Being Restrained – What will you say ‘no’ to this year?
This week is all about ‘restraint’. How much of this do you have? Or has it moved out completely and let justification and it's good friends regret and guilt take residence?
Latesha Randall’s book ‘The To-Be List’ refers to how easy it is to give in to temptation. I should know. I am a sugar addict. I have been since before I could walk and I know that my mind is extremely crafty and when it comes to eating sweets. I have the ability to justify anything, anywhere, anytime when it comes to satisfying my sweet tooth cravings. Some of the reasons I hear in my head are that “I’ve worked hard today” (whether I have or haven’t), “I’ve earned it” (whether I have or haven’t), “I need to keep up my energy” (whether I need to or not) and there are many, many more.
In the past when there was sweet stuff in the fridge most of the time, I would feel the need to ‘set it free within me’ so that I got it out of my head and didn’t have to think about it. When it was there it would invade my thoughts and I would find it hard to focus on anything else. When I reflect honestly, I think this was my own boredom combined with justification getting the better of me, because when you think about it – the sweet treats didn’t really do anything for my body. It was an absolutely blissful and pleasant experience tasting the goodies, then it was gone. And then I felt guilty for being piggish and then regretful and I'd tell myself off repeatedly in my head for being so greedy.
There’s a lot to be said for restraint. And it doesn’t have to be with food. It could be with the television, play station, Facebook, your phone, alcohol, gambling, smoking, the internet … there are loads of things that can be justified that can easily become an addiction if you allow it to. We have patterns of language - how we respond when we are spoken to and these can become habitual as well, especially if we use/practice them a lot.
In my opinion, confidence and strength grow from the simple act of restraint, or saying no. Find something else to do instead that will make you feel great. Another way is to remember the last time you indulged and how you felt afterwards. Then, imagine how you would like to feel instead ... see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear and feel what you want to feel instead of the regret and guilt.
What is it that you will start saying ‘no’ to this year?