“Don’t let where you want to go keep you from being where you are.” I heard this the other day, and it's kind of an interesting sentence (though somewhat confusing at first). So many of us are future-oriented thinkers—we look forward to the way things will be because we are not at peace with what is going on now. I think this is often the case for people with diabetes. We are told that we should be doing a better job, and we internalize this. We take on this belief. Look at blood sugars for example, and not just the number itself (“good” or “bad”) but how often we check (do it more!). It seems like we can always improve ourselves if we would only work harder, which leads us out of the present (where we feel inadequate) and into the future. The future is yet to be determined! We can still succeed! we tell ourselves. The problem here is that in this moment, we put off taking action. Why? Because the present is informed by our past “failures” (which often seem to be easier to spot than our successes!) It’s easy for us to stay in that same pattern, so we escape to the future, where we will magically be different. This is what keeps us stuck—living in the future and forgetting the now, where we are taking no action. So what can we do?
First, take action right now. So if you want to check your blood sugars more often, check right now. If you wish to be healthier, do something! It can be small, like doing 10 chair push ups (it’s the first exercise). Create a platform to jump off of—give yourself evidence that you can break the pattern. Second, celebrate that action! Build momentum upon your success. You checked! That’s awesome! It may seem silly at first but we find what we’re looking for. If your brain has built a well-worn neural pathway whereby you are constantly looking for mistakes, you’ll find mistakes. But if we look for success, we’ll find those, and our neural pathways will change! Sometimes we do get down and we need some help. If you feel stuck in old though patterns and are looking for help from someone who understands, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.