Positive Intentions


All actions have a positive intention. This is something I have heard over and over in my training as a health coach.  

This realization has been life-changing for me. It has helped me to see that while I may get frustrated over health, weight, and diet issues, I know deep down inside that I’m doing my best and that what I do is coming from a place of wanting the best for myself.


Let’s take this a little deeper…


A couple of years ago, I ran across something in my studies that talked about the ultimate driving force in our lives. The author said that people strive to establish a sense of self-worth.  This is what motivates us to go through the motions of living every day, of being creative, of setting goals for ourselves. And the author talked about two primary ways that people try to gain a sense of self-worth.


These two ways are through establishing significance and security. Significance includes purpose, importance, adequacy, meaningfulness, and impact. Security includes love and permanent acceptance.


When we feel that everything is going to be ok and that we are loved and needed by others, we feel we have value…self-worth.


So, what does all this talk of self-worth and positive intention have to do with our health? Everything! Here’s how…


The actions we take on our health journey have positive intentions: to gain security and significance so we experience self-worth.


Maybe you feel more secure when your cupboards are filled with food because you aren’t lacking anything.


Or maybe you gain security through rituals of eating certain food with others so you can bond with them (pizza night, anyone?).  


Ok, so…if all of our actions have positive intentions, why do we struggle on our health journey? Why do we gain weight or feel fatigued or wind up returning to the same unhealthy foods over and over and over? The answer is simple…


While our actions have positive intentions, sometimes we do things that actually take us farther from our goals.


Let’s consider pizza night. We may have pizza night as a way to bond as a family. This has a good intention behind it. We’re bonding, we’re gaining security through time with others. Unfortunately, we may also be gaining a spare tire around our middle as well!


Am I saying you should never have pizza night? No.


What I AM saying is that it’s important for us to get curious


Are there areas of your health that have positive intentions but that may be keeping you from reaching your health goals?


Here’s a personal example from my life:


I like to feel full. Both in health and life. One way that I used to fill this need was to eat a large treat or snack after dinner…after I was already stuffed. I can see how overeating helped me to feel secure as if I wasn’t lacking anything or depriving myself.


Next, let’s consider how we can give these areas an upgrade. After identifying ways that your need for security or significance is pulling you off track with your health, consider better ways that you can fulfill these needs but also keep on track with your health goals.


Again, from my personal story…


I now sip on tea or a tall glass of water throughout the evening. This helps give me the full feeling I like but also keeps me from eating sugary treats that will interrupt my sleep and have me feeling fatigued and regretful in the morning.


Now it’s your turn…


I’d love to hear from you…What are some ways you can upgrade your health practices to meet needs for security and significance AND stay on track with your health? Simply comment below!