Yesterday one of my clients asked me, why do we resist doing things that we know make our lives way better?
Meditation for example
– anyone who’s tried it for at least a week knows that they feel calmer, more productive, focussed, kinder, more light, less fearful, and less anxious.
[bctt tweet=”Doing things like meditation enhance our ability to be the very best version of ourselves” via=”no”]
– which helps us reach our potential – yet all of us battle with keeping up a meditation routine.
Exercise is the same. Healthy eating. Making time for ourselves to read, play, do things we love. We often actively avoid doing the things we know will make our lives better.
We’d rather starfish on the carpet staring at the ceiling and wondering why we can’t motivate ourselves while simultaneously feeling guilty.
With my client, we ascertained that she finds it easy to eat healthily, because she used to have terrible skin issues, and she now knows that it clears up when she cuts out dairy and sugar.
I used to have the same issues – doctors gave me The Pill and antibiotics, ruined my digestive tract, couldn’t have been less helpful.
If I’d just known to cut out dairy all those years ago! But I digress.
Yet when it comes to meditation, and the other Bloody Good Life techniques I’ve taught my client, she finds herself rebelling against practicing them.
Many people exercise and eat well (at least, intermittently),
because they can physically see that it makes them fitter/ skinnier/ nicer skinned.
But when it comes to matters of the mind (or even business), it’s not tangible; we can’t visibly see the reward, nor can we see the negative consequences of not doing the thing we know we need to do, so we give up.
[bctt tweet=”If we want to change our minds and therefore our lives, we need to make the results and consequences more tangible” via=”no”]
With my client, we went through and identified the positive benefits of meditating every day
(the benefits she’s personally experienced from it in the past)
- feels lighter, more energised
- proud of herself
- more productive
- calmer, more focussed
- feels as though she’s living in line with her values
- more trust in her ability to follow through
And then we went into the negative consequences of running away from meditating
- she feels guilty
- feels like she’s wasting time not living by her values
- less productive
- more anxious
- disappointed in herself
- feels unworthy; not good enough
- loses trust in her ability to follow through
As humans, we’ll run from pain before we run towards pleasure, we’re survival machines.
But if we’re running from one pain (e.g. the resistance to meditation), we often end up running into a far worse pain (guilt, fear, anxiety) because it’s not tangible enough for us to see it.
Sometimes just talking out or writing down the negative consequences is enough to make it tangible. Awareness is key, once we know how our actions are affecting us on a day-to-day level, we’re much more likely to do what it takes to change.
So, if there’s something you want to be doing but you don’t seem to be doing it,
- list out the positives you’ll get from doing the thing
- list out the negatives you’re currently getting from not doing the thing. Be really specific, use emotions where possible and notice how often those emotions are currently affecting you during the day
- Seriously consider getting yourself a coach or trainer to help you get past your own blocks. A good coach will draw these answers out of you, and hold you accountable to achieving the things you really want out of life. There are a million and one coaches for all types of people, go on a coach researching rampage!
And then pick me.
But only if you’re an over-achieving perfectionist who is all good with a few swear words and some seriously honest honestly.