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Who Do You Think You Are?

Hello, Tammy Austin here, asking you a simple but powerful question about who you think you are. The answer is impacted by a variety of experiences derived from environmental, social and family cues. Our mindsets strongly influence how we remember the past, interpret the present, and imagine our future.

In this series of blogs about our thought life, I will be presenting information to explore how we cope with and manage life. I recently interviewed a few women asking them the question of who do you think you are and what influences impacted your life. I also reflected on this question as I recently celebrated my 60th birthday.

We cycle through millions of memories of experiences and interactions on a daily basis. Many filled with positive and perhaps not so encouraging messages tied to these memories. We also give ourselves messaging about ourselves that we then formulate into our current thinking, choices and actions.

I have written about the Adverse Childhood Experiences tool referred to as ACE’s which is designed to allow users to obtain a score based upon traumatic events experienced before the age of 18. Some of the experiences are trauma with a little t and trauma with a big T. These experiences range from childhood abuse and neglect, parental substance abuse, homelessness or witnessing domestic abuse or the experience of parental divorce.

Early childhood trauma has been found to be a significant factor contributing to substance abuse, mental health and other behavioral disorders. These experiences correlated in the ACE’s screening tool are often common and witnessed by children repeatedly over time or may occur inconjunction, with other environmental situations, such as, homelessness or other unsafe conditions. The combination of the factors described can have a long-term and devastating effect on a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

In some cases, our thought life becomes skewed either to the pessimistic point of view (POV) meaning life is against me and I can never catch a break or the overly optimistic POV in which reality and actuality significantly differ.

Mindsets can be highly resistant to change even when they impair the capacity to adapt to changing demands because they form core explanatory beliefs. An example of this phenomenon is when we see someone repeatedly make the same choices and yet are disappointed when the same or similar outcome occurs.

In my podcast Fit and Fab I interview a woman who is both an educator and an International Bikini Fitness Pro. We reflected upon her childhood which she summarized formed her view of herself as, “small but mighty.” We also discussed her transition from young athlete, educator and now female fitness pro. My guest shares her discipline, challenges and tips to overcome mindsets to keep us stuck in our pursuit of fitness goals.

Here are a few of my tips:

  1. Being your best self does not require a major change, instead smaller sustainable baby steps.

  2. Identify your why and find pictures, phrases to clarify your goals.

  3. Review progress regularly through journaling or sharing with a trusted accountability partner.

  4. Mindfully and intentionally line up your thoughts, choices and actions with your why.

Now this is what the Lord almighty says, Give careful thought to your ways.” Haggai 1:5

Check out the podcast at


Tammy Austin

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