In my last post, we talked about some reasons why practicing self care can be really, really challenging. And because it’s a pretty big topic, and because I’m a real human with limited time, I couldn’t get to the solutions to this problem.
So, that’s what we’re gonna do today.
In today’s post we’re going tap into some ways that you can start feeling empowered and motivated in doing some of those hard things in life.
Welcome to the blogcast, Unlocking Wellness! I’m Crystal McLain, curator of Crystal McLain Creative, an online resource that helps folks become INSPIRED, feel EMPOWERED, and get CREATIVE with their self care!
If you enjoy my content and would like a more personal experience, you can support the sustainability of my work AND score some super fun perks with a Patreon membership. Becoming a member of The Dream Team starts at just $3/month. You can learn all the details at crystalmclaincreative.com.
Alright. Let's get to it.
So, lets’ do a quick recap from last time.
We are intelligent, capable people, and yet, here we are, actively avoiding the things that we KNOW will benefit our lives in some way.
And one of the reasons we do this is because we’ve conditioned our brains to reach for negative coping tools, and kick into self-soothing mode, when things feel challenging. In other words, we’re avoiding leaving our comfort zone.
Life is hard, and we are tired, and we don’t wanna do stuff that takes effort (even if it’s good for us). Totally normal. Completely understandable. However, shit needs to get done. Right? Right.
So, let’s learn how…
Step 1: IDENTIFY THE STRUGGLE
So, generally speaking, you know why you’re avoiding something. But it’s important that you identify the specifics.
Like, WHAT is it, exactly, that feels hard for you to do?
What is it about this thing that challenges you?
At what point do you feel resistance?
What thoughts pop up for you?
How does this feel in your body?
Once you identify the pain point, go even deeper and ask yourself, “what else?”
Relentlessly ask yourself why if you need to. Eventually you’ll get to the truth as to why you keep avoiding THE THING. And the reason we practice this interrogation is because once you UNDERSTAND something, the easier it is to work with it.
Some of our biggest problems come from a lack of understanding.
PRO TIP: Write this shit down. All of it.
Step 2: REFRAME IT
I know I talk a lot about language and mindset here, but honestly, it’s the secret sauce for personal empowerment.
And the thoughts and belief systems that you have are what determine whether or no you’re confident, brave, and trust in your abilities.
Restructuring your language builds some wicked skills like prioritization, motivation, and mother-lovin’ resilience.
So, instead of saying something like, “this is hard,” or, “this really sucks,” find a new way to spin it so the experience sounds more palatable.
You know, try saying something like, “I’m gonna feel like a rockstar once this is done. Yay, me.”
Step 3: REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE
Doing things that challenge us is not a form of punishment, despite what the stupid brain might tell us. These things that we’ve been avoiding, while not necessarily fun, are actually, indeed, GOOD for us.
Remind yourself WHY that’s true.
What are the benefits of doing the thing?
How will this help you or your circumstances?
What will you get to do once you’ve followed through?
How will you feel once it’s accomplished?
What’s the purpose of doing it?
Step 4: OWN YOUR POWER
You know what? This. Is. Your. Choice.
Clearly. Obviously. Because let’s be honest, you’ve chosen to NOT do the thing for a while now. And maybe you’ve realized that avoiding the THING isn’t really working out for you anymore, hence, why you’re here right now.
So, here’s your reminder: Just like you’ve made the decision to NOT do the thing, you get to make the decision TO DO the thing.
And this decision making process is where you hold your power.
You always have a choice. You can do it, or you can not do it.
You can make a big ugly deal about it and focus on all the ways it will bring suffering to your life, OR, you can make the choice to see it as another one of life’s challenges that you are more than capable of getting through.
You can see it as something that’s going to rob you from your precious comfort zone, or you can see it as something that’s going to turn you a powerful badass.
The choice is yours.
Step 5: BE YOUR OWN BFF
Chances are, if you’re here right now, there’s probably something you’ve been avoiding. So, let’s get really clear about ONE thing…under NO circumstances are you allowed to beat yourself up because of this.
You, being a jerk to yourself, is not going to help you. It’s only going to make doing-the-thing HARDER. So, be nice.
Now, you’re totally allowed to give yourself some tough love, you know, if you thrive on that sort of thing. I, myself, do quite well with tough love. But you’re not allowed to be mean.
What’s the difference? Tone and intention.
There’s a big difference between saying something like, “Bitch, you are better than this! Get off your ass and DO THE THING.” and “OMG, you’re so fucking lazy, no wonder you haven’t done it.”
See what I mean? Totally different.
Figure out what your love language is and go be your own bestie.
Step 6: BABY-STEP YOUR WAY
Going from NOT doing to DOING is a pretty big leap for your brain. So, to make sure that your brain feel safe and supported, try breaking down the process into smaller steps.
Maybe get out your calendar and pick a start-date in the not so distant future, so you have time to physically and mentally prepare yourself for the big dive.
Make a list of the things, routines and people that would support you.
Set tiny goals within this one goal.
Baby step, baby step, baby step.
By the way, I have a digital download at my website for practical goal setting for $3, or, of course, if you’re a member, you get this for free on the Inspiration Station App.
Step 7: GET REAL
As your friend, I feel like I have to be honest with you.
So, here’s the reality of things. Even if you practice all of the positive mindset stuff, your brain is still going to be an asshole.
Even if you befriended yourself, set up manageable goals and timelines, get to the core of WHY you want to tackle these challenging things in life, there’s STILL going to be a VERY strong urge to avoid it.
This. Is. Normal.
It’s possible there could be a lot of bargaining and backwards reasoning happening in your brain. Your subconscious is going to campaign HARD for avoidance.
This doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means that you need more practice with all these steps.
And because I love you, I want you to be prepared.
Now, it’s not a bad idea to take a good hard look at your particular brand of manipulation. In what ways could you anticipate yourself avoiding the thing? What kind of excuses would you come up with? How could you see yourself sabotaging yourself?
Write a script. Write a plan. Do what you need. Be prepared.
Alright, my friend, real quick, let’s go over this one more time…
- Your brain wants you to stay in your comfort zone, but there are things outside of it that you KNOW will benefit your wellbeing.
- Identifying the struggle and pain points will help you understand WHY something feels hard, and will make it easier to work with.
- Reframing your mindset and putting a positive spin on a situation will make it more palatable.
- Remind yourself WHY it’s important that you challenge yourself in this way.
- Remember that you always have the power of choice.
- Support, encourage, and be your own best friend.
- Take. Small. Steps.
- Be realistic about how you’re going to respond when you’re feeling challenged.
- And embrace every-bit-of-it.
Woof. That was a good one.
If you’d like to chat about any of these steps, or would like a little extra support while you sneak out of your comfort zone, come check out my membership program! You can join The Dream Team for as little as $3 a month and gain access to my online support group, as well as download the Inspiration Station App! I’ll leave links to all the things we’ve talked about today below in the show notes.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I’ll see you soon!