How Do Your False Beliefs Influence Your Behavior?
False beliefs often make you feel that you are not good enough, smart enough or have enough “willpower” to overcome your eating disorder. It is common to have the knowledge of what you’ll need to change in order to obtain or maintain recovery, yet the tools are just as necessary as they help you stay committed.
When you allow yourself to be vulnerable and grow to accept who you truly are, you begin to attract people in your life who also accept and appreciate you for your authentic self.
Finding Your True Self in Your Values
Your eating disorder consumes so much of your time and energy, and it has taken away parts of your life that you once enjoyed.
It is important to recognize your true values and commit to them. It may be difficult at the beginning of recovery, but take time to think about just one or two values that are important to you. Reflecting on these values helps you to become more connected to the things that will bring you inner peace and fulfillment. Eating disorders can cloud your vision of what is truly important and hinders your ability to see the good in your life.
Addressing Your Triggers
Common triggers may be feeling unfulfilled in relationships, career or social life. Difficulty showing up as our authentic self occurs when we suppress emotions and thoughts that are uncomfortable, and learning how to identify these feelings and cope with them will bring us closer to who we are striving to be.
What are the triggers that steer you away from your interests or what brings you joy?
You may feel that your path is unclear, which is a normal- and even exciting- aspect of life. The journey is just as important as the destination, and although right now your eating disorder may be fogging the vision of your path, with moments of introspection, it can become much clearer.
Ask yourself these questions as an exercise of the mind to begin seeing the effect your relationship with food and body image has had on your ability to live a value-oriented life:
“What do you think the value you have placed on your food and the thin idea has brought to your life?”
“What has it taken from you, and what have the costs of upholding this value been?”
“Is being thin a value to you?”
Take a moment to write out your values and rate them on a scale of 1-10 of the level of importance. Then, write down what percentage of your time you contribute to each value.
Examples of things we value can include family, friendships, intimate relationships, traveling, spirituality, career, education, children and health.
Note how much time you are spending on each value currently and relate it to its level of importance.
Do you value your friendships at a level 9 but are currently spending only 10% of your time with them?
Becoming clear on how you spend your time and what you are giving most of your energy towards supports you in getting a fresh perspective on why you may not be truly living in accordance with your values. Hopefully, this clarity will motivate you to take steps to start making changes today.