Many of my clients are women likely to be seen scaling the side of burning buildings in three-inch pumps, throwing the traumatized on their backs and tossing turkey sandwiches on Rye to firefighters as she goes.
It’s often a topic of discussion in our sessions how the habits and tools that led to their current achievements, are not the same ones that are going to get them where they want to go.
But it does take the same amount of grit and determination.
It requires making a different choice, a choice not to be a victim to their stories of what they “have” to do, what is “right” or how they “can’t” yada yada because they’re not good enough or because others might be mad, hurt, jealous, etc. etc. etc.
Yawn. I personally was mind-numbingly bored with myself by the time I gave all of it up.
My clients are learning to give guilt the finger when it rages about how dare she take the time to exercise when she “should” be with her kids. They’re beginning to look inside themselves to see where they went wrong when they lose their ever-loving mind at their husbands for failing to read their thoughts. They tell shame to take a walk when they make mistakes, but they hold their bigger-selves accountable to reviewing the situation to see where they can do something differently the next time.
They may ask themselves: “How did I get this inferno of rage in my belly to begin with?” Or, “Is guilt a noble motivator for the choice I’m about to make?” Or, “Is this behavior going to get me closer to the life and relationships I want?”
This is not work for the faint of heart. It’s far easier to succumb to the whir of shame and bury oneself underneath a pile of chocolate chips with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter (oops, is that just me?).
It’s comforting to swipe a piece of sour dough bread around a bowl, sopping up the pleasure chemicals released when we stand in self-righteous judgment of others and play the tape of how we were wronged on repeat. Its far easier to lounge in the luxury of a long gossipy text to seven of your closest “friends” complaining, or to wade into guilt like its sundrenched, emerald green ocean water.
There’s a reason change is hard. It’s because our brain and bodies crave the familiar but if you’re stuck, the familiar is likely the exact opposite of what you need.
If you don’t like the results you have in your life right now, ask yourself this question: Who am I being?
While it might feel like bending steel, If you turn your effort inward, I promise you’ll save many more lives, and you’ll do it with energy to spare.