First of all, Happy New Year everyone! We made it another year! Ok let’s dive right in!
Years ago, I was talking to my dear friend Paul about how I approached parties especially when there was someone I was interested in at the party. I told him I would make my way around the party and talk to everyone BUT the one person I wanted to get to know. My friend looked at me, paused and said, “How’s that working out for ya?” We laughed until we cried, because he was sooo right, it was NOT working out for me. I’ll never forget that statement because it forced me to acknowledge the silliness of my approach. It has since allowed me to look at the silliness of many of my approaches.
I want you to think about some of the excuses you rationalize in your head about why you don’t do certain things that would be good for you. I’ll start. Typically after the holidays, I start to see all my “hard work” of eating anything I want in large quantities, “pay off.” Suddenly clothes feel tighter, and even if I look exactly the same to everyone else I feel sluggish and blah. Add the additional pressure I’ve put on myself to be good at self care (hahaha) and suddenly I’m spiraling even more. The amount of time and energy I spend on thinking about what I should be eating or how I should be exercising and then beating myself up for not doing any of it, is considerably more time and energy than it would take to simply put on my clothes and walk across the street to the gym. (Yep, my gym is across the street.)
So today I ask myself, “How’s that working out for you?” Now, just like when Paul said that to me many years ago, it was not with malicious intent. He was simply encouraging me (through humor) to explore my rationale. So this is not meant to be a statement of shaming. I want to be very clear on that. We do not need to make any more room for shame in our lives. Our thoughts are already very good at hitting us where it hurts. This is meant to simply be a phrase to help you see if there’s another possible solution to your current “plan.” All those years ago, I didn’t see the solution that was right in front of my face: Get out of my comfort zone and actually talk to who I want to. Risk it.
Also, there is real power in sharing with others what you want to be doing or becoming. Prior to voicing my party pattern, I was stuck feeling frustration and shame that I wasn’t meeting who I wanted to meet. It took speaking my pattern out loud and having someone who I knew had my best interest in mind, to start to see things clearer.
We are so good at justifying things in our heads. It’s a human trait. We learn this from a very early age, so it’s ok if this feels hard at first. The good news is we can outsmart our justifications. So as we fly into this new year, I encourage you to look at who you want to become and when an imagined road block appears ask if it is worth not going after the life you want (and if it’s helpful ask, “how’s that working out for ya?”) Fear doesn’t know the difference between real danger and getting outside of your comfort zone “danger.” So you have to explain this to yourself when you are getting all worked up.
I leave you with a brilliant quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic (which I recommend to everyone forever):
“Fear, I recognize and respect that you are a part of this family and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still your suggestions will NEVER be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice but you are not allowed to have a VOTE. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest the detour; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to tough the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
Take care of YOU.