Disengage: Scarcity Series

For the past couple of articles we have been discussing the scarcity mindset. It is the perspective of not having or being enough. “Not pretty enough.” “Not fit enough.” “Not healthy enough.” “Not rested enough.” “Not wealthy enough.” You name it. We are spending three articles to look at each component of the scarcity mindset: shame, comparison, and disengagement. In this article we will be looking at disengagement and how it effects your health. So let’s get started.

You might be a little skeptical to how you might be struggling with disengagement. It is a little sneaky, so let’s start with a brief definition of disengagement. I am defining disengagement as the the action or process of withdrawing from involvement resulting from not feeling like you have enough or are enough. Now let me be clear, this is disengaging or saying no to a choice solely on the basis of scarcity. It is sneaky because you can easily disguise your disengagement decision as wisely saying no to a hard choice. But there is a problem with that, this article describes how.

Recently, I have experienced disengagement in my cycling journey. It is quite frustrating. I will be on a ride (race or group ride) and the group will pick up intensity outside of my comfort zone. I will hear my thoughts say “Ok, this is getting faster. You can do it.” Then I can hear my thoughts starting to panic. “Ok you can’t do this. You aren’t strong enough …You can’t… STOP!!!”  I will pulling myself out of the group, and by the time I realized my disengagement, I am too far behind the group to catch up.

Another example in my life, was I wanted to cancel my dentist appointment because I was fearful that my teeth were too bad for me to afford to fix. Which is a legitimate concern, I am a graduate student. Money is tight. I had to remind myself that a form of stewardship and gratitude would be for me to use the dental insurance I have to at least get a cleaning and check up. I don’t need to disengage because of a potential bad news.

That is my experience. You might be experiencing a level of disengagement in a sport you are wanting to try. Maybe you have wanted to try yoga, but you don’t feel you are flexible enough, so you disengage. Maybe you feel your health is too poor to try a health program, so you disengage. I am sure you can think of a time when you have disengaged. Many of us have regrets because we disengaged from a dreams or ideas. Health goals are no different. Don’t let disengagement hold you back from pushing into all that God has created you to be or do. Many times you need to take the resources and reality you have and do your best. In fact you might be holding yourself back from stewarding your health well or reaching your fitness goals. You can be your own worst enemy.

Let me clarify again, there are some circumstances that to disengage from an activity is wise (like doing more reps than you can handle with good form), but I am talking about disengagement when you are worried about not having or being enough yourself.

So let’s just see what God will do with your engagement. Here are some tips to help you break the disengagement cycle.

  • Be Aware: Ask yourself what am I wanting to do and what is holding me back. Be honest with yourself. You won’t get anywhere without honestly identifying the problem. Sometimes being this honest is hard. I normally ask God to help me and I also talk to a close friend who can ask good deep questions.
  • Take it slow: Find one thing to work on towards the goal. Maybe you don’t do what you are scared of today, but you engage in something that helps you make a step towards that goal.
  • Celebrate the wins: Any improvement is worthy of celebrating. As I have gotten older I have realized, so much is expected of adults that we rarely celebrate unless its a HUGE accomplishment. Celebrate the small steps too. This has helped me not get discouraged by the slow progression.

As always, it is an honor to be writing to you. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

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