Okay, so you’re in this space of: „I want to change. I don’t want to be in this job/relationship/situation/reaction/mood/pain anymore.” You did a lot of thinking about this topic. Maybe you even did some meditation, journaling, talking to friends. Still no action. No change. You may have the list of actions you want to take. Maybe you did one or two of them. But you’re not seeing any big results. You may think it has to be hard work and you don’t want to do it.
To give you an example, let’s look at my eating habits. Before I was pregnant, I really wanted to eat more healthy and nourishing foods to get more energy and lose weight but didn’t do it. I knew the drill, I knew what food is good for my body but somehow I didn’t follow the steps.
Let’s dive in.
Usually the thing that’s stopping us from doing things are our thoughts and beliefs. We don’t think we’re good enough, capable, that we really can do this or deserve it.
In my case I didn’t believe I’m a „healthy eater”. I used to eat some healthy food but I love sweets as well. How can I eat healthy and still have pleasure in life? I didn’t think my approach was healthy enough. I often overate, just because I didn’t want to feel my emotions. I didn’t listen to my body at all. My body was tired? Instead of resting, slowing down and relaxing – coffee and sweets, please!
I didn’t believe I can take care of my body. Or that my body and I deserve it. Why should I bother with healthy foods when later on I will eat something unhealthy, anyways? I sabotaged myself from the start. And as you can imagine, I didn’t see any results happening. No surprise.
How do you sabotage yourself in the thing you’d like to change?
When I got pregnant, my body took over my mind and I’m forever grateful for that. I started to read and listen to the tips from my body. My cravings, to my huge surprise, were super healthy and nourishing.
In my first trimester I craved grapefruit every day (vitamin C). Then, in the second trimester, I had a phase for potatoes (potassium), nectarines (prevent leg cramps), dark chocolate (all the benefits, you name it), and all kind of berries (antioxidants). I couldn’t look at regular sweets, only home-backed goodies with lots of fruits made it. And now, in my third trimester, apples are the best. I can eat 3-4 every day.
Of course, for a mental health balance I eat pizza from near by Italian restaurant and ice-cream for dessert, but it’s not the main part of my menu anymore 🙂
My second surprise was that while pregnant, I couldn’t eat big servings (squeezed stomach), so I ate exactly the amount that I needed.
My body and my baby are so wise and tell me exactly what they need. All I have to do is listen. I bet it was the same before I was pregnant, I just didn’t listen to my body back then. I thought my body conspires against me and wants me to feel bad about myself, so I stuffed it with artificial sugar to get some energy.
Eating healthy during my pregnancy turned out to be super easy. And I didn’t expect it at all! And now that I know how easy and intuitive it can be and that I can do it my way, I’m just following my body’s guidance and I hope it will stay the same after the baby is out.
For me it was a valuable lesson that when I deal with my thoughts and inner blocks, everything falls into place.
How can you look at things differently in your case?
Before I started to listen to my body I didn’t change my eating habits because I was scared. What if I failed? What if I succeed? What if I didn’t have any more pleasure in life? What if we go out for dinner and I want to eat something out of the „healthy list”? Maybe it’s better not to eat healthy at all. I’ve never been fan of diets but wanted to have more energy. What if… Definitely too much thinking! Deep down I knew it couldn’t be so hard. I knew it was my mind and my negative beliefs that are holding me back.
I didn’t believe I can do it. And then, when by accident I started to listen to my body it all felt into place. I can enjoy food, eat what I want, and listen to the needs of my body. To my surprise, I didn’t put too much weight while pregnant (all went into my belly and my baby). I didn’t need any special diets. I just ate what my body needed.
What are you afraid of regarding the thing you’d like to change in your life?
Let it out
What has changed in my eating patterns was that I addressed the real reason for my bad eating habits – my fears. I made myself a promise, that during my pregnancy, for the sake of my baby and my own, I will not withdrawn from my fears.
So I talked to people about what I was afraid of.
- I talked to my girl friends about the birth experience and my changing body.
- I talked about the fear of being fat.
- I talked about the fear of being hormonal.
- I talked to my husband about it too.
- I cried.
- I talked to my doctor and midwife about my medical fears.
- I talked to my coach about my financial fears and my business-wise fears.
I let it all out. I asked for support. And then, when I cleared myself from it, I felt calm. No food needed to stuff or suppress those fears.
I know, being vulnerable is not easy and may scare the shit out of you. Probably, you’re not used to trust people on this level to tell them such personal things about yourself. But believe me, the more you do it, the easier it gets. And the better you feel afterwards. It’s hard to find „your people” but when you find them, it feels like home.
„We’re only as sick as our secrets”.
Who can you talk to about your fears?
A word about accountability
It’s not easy to do things alone. We are often so much in our heads and we „know” we can’t do something that it’s hard to convince ourselves that the opposite may be true. We need someone by our side to give us different perspective, help us look at things from a different angle, support us, tell us we keep bullshitting ourselves 😉
It’s also good to keep yourself accountable. Your word matters. If you don’t keep your word to yourself, how can you expect to see results, huh? The easiest way is to declare your actions to someone (a friend, a coach, a support group) and then ask them to ask you at a certain date to see whether you did the things you committed to or not.
If you didn’t, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It just means you have the opportunity to look deeper on what’s the reason behind you not doing things and then recommit to do it again.
How can you keep yourself accountable?
Get yourself into action
So let me sum up some questions and actions you can take, to make the change you want to see happen in your life.
1. Imagine the end result.
- How do you want to feel when you do the change you’re so giddy to implement in your life?
- How will your life look like then?
2. Address your fears and blocks.
- What are your fears?
- How do you self-sabotage your actions and dreams?
- How do you deal with them in unhealthy way? (to give you some hints: food, alcohol, drugs, sex, overwork, complaining, not addressing them directly, being withdrawn, silent treatment for your partner)
- How can you deal with them in a more productive way?
3. Specify what you actually want to do.
- What changes you want in your life?
- What actions you need to take to make it come true?
- Make a list.
4. Declare your outcome to someone and keep your word. See the change happen 🙂