WoW: Anticipate, Create

WoW, as in Words of Wisdom. Someone else’s words, of course. I don’t do wise on Mondays.

We create what we anticipate.

Martha Beck

That woman
sure is wise. She loses me sometimes on the Buddhist stuff, but in this case, I’m right there with her.

I’ve said it before, but it’s always worth a repeat, especially on a Monday, that the biggest contributor to my weight loss was that I anticipated success. (This was, of course, after I redefined my previously held measures of success.) I didn’t hope for success or wish for it; I anticipated it. In my mind’s eye, I could see myself taking the right actions, making better choices, building a healthier lifestyle. I saw myself feeling stronger, more energetic, less anxious. I craved that life, and that vivid anticipation fueled my ability to create that very life for myself.

Even now, after reaching maintenance phase, I still anticipate success. Not perfection. Success. When snacks attack (more on that tomorrow), I believe I can work through it. I eagerly anticipate successfully maneuvering through the holidays, knowing that if the scale should inch upward, I will correct my course and take care of it. I will be successful because I expect it. Crave it. Anticipate it.

Here’s a small example: I was dreading going to the grocery store this morning, because I just didn’t want to deal with all that selecting and label reading and calculating. Balancing nutrition with an unemployed person’s budget makes the process a bit time-consuming and frazzling. Then I remembered Martha Beck’s quote and was reminded that if I anticipated a long, drawn-out ordeal, I would surely create it for myself.

So outside the store, I took a moment or two to build the expectation of a smooth and easy process, one without drama or stress or lengthy deliberations.

And I got it!

I was Zen-Cammy, floating through the store, making wise decisions and not fretting when the occasional obstacle presented itself. The whole shopping trip took about 45 minutes, door to door, and instead of feeling tired after the experience, I’m energized. Success has a way of doing that to a person.

Qualms and self-doubt are a natural part of living (at least, to me they are), but I’ve learned that spending more time visualizing, or anticipating, a positive result enables me to create (and execute) the process of achieving it.

My question to you is this: Are you spending too much time and energy anticipating struggles? Would it help you to spend more energy to anticipate success?

Wishing you all a great week!

19 thoughts on “WoW: Anticipate, Create

  1. Oh heavy sigh from me when I got to that last paragraph! I have been thinking about writing a post about self-fulfilling prophecy, but this was a direction I would not have gone in. And, maybe that is because I am that person who is anticipating struggles. Fits well with my glass being half empty. I love this idea, I am going to try to change my focus and my paradigm. Thanks for the words of wisdom Cammy.

  2. Hey Cammy, Love your WoW today. I think it’s so true that what you anticipate is generally what you’ll get. I’m a glass half full person and generally this helps me to anticipate good results. Of course, I need to anticipate good CHOICES, too, along the route toward those good results. Today I’ll focus on anticipating making good choices . . .

  3. Great post! I feel like I have done a pretty good job at visualizing and anticipating success throughout my journey. There have been times I have allowed myself to visualize what it would be like to go back to how it was before and that pretty much knocks away any anticipation fo failure I may have been leaning towards.
    I really like this post! Thanks for reminding me of the importance of anticipating success. I really could work on anticipating success for weekends and the upcoming holidays.

  4. Cammy, you always have the best attitude & yes, I do feel that makes so much of a difference. I am so like that with my eating & exercise but have yet to translate the really important parts of that success to real life which has attacked me too many times & left me down.. but I keep trying & I think that is what counts!

    Thx for such a wonderful post!

  5. I believe that we create what we focus on. Unfortunately for me, sometimes that is the negative, or the thing that I am dreading. If I just remember this, I’ll be better off.

    I’m so glad that you had a “zen” experience! What a way to start a week!

  6. Yes yes yes! And this can be applied to all areas of life. It’s the difference between a happy person and a miserable person: your ATTITUDE towards life. I’ve seen people who have gone through some pretty crappy experiences but kept a positive outlook and were able to grow from it and even laugh about it. I’ve seen others who have gone through what should have been great experiences, but kept only seeing what they perceived to be bad stuff happening, so they didn’t learn and they just stayed miserable.

    I would way rather go through a tough time and keep a postive outlook so that I can learn from it and ENJOY LIFE than go through a great time and not appreciate it.

  7. Wow. Those ARE some great words of wisdom!! This post gets a gold star in my google reader :)

    It’s true. I know it is. I’ve experienced it.

    Soooo, why oh why oh why do I still struggle with the self doubt? We do create what we anticipate..either way!!!!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  8. I think you’re right. My weight loss and maintenance has been the same. I often think that if I could apply the same level of goal-setting and determination at work I would be a lot better off there too. I think the difference is, that when considering your own diet and exercise goals/plans, it is so much more within your control. Work-wise there are just so many outside influencers that get in the way and complicate things.

  9. I so so so agree with you on all of this.

    I thought I was anticipating successes already when I learned this lesson a few years back.
    For me it was the AH HA! moment of realizing I HOPE I DONT GET SICK (or some such thought) was INDEED STILL NEGATIVE!

    Im work to replace it all with musings like I AM FILLED WITH HEALTH.

    great post, Cammy

  10. Great insight! And yes, I’m sure I do spend way too much energy focusing on things I can’t change and not putting my efforts into the things I can.

  11. Catching up on my overdue reading, I found your wonderful post.

    This is so much what I need right now with family already in the house for holidays and my resolution to practice maintenance (with still 55 pounds to go!) during this time wavering. Zen it is!!! Actually a cognitive-behavioral approach if one needs to sound clinical to get past the zenn-ish (?) aspect of anticipating success.

    Thank you, thank you.

  12. Pingback: WoW: Breathe

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