The Trap of the “WHEN I” mentality…

What are you waiting for?

What are you holding yourself back from? What’s that thing you’ve said to yourself “I’ll do that WHEN…”

We’ve all been there, unfortunately it’s something society has ingrained in us, this constant chasing of the next thing, of striving for something external that we don’t already have. Often it's at the expense of presence and gratitude for what we have right now. What if I told you that the “WHEN I” you’re waiting for was never going to come?

As a health and transformation coach these are the kinds of things I hear from my clients all the time when we first start working together.

WHEN I lose weight I’ll be confident, happy, love my body, join the dance class, put myself out there to meet a potential partner. 

WHEN I am successful and make X amount then I’ll be happy, then I’ll go on that trip I always dreamed of

WHEN I fit a size X then I’ll go on the hike my friends and I wanted to do, then I’ll wear a bikini at the beach. 

WHEN I’m more confident in my body, tone my legs, have a slimmer waist, get a booty, look like X (some ridiculous unrealistic expectation of the female figure on insta #fitspo) then I’ll wear those bright leggings. 

You get the picture. We are holding ourselves back from a whole lot of the things we want to do and experiences we want out of life waiting for the mystical future moment to occur. 

Here’s the problem… While it is possible that that moment will occur, in the meantime we have outsourced our happiness, confidence, self love and worthiness to an external image.  Chances are that when we reach that place a couple of things will happen. 

1. We often won’t realise we’re already there.  We become so focused on constant improvement that we don’t even stop to notice how far we’ve come and that we’ve actually reached the “when I” place that was meant to bring automatic happiness.
2. When we do get there (if we realise it) there will always be something else. There will always be more money to make, more weight to lose, a better car to have, more muscles that could be toned, bulges that could be reduced etc etc. So chances are the “When I” goalposts will get moved further out.

Let’s look at this a different way because hopefully I’ve convinced you that waiting for “WHEN I” to come is not a great strategy (or a strategy for life at all). What if you could have all the things you are waiting for RIGHT NOW exactly as you are?  It is about embodying gratitude and presence to how things are in this moment, and accepting where you are with love. By flipping it around you get to the WHEN I place because you are happy, confident and love yourself as you are, rather than getting these things because of reaching some external ideal.

Ok what might this look like in real life…

You would have confidence, happiness, self love and know you are worthy of all you desire and dream of right now, exactly as you are, in the perfect body that you are already in. Your actions would reflect this; you would go for that dream job, go on a date with the guy/girl, book that tropical holiday and wear your friken gorgeous bikini you thought you had to wait for your “bikini body” to wear. You would treat your body with love and care, fueling it with nutritious foods, moving it and allowing it time to rest and relax. You might get yourself that pair of bright leggings you were waiting to hit a certain size to wear knowing they WILL look good on you! As you can see your experiences would change and you don’t need to wait for some external outcome for this to happen.  We all have the power within us to change our mindset.

I’ve focused a lot on bodies here only because it’s something I have personally experienced and something I work with a lot of women on. I know this is not true for everyone and I only hope to shed some light on what can be a delicate subject. I think it’s important and believe it’s time to change our own views of ourselves and therefore our experience of the world. 
Because my badass ladies we do deserve to have it all. Right now, exactly as we are. Perfectly imperfect, 100% capable, 100% enough.

With love,
Sarah Menlove 
Sarah Menlove is a Health Coach based in Auckland with a with a passion for helping you create the health and body transformations you desire from a place of self love with no need for deprivation so that you can discover the best version of yourself. 

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