Change from the inside vs. outside

It seems everyone wants to change something about themselves or their situation. The biggest consideration behind the desire to change is where it’s coming from.

When changes flows from the inside-out, it’s fueled and driven by LOVE.

When your thought process is centered on enhancing the parts of yourself that no one can “see,” such as self-awareness, self-discovery, self-acceptance, self-respect, self-compassion, etc. the behaviors that spring forth from that space are enjoyable, rewarding and sustainable. In addition, you’ll find this approach towards long-term satisfaction equally transforms those around you, a true win-win.

Now, you can guess what drives change from the outside-in: FEAR.

If you’re thinking that next thing is going to make you happy: money, cars, clothes, goal attainment, status, likes, praise, reassurance, whatever…your search will never end because the ego is insatiable. The only promise with superficial change is that your resources will run out long before you discover long-term satisfaction.

All in all, change is great! Along with it comes abundant life experiences filled with challenges, setbacks, failures, opportunities, learning, humility and growth…go for it! Just ask yourself: What’s driving me to want to make this change? Is it externally-focused: What will others think? Or, internally focused: How will this make me feel? One feeds LOVE and the FEAR and whichever you feed often, GROWS.


“If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” Richard Rohr

A more enjoyable way of taking care of yourself

Over the years, I’ve seen so many of my clients struggle unnecessarily in an attempt to lead their preferred lifestyle; believing that eating better and moving more will cause them to be happier.
They swear this Monday, they will starting behaving better. This limited mindset observes change as an event rather than a process and it lacks the substance and foundation to last beyond the initial excitement they feel.
The only way to sustainably and enjoyably change your behavior is to look at things through a different lens; otherwise you’ll rely on discipline, will-power and sacrificially delaying instant gratification to get there.
This fear-based approach can get you going but cannot keep you going…
Instead of starting to behave better on Monday, try looking at your behaviors through a lens of self-expression. What do you want your behaviors to say about you or communicate is important to you? We feel good about ourselves when we express ourselves consistent with what we value, whether that be health, longevity, balance, resilience, commitment, courage, vitality, etc.
This approach has the power to dynamically improve the way you care for yourself and it only requires you to be present in your life, operate with intent and reflect on the joy of living out your values.
I hope this helps you in some way improve how you care for yourself because the journey of your personal transformation was intended to be a joyous one. Feel free to share how your approach has served you so we can all learn from one another.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

Behavior change is a waste of time

Behavior change is truly a waste of time and here’s why…

Focusing on behavior change is like trying to install new software on a computer with an outdated operating system.

Behavior change is the software and the operating system is what you believe about yourself.

Your beliefs were formed primarily during your formative years and since then, you’ve invested in that story line and/or have hustled to try and change it but struggle to maintain progress.

For instance, you start a diet and exercise program to lose weight (behavior change) but you maintain a belief that you’re not worthy of the effort it takes (operating system).

You’ll take action for a while but they will be unsustainable because it conflicts with your deep-seated limiting beliefs (outdated operating system).

All the while, you’re beating yourself up for having cheat days, lacking will power and succumbing to guilty pleasures.

It’s not your fault…your behaviors are a reflection of what you believe about yourself!!!

This is WHY 92% of resolutions fail, even though people have the best of intentions, they are trying to behave in ways that challenge their self-worth and you can’t outrun your beliefs.

This by no means suggests change isn’t possible because it’s entirely possible, the key is to…
1. Understand what you believe about yourself
2. Be accountable to all the ways it impedes your quality of life
3. Identify the rules that your beliefs have formed (don’t raise your hand in class, don’t take risks, don’t challenge the status quo, don’t be consistent, don’t, don’t, don’t…)
4. Play out what happens when you break the rules, then get outside your comfort zone and break some rules (one at a time)
5. Document your experiences, gather evidence and rewrite your beliefs

It takes 8-12 weeks to redefine a limiting core belief such as I’m I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not strong enough or ANY belief you struggle with.

Through this process, your desired behaviors (taking care of yourself, creating boundaries in your life, speaking up, taking initiative, following through, etc.) will naturally flow from your new operating system.

As a fitness company owner, diet & exercise was my go to strategy to help people live their best lives and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it never worked, even when we did it perfectly.

Ends up, there’s more to consider…this isn’t about doing more of the tactics that haven’t worked in the past, it’s about becoming strategic in your approach by changing your core beliefs (operating system) that drive everything you think, feel and do.

It’s about trading in what’s familiar (diet & exercise) for what’s effective (changing what you believe about yourself).

While modifying behaviors is unsustainable change that takes place on the surface, redefining your core beliefs is deep and meaningful work that lasts a lifetime.


“You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life with an environment (beliefs) that makes those choices easy, natural and enjoyable.” Deepak Chopra

Alternatives to overreacting

When someone says or does something to get under your skin, rather than overreact and give unnecessary energy to the problem, try practicing these constructive alternatives…

1. Meditating to cool your jets and think more clearly
2. Journaling to acknowledge and process your emotions
3. Perspective-taking to practice empathy and mindfulness
4. Connecting with and gaining insights from others who respond to difficult situations the way you would like to
5. Wholeheartedly addressing the situation with the offender directly

The alternative to these practices include protective behaviors from gossiping to blaming others, shutting down, emotionally eating and drinking, watching mindless TV and the list goes on and on. Problem is these activities slowly erode your self-esteem and self-worth.

Treating your clients like a dog

I love my dog.
I love my clients.

I walk him.
I help them explore movement in a refreshing way.

I feed him.
I help them improve their relationship with food.

I make sure he has space in his schedule to get plenty of rest.
I help them create boundaries around their sleep schedule.

I destress him with a belly rub.
I help them address their stresses at their core and meditate instead of medicate.

I know he’s happy because his tail wags.
I know their happy because it’s easy to see when someone’s living out their Values, Spirit-forward and from the inside-out.


Treating my clients like a dog has worked well for me…I love my dogI love my clientsI walk him I help them explore movement in a refreshing wayI feed himI help them improve their relationship with foodI make sure he has space in his schedule to get plenty of restI help them create boundaries around their sleep scheduleI destress him with a belly rubI help them address their stresses at their core and meditate instead of medicateI know he's happy because his tail wagsI know their happy because it's easy to see when someone's living out their Values, Spirit-forward and from the inside-out#satisfytheneedachievethewant#happyishealthynotviceversa#lovehealsallifyoucourageouslyuseit

Posted by Michael Rizk on Friday, September 1, 2017