Many of us are great at giving sound, rational advice to others, but will succumb to impulsive, emotionally driven decisions when we’re dealing with ourselves. We can preach, but we don’t practice what we preach. Or, what I sometimes have to tell the athletes in my class, “Do as I say, don’t do as I do.”
When I catch someone I care about doing this, making a bad decision for themselves, I have a very special tool in my tool belt that has never, ever failed me. I break it down for them in one simple question: “If this were (someone they care about), what would you tell them to do?”
I will ask my parents if they would let me eat sugar all the time if I had Type 2 Diabetes.
I will ask my friend at a party if they would let their little sister drive home after drinking too much.
I will ask one of our coaches, while they’re doing their own workout, if they would tell one of their athletes to put more weight on their bar even though they’re already moving poorly and will risk getting hurt.
It’s easier to be the voice of reason for others than it is for ourselves. But, if we can twist the perspective around to see it like this, we can trick ourselves into being our own voice of reason, too.