How Pleasure Can be a Much Better Motivator than ‘I Should’
So what happened to the New Year Resolutions to lose that weight, go to the gym and stop sugar? Or did you not even bother with resolutions this year because you didn’t want to set yourself up for failure? Who does?
I was talking about all of the above, with my client, Mary who came to me for food/ weight/ body image issues last year. I asked her if she was interested in trying something different? She said “Yes!” She was tired of her “excess weight” and poor body image … So I suggested she try a more right brain approach that would not only be more pleasurable but also most likely more successful. Needless to say she was very curious!
We tried the following 3 steps in session and then she practiced them at home everyday:
To state out loud each of her intentions and most importantly believe she can really have them/ deserves them. The latter part is important as it is often what can consciously or unconsciously trip us up.
To imagine herself having already obtained each intention. Notice what this feels like in her body. How is she walking, talking, acting differently? I encouraged her to really ground the feeling in her body and flesh it out as much as possible with details using all her senses. I call this “ creating a body memory.” The more detailed your ‘body memory’ is the more powerfully it will work!
She really enjoyed this part as she imagined fitting into a red dress she wanted to buy, how it would feel on her skin, the looks and comments she might receive etc.
To recall this ‘body memory’ periodically throughout her day, especially when she was feeling her intention was being challenged.
Mary practiced the above in session and over the next few weeks I checked in with her.
She was exercising more as she had applied the same ‘pleasure principal to other areas of her life. Now instead of trying to make herself go the gym, (which she realized she hated) she was going for walks with a friend, who welcomed the opportunity to take out her dogs. Mary enjoyed the walking and felt the benefits nearly immediately. It wasn’t a chore to exercise anymore. She actually looked forward to walking and connecting with her friend. Exercise was fast becoming an increasingly pleasurable activity. This was definitely new for Mary!
She also used the visualization she had practiced in session, on numerous occasions. For instance to pass up on that second helping at the dinner table. It didn’t feel like such a sacrifice as she enjoyed the feeling of pleasure she got from imagining wearing her red dress and the responses she might receive.
One day she came in wearing the red dress and thanked me. I could tell her self esteem was improved and so was her body image. It showed in her increased confidence and how she carried herself. She was working with using pleasure as a motivator instead of ‘shoulds’ and most of all having fun with it!
Try it you might be surprised…; )