Most of the people who come to see me are looking for some sort of change. They want to get stronger, be more flexible, resolve past trauma, get rid of anxiety or overcome a past injury. In the course of our sessions, I can help them try a different way to stretch, move their body, or look at part of their life. In doing so, we are creating new life patterns that can help them change some part of their life. For this change to truly last though, my clients have to change within as well.
Have you ever said that you’re going to lose 10 pounds and then you can’t seem to make it happen? Or, have you ever said that you wanted to go to bed earlier so that you’re not so tired all of the time, yet the change just doesn’t show up in your life?
I get it! I have too!!
Change can be hard and sometimes seemingly impossible.
It doesn’t have to be! When you dig a little deeper behind what’s holding you back, then that change can begin to appear in your life. True change starts on the inside.
We all have habits that we would like to change and we all face challenges when we try to bring that change into our lives. Some of us are successful and some of us not so much.
So, what’s the difference?
The difference is in how someone approaches change. If they try to make it happen from the outside, then that change is less likely to happen. However, if that change begins on the inside, then it has a greater chance of working out.
Change your mindset
I’m no different than you when it comes to change. Sometimes it’s easier than others. Here’s just one example that comes from my own life.
Now that I don’t have to drive a kid to school anymore (Woohoo!!!), I stay up later at night. I’m a night owl at heart, so this is really easy for me to do. The problem lies in the fact that when I stay up later, I don’t want to get up earlier in the morning. This means that if I have an earlier client or meeting, I’m tired from staying up too late.
The solution seems so easy.
Just go to bed earlier right? However, it’s not that simple. There was a mindset shift that happened when my son left for school. You see, I usually don’t HAVE to get up early. So my mind/body are happy to shift into a more natural night owl type of routine.
Even though I can see the benefits of going to bed at an earlier hour, I’m resistant to doing so. Each and every time that I say I’m going to bed even 30-60 minutes earlier, it doesn’t happen. I resist this change because a part of me is just fine as it is.
Thus, in order to shift my schedule, I have to shift my mindset. Simply having someone else tell me to go to bed earlier is not going to do anything, but if I dig a little deeper into what is holding me back from going to bed earlier, I can then clear a pattern that isn’t really serving me.
I’ve actually thought about this a lot. By digger deeper into what’s going on, I’ve realized that by staying up later I’m reconnecting to the part of myself that seeks downtime. Often it feels like the only way to get it is to stay up late. I can overschedule myself so that by the end of the day I’m tired & wired all at once. I need to relax before I can actually sleep.
I’ve found that by giving myself time to relax during the day, I don’t need to stay up so late. The mindset shift for me was in actually allowing myself to rest and relax during the day. That is something that I’m still not always good at doing, but it’s a work in progress!
Go even deeper into your excuses
Similarly, if you’ve tried to start exercising many times and given up before you can see results, then you need to go deeper into why you are doing this.
You have to dig a little deeper to understand why the habit of not exercising is there in the first place and how it’s benefiting you currently. I know that might be hard to accept, but there is a reason that you’re not exercising. If this sounds familiar, then consider what are you not willing to give up in order to bring a habit of exercise into your life.
It’s not always easy for others to see your changes right away
While you’re doing this, the change that is happening won’t necessarily be visible to others. However, when you go inward to change a habit, it’s still happening. True change comes from inside and then moves outward so that others can eventually see it too.
This type of change is lasting and makes a difference in your life. It’s not always easy to accomplish but it is so satisfying when you do.
Next time you have a habit that you want to change, ask yourself why you started it in the first place. One way to do this is to connect to your own body and inner wisdom to understand why you’re still doing this habit. Then you can begin to create a path forward that will help you to achieve the change that you seek.
Awareness is the first step to any truly lasting change. It’s not always easy or fun, but uncovering your own patterns can be the key to creating change in your life whether it’s exercising, resolving trauma or reducing your anxiety.
Remember, you don’t have to do this exploration on your own. A good therapist can help guide you through the process. If you’re curious if yoga therapy could be a good fit for you, then set up a free chat with me.
True lasting change can be hard. You have a couple of choices when you’re trying to create a shift in your life. First, You can try to take the easy route and follow what someone else tells you to do. Hint, this doesn’t usually work. Your other choice is to dig deeper into why you’re doing a particular habit and then create a unique path to change that suits you. The second path won’t always be easy but it will be worth it in the end.
Remember, start your change on the inside, and then watch how it transforms you on the outside!
Becky is a Yoga Therapist & has been teaching yoga since 2006. She loves to match people with a yoga practice that helps them to feel better every day & believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone. Click here to sign up for her mailing list & get all of the important news & tips first!