"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates
A Note From Karen
As I am moving forward in my health coaching business, I have found that my clients all face some resistance to changing their diets and habits. The resistance is filled with fear. Fear of failure, Fear of success, Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of not being enough. Fear of change. The reasons are endless and different to each person. The first step to tackling that resistance is to acknowledge what is behind that fear. Most of the time we, ourselves, don't even know.
This fall I signed up to teach two adult education classes at our local community college. I am doing this for two reasons: 1) I want to get healthy information out to as many people as possible, and 2) I used to do training and teaching when I was a Human Resources professional. I know that is a skill I have, so why not teach?
What I forgot is the resistance that sets in once you commit to something. I have been procrastinating and finding excuses not to work on my classes. My goal was to have the classes near completion by the end of July. It is mid Aug, and I am not even close. Oh, I have excuses...the business has been busier than I expected. We got a puppy, and I need to spend time with him. I need to do more and more and more research. My teens need some of my time. However, when it comes down to it, the resistance is coming from fear.
Fear that it has been so long since I did a training. Fear that I can't do it. Fear that I don't know enough. Fear that it might go so well that I will be asked to do more.
Finally I stopped, acknowledged my fear last weekend and took one step. I blocked out two hours of time to work on my classes. I wrote and edited and before I knew it, half of my first class had its guts written.
Don't get me wrong, I am still feeling the pull of resistance. I am still feeling fear, but know I am not trying to deny it. I am feeling the fear and doing it any way.
I encourage you to take that first step to overcoming your resistance to changing your health. Do one little thing and see how good it can feel. Then take another and another. Feel that fear and do it anyway.
Resistance to Change
You know you want to make changes to your health. You know that you should cook more healthy foods to eat at home more. You know you should move your body more. You know you should drink more water. You know you should....
Why is it so easy to know what you should do, but not do it. Three words....resistance to change.
The changes that you need to make seem to be so easy to do. You have thought about them for a long time, it is almost like you are doing them, but you aren't. So how do you overcome that resistance?
6 Steps to Overcoming Resistance to Change
The first step to any change is to become aware of your resistance. We can be thinking of doing our healthy habit for so long that it really does feel like we are doing it. We know we are so busy. Right now is not the time, so you really aren't resistant, just can't find the time. That is all a part of the resistance. Acknowledge it and search deep to find the fear behind the resistance. Are you afraid that it will be too hard to drink so much water because you will have to go to the bathroom too often and that is embarrassing? Are you afraid that you really don't have the skills to cook healthy meals and even if you do, no one is going to like it so why bother? Are you afraid that you will look silly walking in your neighborhood or pacing in your office. You don't want people to talk, do you?
Whatever the fear is, acknowledge the fear to yourself. Maybe tell you BFF or journal about it. Get it out there. Once it is out there the fear never seems as big as it did in your mind. Then take that first step. Once it becomes routine, the fear fades away.
Discover Your Reason
What is your intention behind making healthy changes? What is your why? Do you want to look better? Fit in your clothes and be comfortable? Have the energy to play with your children when they want to? Avoid a chronic illness that seems to be in your family?
What is the core intention behind your wanting to live a healthier life. Write it down. Tell a friend. Create a vision board. Do what you need to, so that when you are struggling taking those steps toward taking control of your health, you can go back to the reason to motivate yourself to keep going.
Feelings Come Last
We have a belief that in order to make changes we need to feel like making changes. Feelings are fickle and dependent on so many things...how you physically feel, how you slept, whether you kids are happy, what the weather is like. Your feelings can change in an instance. Feelings should not be the reason you change. Decide to make the changes. Become stubborn when it comes to your goals for health and no matter how you feel...do it any way. The feelings will come later. Feelings of satisfaction that you did it. Feelings of health because you accomplished your goal for the day. Whatever it is, do it and then enjoy the feelings after the success.
Break it Down
Habit experts will all tell you to break down your goals. When a goal is too large, it becomes overwhelming in our day-to-day life, and we never find time to accomplish the goals. Then we feel guilty because we didn't do our goal, adding to the likelihood that we won't do it again. After all, you never do it, so why today. (Stinky thinking that we all do.)
Let's say you want to eat 8 servings of vegetables a day. Break the goal down to a non-negotiable, tiny goal. Make it so easy to accomplish, and you feel foolish not doing it. Let's say it is one green leafy vegetable leaf for one meal a day. That is it. Not hard to do. Start there and then never break it. You can always build to a larger goal. Success in achieving that goal leads to motivation to continue and to even add more than the original goal. Keep adding larger and larger goals as you feel more confident. If it ever gets too hard to do, go back to a smaller goal. You want to achieve success because success does breed success.
Accept It Won't Go Perfectly
Nothing is a straight shot to success in healthy habits. Know that going in. You will have bad days. You will struggle more on some days than others. Life happens. Accept that. Plan for it when you can, and then be good to yourself. Treat yourself with compassion when it doesn't go perfectly. Keep going.
Face Resistance with Assistance
When nothing else works, ask for help. It can be from a family member or a friend. We all need support and encouragement. Our schedules in this 24/7 world are all busy. It can be hard to do it on your own. Assistance means your using your resources wisely.
Now what are you waiting for. Break the resistance to change. Live a fuller and healthier life.Need additional assistance in taking control of your health? Schedule your free Inner Vitality Breakthrough Phone Session with me to see how I can help you clarify your goals and break resistance.
Resistance is just fear disguised. When you are feeling resistance to doing something, acknowledge your fear, then take one small step forward. See if that breaks it, or at least softens your resistance.
You May Have Missed...
Did you miss these posts on the Inner Savvy Blog?
Get Rid of the Health 'Shoulds' and Develop Healthy 'Dos' - Relating to this newsletter I wrote out developing a positive attitude toward health by creating things you do in your life and give us the things you should do.
10 Reasons You Aren't Healthy and Happy - Discover what could be sabotaging your health and happiness.
What's Happening - August 2015 - At the beginning of the month I share what is happening in my world.
Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof that You Can Heal Yourself by Lissa Rankin, M.D. An interesting book on the power of our thoughts. Ms. Rankin has a new book out call The Fear Cure. It is on my list of books to read.
What change are you resisting? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear what you are working on changing.