Thousands of years ago Aristotle, Epictetus, and Aesop were talking about things that are still relevant today. Although our circumstances have changed considerably, on the inside we have stayed pretty much the same in many ways.

Here are four essential ideas from that time, which are applicable to our weight loss journey and very useful today:

Have Courage

“Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others” – Aristotle

We need courage to actually apply what we learn from Dr Cohen whilst following our Eating Plans. This is one common sticking point. The problem is not that we do not have the correct guidance or solutions, it is simply that we avoid facing what we fear.

This might be something that you do often, so you have to increase your courage. You have to take action and face your fears, it is the only way to build courage and self-confidence. You can build courage by:

Being curious. When you are stuck in fear you are closed up. You tend to create division in your world and mind. You create barriers between you and other things or people. When you shift to being curious your perceptions and the world just opens up. Curiosity is filled with anticipation and enthusiasm. It opens you up. And when you are open and enthusiastic then you have more fun things to think about than focusing on your fear. One way to become more curious is to remember how life has become more fun in the past thanks to your curiosity and to remember all the great things it helped you to discover and experience.

Being present. This will help you snap out of over thinking and just follow your Eating Plan. It puts you in a state where you feel little emotional resistance to what you need to do, so you take more action. One of the simplest ways to connect with the present moment is to keep your focus on this point in time and what you are currently doing – this glass of water or this meal only.

Realizing that failure will not kill you. It is when you face your fears that you discover the thing that billions of people throughout history have discovered before you. Failure will not kill you, nor will being wrong – The sky will not fall down. That is just what people that have not faced their fear yet think. Failure is actually a great way to learn things about yourself and life. It makes you tougher and more courageous and each time you try, you will get closer and closer to your goal.

Prepare For Reactions

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid” – Epictetus

This is very applicable with regards to self-improvement and something that holds many people back, no matter how much knowledge or guidance they have about how to make their lives better. The fear of social rejection is strong in many people.

Once your weight loss is noticeable, people may react in different ways. Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may react in negative and discouraging ways. Which is all okay – they will soon go back to focusing on their own weight loss or health challenges pretty soon.

It Might Not Be About You

“People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.” “The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others” Aesop

Any criticism that is valid should be taken on board. However, negativity directed towards you and your weight loss efforts can sometimes not even be about you. It is more about someone else having a bad day, week, or year and directing their negative energy at anyone passing by in their life. So much complaining and negativity that people put out into the world is about how they feel about themselves and their own lives. The problem is that we are often so focused on our own lives that we take every negative thing said to us personally. But the world does not revolve around only us.

Remember those two quotes when someone is being negative towards you or when you feel the need to lash out towards someone else. Think about what the real problem is in your life and what you can do about it rather than lashing out and feeding more negativity into someone else’s life.

Build New Habits to ACHIEVE SUCCESS

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

Changing your lifestyle and making health improvements is not about having little goes now and then when you feel like it. It is about habits and consistency.

It is very important to take small steps. If you are feeling that changing your lifestyle by following your Eating Plan is too big or scary or difficult, this will be the thing to hold you back from taking action at all. So, ask yourself: What is one small step I can take to move forward to achieving my goal?

Do not get stuck in planning or thinking that you will get started tomorrow or next week or next month. Start now instead. Do that today by just taking one small and practical step towards your new healthy lifestyle!