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Why Change & Commitment Is So Darn Scary (and Hard)

Why Change & Commitment Is So Darn Scary (and Hard)

 

People always ask me “How do you do it?” or “What’s the secret to staying so healthy?” And quite honestly, I don’t see myself too different from anyone else. I have challenges just like you.

As matter of fact, I fought hard with myself yesterday on whether or not I should go to yoga class. I mean “battlefield of the mind” HARD. Have you ever done that? It was kinda crazy (and creepy, in a “why are you fighting with yourself” kinda way).

One part of me (the cheerleader) kept saying “You’ve got this, girl.”

“You know when you get there, you’ll feel so much better for it because you always do.” She then went on saying “You do so much for everyone else. You surely deserve this one hour with, and for, yourself.”

Then the other part of me (the over-achiever) immediately jumped in by saying “You know you have work to get done.”

“You’ve been procrastinating on projects for WEEKS, and it’s time to get on it.” She then went on to say “And you know the plumber is coming by, as well as the internet guy. You can’t do it all, Christine. What if they show up while you’re in downward-facing dog?”

Ugh! These parts can get on my nerves sometimes!

It just kept going…and going… and going. At one point, I just sat down and was like “What the heck is going on here??

The truth of the matter is we all have different “parts” of us. You probably know this to be true because you’ve undoubtedly said “There’s a part of me that wants to ABC, but then there’s another part of me that wants to XYZ.

For me, there was a part of me that wanted to go to my yoga practice. I love my practice and how it makes me feel. I’m a yoga teacher, for crumbs sake! But then there was another part of me that knew I had a lot to get done: work projects and appointments.

But when I took a moment to pause, I was able to think things through more clearly on my own without the interruption of the “parts”. Before I tell you what I decided to do, let me get to the nitty-gritty of why change and commitment can be hard and scary at times.

There are 2 major things that trip us up when it comes to change & commitment:

  1. Fear of losing what we already have (comfort zone)
  2. Fear of not getting what we want (fear of failure)

Read those 2 again.

Fear is a form of resistance. Most of us resist change like the plague because it’s scary and it takes us out of our comfort zone. Even when we say we want a certain thing. Even when we know changing our way is for the better. Even when there’s a pot of gold on the other side of the mountain. It’s hard and it’s scary to get started and stay committed.

So what can you do when you step onto the “Battlefield of the Mind” when it comes to creating (and staying committed to) new habits?

Here’s what I highly suggest:

  • Pause. When your mind starts the back and forth chatter, take a moment to pause and recognize what’s really going on. Recognize that your “parts” are both working hard in your favor. They both want what’s best for you, even if one of them is being a little irrational.

  • Breathe. This may sound a little cray-cray, but here me out. Taking in a long, deep breath in the moment of conflict can be everything you need to make a rational decision in an irrational situation. So in the moment of pause, take in a long, deep breath. Hold that breath for 4 counts, and then exhale completely for 6 counts. Then know you’ve got this!

  • Take ONE step forward. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take a moment to think of what you can do to take that one step forward towards your goal.

For me, staying committed to moving my body consistently every week has always been a challenge, and yesterday was proof of that. But in my moment of pause, I realized that I could easily have my 21 year old son take care of the plumber and the internet guy if they arrived before I got home. And my productivity towards work projects is always better after exercise; I just had to remind myself of that.

Easy breezy, lemon squeezy, right? Yeah…not all the time, but with consistent practice, new habits become a way of life.

The healthy lifestyle that I’ve created has been a work in progress over a lifetime. I still work at it every single day. Some things come easy (eating healthy) and are just a way of life for me. Some I have to work a little harder at maintaining (consistent exercise).

I bet you’re the same way, too.

So tell me, in the comments below:

  1. What areas of your health are you wanting to change for the better?
  2. Is it the fear of losing what you have (comfort) or the fear of not getting what you want (failure) that has you stuck in a rut?

Categories: Improved Health

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Jessica August 2, 2016, 1:29 pm
    Dang, Gina! You got in my head with this one. I'm ALWAYS prioritizing work ahead of my health. The voice in my head says I can work out once I'm a millionaire :) But whenever I do make it to Zumba class, I literally have the best ideas and productivity. I'll definitely keep these tips in mind next time my excuses pop up!
    • Christine Dyan August 3, 2016, 8:56 pm
      Ha! You're too cute Jessica. :-) I used to put work and family before my health, too. But it was when my emotional health started to take beating I found yoga (or maybe I should say "yoga found me") and I started to feel so much better that I didn't want to stop. I always say "Do what feels good", so find what feels good (without subsequent guilt, frustration, or anxiety) and keep doing that one thing. You'll be amazed at how it will affect all areas of your life! :-)
  • Libby August 2, 2016, 2:59 pm
    I love the take ONE step idea. It's so freaking easy to get overwhelmed and look at the top of the mountain when you're at the base and give up. This is a great post Christine! Thanks.
    • Christine Dyan August 3, 2016, 8:51 pm
      Yes! We can get all caught up in thinking we have to do it ALL at once, when in reality we can only effectively handle small bites at a time. :-)
  • Whitney August 2, 2016, 5:31 pm
    Ugh, the struggle is REAL, Christine!!! I feel the same way almost every time I work out. But unlike you, I haven't found an exercise I enjoy yet, so I don't even have the little voice saying I enjoy it once I'm there. It's a balance of knowing it's good for me and wanting to do anything but exercise. Haha. I love the tip of breathing and checking in with yourself. That's something I've started doing more and more lately, and I'm always happy with what the little voice says to do!
    • Christine Dyan August 3, 2016, 8:50 pm
      Finding what you really enjoy doing for exercise is definitely the key to staying consistent Whitney. Before I found yoga, I couldn't get into a good, solid routine ever. Keep on experimenting with different things until something "clicks"! :-)
  • Jessie Ford Coots August 3, 2016, 3:32 pm
    This rings SO true for me, Christine! I am very guilty of being a workaholic and putting what I "need to get done" ahead of exercise or a healthy meal. It's easy to get caught up in this and let the small (but still important) things go for weeks (or months) at a time. I know that I'm not alone and it's all about mindset!
    • Christine Dyan August 3, 2016, 8:47 pm
      Yep! Mindset is key. So glad this article resonated with you Jessie! :-)
  • Carla Holden August 4, 2016, 2:30 pm
    great post christine!! i strugggggle with all of this!! i know i want to lose the weight i gained on my cruise (i ate everything everyday) and it shows...the comfort zone thingy is totally true for me and even the fear of failure bc i've lost and gained the same weight so many times. i would love to have the habit of exercise 4x a week...but i guess i could start with just one time a week first! :) that would make a huge differece. c xo
    • Christine Dyan August 8, 2016, 4:33 pm
      Yes! The struggle is definitely real Carla. But the good thing about it is that you can get past the struggle into the land of TRIUMPH!! Keep on keeping on! You've got this! :-)

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You work hard enough every day and your meals shouldn't be. Take the "Real Food, Real Fast 30-Day Challenge" Now and look and feel fabulous in 4 weeks! 

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