One of the most difficult things about change is that we must let go of who we currently are – whether it be a habit, routine, mood, or viewpoint. Momentarily, we feel lost as we establish a new way of doing things.
These past two weeks I’ve really been trying rise above the stuff that’s been seeking to bring me down. And guess what, it’s uncomfortable AF!! I know if I want to grow, I need to be willing to do some uncomfortable stuff. While most of us want to change, acquire, develop, start, do and make; fear keeps us comfortable and as a result nothing happens.
What I’ve been doing to minimize this discomfort is trying to ‘own’ my new-ish identity before the habit is fully established. For example, if you want to go from being someone who binge drinks every Saturday night then spends Sunday in bed hungover, to someone who goes cycling on Sunday mornings, you need to start saying, “I’m the type of person who stays in on some Saturday nights so that I have energy to cycle on Sunday.” Or, “I’m the type of person who is committed to her plans. I have already paid & signed up for class so I won’t be tempted to skip it.”
My only caveat would be, make sure you get ENJOYMENT out of this new habit or way of doing things. Don’t force yourself to do something because you think you “SHOULD” or “it’s the right thing” or “everyone else is doing it.”
For myself, I get so much joy out of interacting with my community: friends, family, coworkers, random strangers in networking events, workout classes, etc. This past year when I went through my stickiness of self-loathing, unworthiness, etc – I created the habit constantly isolating myself. Wake up, go to work, come home, watch Netflix, sleep & repeat. Little did I know this new formed habit was favoring the immense negative repercussions and only prolonged struggling. Three weeks ago I had a previous commitment to go to a Happy Hour, I dragged myself there. I anticipated agony, and instead felt happiness. I took this as a sign that this was the time to reassess, treat myself kindly, and make firm commitments to do more of what brings me joy.
So similar to the drinking example above, I wanted to go from someone who detaches from her community in times of struggle to someone who interacts with her community on a regular basis. This can be in the form of socializing, networking, volunteering, trying new things, etc.
In the last few weeks, I’ve made multiple commitments & stuck to each one. And in the process, each one brings me more joy.
- Signed up for a Beginners Yoga Class, each Monday for 3 weeks.
- Hosted my best friend visiting for a weekend.
- Attended 2 Women’s Networking events.
- Scheduled an after work walk with an old co-worker.