Do what works. Do not continue to do what does not work.
It’s a simple, solution-focused concept but it is amazing to me how many times we continue the same behavior hoping for a different outcome. I am reminded of Insoo Kim Berg’s words: “Simple is not easy. Simple is difficult.”
One example is a person who continues dieting for years, persisting through cycles of gaining and losing weight but never feeling quite satisfied with her body or eating patterns. She may hold the belief that if she can just find the right diet, all will be well. The pursuit can become complicated and frustrating. So how can she (and all of us) return to “simple” and “what works” in our own daily struggles?
Clarify your values, and remind yourself of what they are on a daily basis. Evaluate your behaviors based on how closely they match your values. When there is an inevitable discrepancy, become curious about it rather than judgmental, and try something different. Find out what works, and persist until you do more of what works.
It may involve trial and error, and a longer path than you expected. The dieter may need to become more internally focused, responding to hunger and fullness and getting emotional needs and a sense of worth fulfilled spiritually, relationally, and internally rather than giving too much power to the numbers on a scale or the way a pair of pants fits. Self-acceptance, enjoyable activity, and consistent moderation, variety and balance will work much better. If your efforts have led to frustration, don’t hesitate to seek more help and support- a sense of community works much better than isolation. What step will you take today?