Have you ever thought about why it is that we repeat bad behavior or decisions in life? Why is it that we continue to bail out on a great eating plan? Why can’t we say no to that food-pushing relative every single time we get together? Why do we keep bringing bad foods in our house when we know dang well we are sabotaging our efforts at staying healthy?
I will tell you why. Just like deeds of good behavior, we get a payoff. That’s right, we get a pay off! Why else would we continue to repeat bad behavior? Someway, somehow or somewhere we are getting a payoff. According to Webster one definition of those two words are: A Profit, reward. Conscious of it or not there is something to be gained by everything we do.
Here is an example: Every three weeks or so you know you are going to get a call from your cousin Sherry who’s having a hard time making her rent payment that month. The first time it happened you asked yourself “What Would Jesus Do?”. Then of course you loan her the dough. The next time you are still feeling a little sorry for ole’ cuz because she’s just not earning enough money to make ends meet and you will just help her once more. For the third month while your head is telling you not to answer that dang phone, your heart just won’t have it. The next thing you know you are doling out greenbacks again. Pretty soon you have bailed her out more times that Eddie Murphy has kids knowing full well that these “loans” are going to be nothing but “long-gones”.
Oh wait, what is that you see there? Wait, What? That’s when you spot her strutting her new Louboutins on Facebook like a Svelte French model! You squint real hard to be sure your poor ole’ tired-from-working-eyes are not playing tricks on you! After you suck your teeth a few times you think Nah, she has borrowed those shoes. There is no way Sherry has used my cash to pay her rent and her cash to buy $800 shoes! The next month rolls around and true to form Sherry is calling again looking for funds of what has now become your rent payment. Also, true to form you begrudgingly hand it over.
Now what do you suppose is your pay off for continuing to do this? Surely if you are tired of Sherry using you for your hard-earned money you would not continue to give it to her unless you were getting something out of it. Sure, the first few times it was for the desire to help someone in need. After the discovery of her high-heeled shenanigans you are still enabling Sherry. Why? What sort of payoff are you getting? I would think it’s emotional. Does it make you feel needed?
I challenge you to think about it my friends. We can use this analogy in our every day food and exercise choices. Perhaps there is a deep-seated reason that we want to stay unhealthy. Ask yourself the hard questions and search for the answers within (or even professionally). Once you face the real facts you can change your thinking and then work out a plan to get out of this rut of bad behavior. The replacement pay offs will be worth all of the hard work you have put into this process. Please feel free to share your thoughts here. I would love to hear them.