We have convinced ourselves that the reason we have not accomplished our goals or our dreams is because there are barriers or roadblocks in our way. We have convinced ourselves that it is not our fault and the deck is stacked against us. We have told ourselves that it’s alright, we are what we are, and we’ve done the best we could with what we have, but let’s be honest, none of that is true.


The question we have to ask ourselves is this, did I do everything in my power to achieve my goal or did I let myself off the hook?


I love food. That is part of my problem. But it is not my problem. The reason I am overweight and battling towards a healthier lifestyle is not because I love food. The reason I am in this is because I am a master manipulator of my own mind. I am a rationalizer. My inner dialogue sounds something like this: Oh, I can eat that now because I had a smaller lunch, oh wait, did I even eat lunch? I don’t remember, you know what, I’m totally fine to eat this because I haven’t eaten anything all day, and I am most definitely going to work off these extra calories later today, but right now I need the energy, so I’m just going to eat this now ... and I won’t finish my Coke, so that’s worth something, saving some calories there ... listen ... I’m trying, alright?


Sound familiar? It’s not the food’s fault. It’s not MacDonald’s fault for serving me. It’s my fault for eating it, my fault for making that decision, and my fault for not working it off later that night when I made another bad decision. The choice is mine, and I made the wrong one. The only way I was able to start making traction was by moving from an anecdotal thought process to a metrics driven one.


As I mentioned earlier, I downloaded a food tracking app, got a fitness tracker, and the accompanying scale that all synced up. I started tracking everything I ate, and every time I took a step, I started making decisions based on facts and numbers in front of me, and started getting honest about what I was eating. That’s how I started to move forward. We live in an anecdotal world. We love to rationalize and memorialize. We think that we can rely on our memory, but the truth is our memory is unreliable. Our memory is often tainted with an emotional response, which either throws gas or water on our memories. 

Brett Esslinger is a Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Pastor, Speaker, Leader, Writer whose life goal is to help people unlock their potential and fulfill their life's purpose. 

Brett is the founder of Engage City Church & the Author of #HopeNotHype

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