141. Redefining Self-Care and How to Stop Living a Life of Shoulds with Dr. Cindy Tsai, MD

How many times a day do you tell yourself you “should” do something?

You “should” put makeup on before picking up the kids because all the other moms always looks so put together.

You “should” work late because your boss expects it.

You “should” follow a specific workout program because everyone else in your favorite FB group is.

Imagine what would be different if you stopped feeling bound by all of the “shoulds”?

Today’s guest on the Live Diet-Free podcast, Dr. Cindy Tsai, is a board-certified physician, TEDx speaker, and life coach, and we’re discussing redefining self-care and how to stop living a life of shoulds.

You do not need to be doing all.the.things in order to lose weight, be successful at work, and be present with your family.

You can listen to the episode here…

Or keep reading the post below:

Inherited Rules

All of those shoulds I mentioned earlier are examples of inherited rules.

Motherhood doesn’t come with a handbook so a lot of times, these rules and expectations are passed down to you and you’ve accepted and agreed to them without questioning.

You want to be a good mom so you think you should act a certain way or do certain things, but you’re not really considering the cost on your own life of doing those things.

Being able to recognize the shoulds and unlearning the behaviors associated with them so you are living a life that is more aligned with your goals is one of the first steps of redefining self-care.

So the next time you notice yourself signing up for a volunteer opportunity or taking on extra projects at work, pause and ask yourself if these actions are really in alignment with what you want out of life.

Offer yourself compassion as you work through the reasons why you think you should or shouldn’t make those commitments and allow yourself the opportunity to turn them down without guilt if it’s not the right time to do those things.

Overcoming Perfectionism

You can so easily rationalize and talk yourself out of taking action and change, because the thought of stepping outside of your comfort zone can be paralyzing.

The thing is, everything you want is actually outside of your comfort zone, because if you already had it, then it would be familiar to you and it would be in your comfort zone.

When you are in a place of perfectionism, you have this unrealistic ideal of how things should look and when it doesn’t match up it’s very challenging.

The mindset that if things can’t be perfect then it’s not worth trying is what’s keeping you stuck.

A step you can take to break out of that perfectionist mindset is to surround yourself with support from people who don’t have those expectations of you.

If you can find a community of people who don’t have pre-conceived notions about the person that you, you can often feel much more free to take risks without the lingering fear of failure.

Having the appropriate support also gives you a place to turn when you are feeling disheartened because you’re not living up to the expectation of perfection. The outside perspective can give you the opportunity to re-evaluate why you’re feeling the way that you are and give you helpful advice to break that cycle.

Commitment vs. Attachment

How do you go about taking action towards the things that you want, without having expectations about what the result is going to look like?

The simple answer is by living in the present and staying committed to your goal.

The less simple answer is that you have to determine whether you are actually committed to doing the work to reach your goal or if you are only attached to the outcome of that work.

To learn how to be more committed to the process and less attached to the goal, you need to set your goals without the expectation that it’s going to look a certain way or be done in a certain timeframe.

It’s important to have a vision of what you want the outcome to be, but you have to be careful to not become so attached to that vision that when you hit a bump in the road you completely go of course because the outcome may come at a different time or in a different way.

When you set goals with the expectation that the outcome will only look one way, you are putting yourself under a lot of stress and pressure. The problem is, when you’re putting yourself under that stress and the outcome is different than you expected, you get into a self-deprecating and shaming cycle which makes it even harder to keep going.

On the other hand, when you learn to stay committed to the process of reaching a goal, knowing that it may take longer or look a little different, you’re much more likely to actually meet your goal and stay the course despite those bumps in the road.

Commitment is one of the three Cs of success (along with consistency and confidence) we talk about at EA Coaching. We know that these three things are the keys to reaching your goals and living the life of your dreams.

If you are ready to make a commitment to redefining self-care and stop living a life of shoulds, check out estheravant.com/coaching for more info about how our proven Gone For Good method can help!

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About the Show

If you’re tired of gaining and losing the same weight, feeling like you’re the only person out there struggling, and want to learn how to lose weight and live your healthiest, happiest, and most confident life – without perpetual dieting – this podcast is for you.

Fitness industry veteran, certified personal trainer, sports nutritionist & coach, Esther Avant, will help you learn how to enjoy the process of truly changing your lifestyle and guest interviews will help you realize you are not alone in your struggles.

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