I set aside time yesterday to work on my business bookkeeping. In addition to a little bit of procrastination, I found myself starting the project with a small bowl of dark chocolate chips.
And I went back for seconds.
Of course this is not the end of the world and I did get the bookkeeping done, but what both the procrastination and chocolate let me know is that I have some negative, catabolic thoughts, emotions, and beliefs going on that I need to look at.
Whenever your actions and goals aren’t in alignment, it just means there’s some underlying catabolic energy that needs to be addressed. That’s it. It’s not an indication of your strength of character, willpower, or how good a person you are.
And it’s not about the food.
Mentally beating yourself up in these situations is the equivalent of throwing gasoline on a fire. Adding negative self-criticism is literally just making the underlying catabolic energy stronger and giving it more momentum.
It’s best just to step back and observe yourself with curiosity. What’s going on here? What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What do I believe about myself in regards to this situation?
And don’t even try to change your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in that moment. Remember, you’ve got some energetic momentum built up. Stepping in front of an energetic tidal wave will emotionally pound you into the rocks.
Just watch and let the wave go by. Later, when you’re feeling good and are in a positive, anabolic state of energy, you can revisit the scenario and look at the underlying beliefs. Not only do you gain clarity from this better-feeling place, but you can more powerfully change your thoughts so that the next time you’re better able to align your actions with your goals.
In my situation, I have some lingering limiting beliefs about my math skills that go back to grade school, as well as expectations about how “unfun” bookkeeping is, etc., etc. So here’s how I shifted my thinking after meditating this morning.
The reality is putting my bookkeeping off feels way worse than doing it. And as long as I have a calculator, I’m actually pretty good at it. I have an intuitive sense that enables me to make smart decisions. There’s a part of me that really enjoys seeing the numbers line up. And I see the income I’m making as an indication of the value and service I’m providing my clients. And I love how the income is helping me build my business so I can support and help empower more women. It feels very satisfying to have my books in order and to know exactly how much I have spent and earned. I love the feeling of being on top of things and knowing the ins and outs of my business.
Now, next time I’m sitting down to do my books, I’ll be able to tap into that feeling of satisfaction, enjoyment, and even empowerment, and I’ll be less likely to feel the need to reach for chocolate.
However, because this issue entails some long-standing limiting beliefs, I may have to do this process several times before I am chocolate-free. But each time I do it, I’m shifting the underlying energy to a more positive place.
As I let go of the catabolic feeling of dread around bookkeeping and switch it to a more anabolic feeling of expectation, satisfaction, and even eagerness, not only will I be able to let go of the chocolate, but I’ll have an increase in energy that will enable me to be more productive and engaged in all areas of my life.
The next time you find yourself doing some stress- or emotional-eating, just observe yourself with curiosity. Pay attention to what you are thinking and feeling. Later, when you are feeling better, look at how can you change those beliefs.
Together we can do it!
Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net
Dark chocolate is actually good for you! I eat a little bit every day after dinner – just one small square. Nothing wrong with a little treat now and then, as long as you don’t overdo it. Makes those unpleasant tasks more enjoyable! 🙂
Absolutely! But there is a difference between choosing a healthy portion as part of your eating plan and reaching for it to deal with an unpleasant task. Covering up the catabolic emotion with food–regardless of how good for you the food is or how unpleasant the task–is not emotionally healthy. Not having your actions in alignment with your goals is an indication to look a little deeper. And most tasks are not nearly as unpleasant as we believe them to be. By not addressing those faulty beliefs, we are actually draining ourselves of the energy to do the things that we judge “more pleasant.” Every experience in life is valuable. It is our judgement that they aren’t that holds us back. Thanks for commenting!
Yes. Well, I mostly just drink tea with all my tasks, pleasant or otherwise (and most of them are pleasant these days, fortunately). No calories there, and lots of antioxidants! 🙂
Absolutely! I’m a big tea drinker, too. Good and good for us! Thanks for commenting!
I so relate to your story about math skills. This past year I began working with a bookkeeper and for the first time ever, I started to ask questions. I felt so negative about my lack numeral prowess, that chocolate seems tame. . .that being said, your title jumps out at me “Aren’t You Curious?” In my instance it took a little curiosity, to ask some questions that in the past I never would have asked the bookkeeper to learn some things about how to organize my books that made my life so much easier! Numbers are still not my favorite thing, but by asking questions about the process of how all those numbers relate to my business, I learned some stuff and now life in that regard, is not so hard. Love your posts and congratulations by the way on one year!
Thanks so much, Stephanie. You are absolutely right. Curiosity to ask all kinds of questions is key to seeing those unpleasant tasks differently and shifting them so they work for us rather than against us. Love how you did this with your business! Thanks for sharing your example! Much appreciation to you!
Catabolic thoughts – that really got me. I had no idea such existed. Very very interesting! 🙂 Also, I am hopeless at maths…
Glad you found it of interest. Thanks for commenting!