Focus On the WHO Rather than the HOW

Zelda Okia, MDUncategorizedLeave a Comment

When you want to achieve something great, focus on the WHO rather than the HOW.

In the thought model of coaching, it is thoughts that create feelings and feelings that drive action. Yet, when we desire to do something great or make a significant change in our life, we often head straight to the “doing” instead of focusing on “being.”

Think about when we encounter a problem in our lives.

Isn’t our first thought: “what are we going to do about it?” We immediately focus on taking action, the “how.”

It reminds me of the story of the two guys chopping wood.

One guy kept chopping away non-stop, while the other would periodically take a break. At the end of the day, the guy who chopped non-stop thought he had cut more wood, but it actually turned out that the one who took breaks ended up chopping the most wood.

When the guy who chopped non-stop asked the other what he did during his periodic breaks, he simply stated, “I sharpened my axe.”

What if the next time you are faced with a similar challenge in your life, instead of quickly seeking a solution of “how” you will fix this or that, you asked the question of “who” do you need to be or become to adequately handle the issue?

A Weight Loss Example:

Let’s say that I currently weigh 200 pounds. But I want to get to 150 pounds. So I decide to starve myself for three months to get to 150 pounds. I skip meals. I stop going out with my friends. I stop eating cake and ice cream. And let’s say I keep this up for three months and lo and behold, I get to my 150 pounds.

Great. I just reached my goal by focusing on taking specific actions in the moment. But when I think about those three months, how did I feel? — Awful. And my constant thought was— “just two more months of this. Just one more month of this.” I could not wait until this diet was over.

I couldn’t wait to get back to my former way of life. For three months all I thought about was “when will this be over?”

What if instead of white-knuckling my way through those three months, I instead spent the first month focusing my thoughts on the goal.

  • Why did I want to weigh 150 pounds?
  • What did it mean to me?
  • What would I do when I reached the goal?
  • Who did I want to be at 150 pounds.
  • Why was this so important to me?
  • How did reaching this goal align with my values and priorities?

Sitting and really thinking in this manner takes it out of the “how” and focuses it back to the “who.” The focus is no longer on doing, but being or becoming.

What does it mean that I am a person who no longer responds to negative emotions by eating? What does it mean that I am a person who honors her commitments? Why does living a healthy lifestyle matter to me? Who do I want to be/become?

When I sit and ask myself these questions, weight loss is no longer about fitting into the latest pair of skinny jeans. It is about loving, supporting, and caring about myself.

When was the last time you loved, cared for, and supported yourself?

When was the last time you felt loved, cared for, or supported?

As your coach, I offer this to you. Isn’t it time you did something special for you? What if developing into the person you truly desire to become is the greatest goal you can achieve?

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