Published February 1, 2016
Did you know rationalizations are alive? It’s true. Rationalizations have a life of their own apart from those who depend on them. Rationalizations have staying power. Every human being has the spark of creative potential. Rationalizations are the reason so many people will never know the joy of expressing it.
And the more you rationalize, the less you achieve. Not moving past your present situation, however undesirable, is easier to bear when there is a handy justifier for maintaining status quo.
An astute commentary on rationalizations comes from this conversation between two characters from one of my favorite films, “The Big Chill”:
Michael: I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex.
Sam: Ah, come on. Nothing's more important than sex.
Michael: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?
So, rationalizations are more than habit, they are Priority One. Why do so many of us deny what Nike had right? People become discouraged, taught from a young age to fear failure and the perceived shame that accompanies it, and then avoid the steps necessary to access a fulfilling life. More often than not, an individual won’t go out a limb and “just do it.” Those who stay in their comfort zone prefer security to a new perspective that would enable them to follow their hearts. Language can motivate or suppress thoughts and follow-up action.
- I’d quit my job but I don’t want to lose the benefits.
- I can’t lose weight because of my medication.
- I can’t go on the audition because I’m not prepared.
- My office is a mess but I have no time to organize.
Affirmations mean you will do something about negativity in your life and are making a commitment to succeed. I will seek a job where age is not a factor. I will go on that audition because I may win the part. I will be happier once I find work that is meaningful to me and that’s a huge benefit. Now that I’m organized I have more time to enjoy life.
Let’s say you taking a medication that makes losing weight difficult. Yet, there are many reasons to lose weight. What about replacing dieting with a different goal and shedding pounds were a bonus?
- I will feel better by eating healthy foods.
- I will have more energy.
- I will have a better chance at lowering my blood pressure.
- My cholesterol and sugar can normalize.
None of these are weight-centric, yet they are all valid reasons to adopt healthy eating choices. While there is no guarantee that changing your habits will lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, by adopting positive beliefs you are on your way to a health-conscious lifestyle that may impact you in other ways.
Affirmations can change your mindset and produce unexpected results that can be better than your original goal. There are also questions I may ask of all the rationalizers:
- When will you be prepared?
- When will you find the time?
- What if there were more benefits to be found elsewhere?
- What makes a person too old to learn something new?
- If medication were not a factor, what would you be eating?
The most limiting belief of all is when you quit believing in yourself. There is always something more than what you now know. Why do you want whatever it is you want? Providing what you do reflects your values, you’ll get the results you want. One day you will be startled when you realize how far you’ve come and how many of those pesky rationalizations are finally gone.
Copyright 02/01/2016 by Bonnie Chernin. All Rights Reserved.
Bonnie Chernin is the Founder of SpeedofLifeCoaching.com. She is a Life Transitions and Creativity Coach. Bonnie is a compassionate and dedicated person who loves partnering with inspired midlife women, talented musicians and gifted writers. If you believe a dynamic, brilliant life is possible at any age and are ready to unleash your creative potential, then Bonnie is the coach for you.
Bonnie can be reached at (347) 586-3304