In 2013, I hit rock bottom. I was struggling through my final year of study to become a teacher, I had just fallen out with a long-time bestie and I was experiencing intense anxiety and panic attacks. I was seeing a psychologist and I was pumping through Valium like it was water. That was until a few years later, when I discovered the world of personal development. I learnt about mindset and positive psychology. I learnt about meditation and the power of the breath. I learnt about the importance of listening to our body and tuning into our intuition. The list goes on and on. And not only was I learning all this stuff, I was putting it into practice too, and radically changing my life!
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve managed to maintain a pretty balanced and calm lifestyle. I’m now a Life Coach who supports young women to understand the story of their lives, embrace their innate authenticity and take back authorship. I still practice much of the techniques I’ve learned over the years, however, recently I found myself reverting back to some old habits. It all begin when I started feeling some overwhelm from trying to juggle two careers, as well as some semblance of a life outside of these. I didn’t even notice at the time, but I started trying to place blame on external factors for how I was feeling. Next, I began falling back into old habits of overworking and exerting myself as a distraction. Then came the feelings of woe and victimhood. (Hello tears and “why me” thoughts!) All the while, I was reciting things I SHOULD be doing/thinking/practicing in my head, like that would make all the difference.
I was running the theory in my head, but I wasn’t putting in any of the inner work to really create a shift. It wasn’t until I heard myself making excuses to my partner as to why I couldn’t change things and life was so hard, that I finally took a good hard look at myself and decided to REALLY make some changes. I know that this is something that a lot of us well-meaning, self-help junkies go through from time to time, so I thought I would share you with how I pulled myself out of this cycle and started getting to work for real!
It always begins with awareness. You don’t know what you don’t know so until you are cognizant of the fact that you aren’t practicing what you preach then nothing will change. The fact that you are reading this post, hints to me that you have become aware that you are running some less than supportive programs that you’d like to change. Go you! A crucial part of realizing this, is to show yourself some compassion. As humans, growth isn’t something that is linear and clear. Growth manifests in many different ways, and can be both uncomfortable and enlightening. Acknowledge that this season of your life is here to teach you something, and celebrate yourself for where you’re at right now.
Challenge your current thoughts and choices
Maybe you’ve been letting everyone else know just how important meditation is, yet you haven’t sat down to practice in weeks. Maybe you’re grilling your colleagues about their eating habits, but have forgotten to mention that you’ve eaten take out every night this week. Maybe you feel inactive and sluggish, then choose to sloth out in front of Netflix for hours on end (guilty!) Are you doing the work or just running the theory? My tip is to get comfortable with questioning yourself. When you wake up in the morning, ask yourself how you would like this day to unfold instead of running on autopilot. As you peruse the café menu during your lunch break, challenge your initial inkling to order your comfort food and instead, order what you KNOW will support you to feel good. When you look up at the clock tonight and see that it’s almost time to settle down for the recommended 8 hours, take responsibility for your wellbeing and know that the next episode of Stranger Things will still be there tomorrow.
Embody your new way of being
What you focus on expands. Now that you are aware and you’ve begun to challenge these habits, the last step is to continue putting yourself first and making positive choices. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and so we need to make a conscious choice to make our new way of being our new normal. There’s so much power in not only knowing what is good for you, what will make you happy and what will empower your, but more importantly, in living it. It’s time now to put that theory that you’ve been running into practice, and do the inner work that you’ve known all along will support you.
If you’d like some support and accountability to turn your theory into conscious practice, I’d love to support you. Simply click this link to book a Complimentary Clarity Call and we can get started!