And the best time to start doing it is now.

– Tim

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Images: Bigstock

Reference: Discrepancy between self-reported and actual caloric intake and exercise in obese subjects

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