Do you have a hundred ideas before breakfast? Do you crave more creativity, meaning, community or connection? Are you finding the motivation and energy you need to move forward with your ideas and desires?
Many of us have strong inner critics which influence our actions, or in-actions. Phrases such as “procrastinate”,”sabotage”; “wasting time”; “unproductive”; “lazy” may sound familiar to you.
To create change, we first have to work on changing our story. Great… sounds easy. Where’s my pen and paper, or my laptop?
Yet, when we try to do those great exercises on what we truly desire, it can feel like there is a filter we are looking through as we try to focus on our preferred future. The filter is an emotion that is influencing us to stay where we are. You may experience it as a thought. Now, if you have ever worked with me you will likely know that I welcome all emotions… they are just messages: Problem is, when we don’t give attention to the emotion it may hang on in there, trying harder and harder to get us to listen. It has something to say after all. And the information or perspective it has needs to be considered alongside the other emotions trying to have their say.
So if this makes sense to you, what can help? I don’t want to give you another checklist of 3, 5 or 7 easy ways to “fix” this, but I do want to share what has helped me.
1. Taking time each day, whether it is 2 minutes or 60 minutes to check in with yourself. If words aren’t your thing, use this time to bullet point a couple of ideas or desires you have, and a couple of emotions that come up as you think about them, or draw, scribble or doodle ideas.
2. Visualisation can help. Find a counsellor or coach, or try out visualisation CDs/DVDs/downloads. Your local library may have a selection. Become familiar with where you feel emotion in your body. If we can work with our body reaction, we can also challenge the automatic thoughts more effectively.
3. Being courageous. This is a tough one. My guess is you are already hugely courageous, but it is amazing how many of us aren’t aware of our bravery. It is so difficult to follow your own path in an environment, culture or society that values something different. We dismiss and negate our own courage. Start noticing when you do something that is out of your comfort zone, or when you continue on despite the ongoing challenges.
4. Identify allies on your journey (clue: they are the ones who make you feel motivated, hopeful, energised and accepted). If you don’t have enough of those people in your life, think about allies from your past. Consider what they would say to you. And begin to think about ways to take gentle risk and invite more people to accompany you on parts of your journey.
4. Understand your own personal energy levels. Notice when your body and mind is most alert, and when it is flagging, and schedule tasks accordingly.
5. Many of my clients create healthy snacks and meals for those they care for, but do not give the same care to themselves. I know you know that breakfast, healthy snacking and meals are essential, as are rest and sleep. I know you know that healthy sleep habits are fundamental for good self care and energy. Yet many of us get out of these habits. Explore what a healthy day could look like for you, including healthy winding down before bed.
Consider the energy we use worrying about not doing things. Consider how it would feel to reclaim that energy.
Make the decision to start with one small baby-step of a change today!