"Setbacks" are just "Speed bumps" on the road to change.
Get familiar with the way you think about your setbacks and your whole life can change. Sounds dramatic, but it's true!
So listen – anytime you’re trying to make a change in your life you’re going to experience what feels like setbacks.
And a lot of the time we tell ourselves that a “setback” means we can’t do it, or it’s not going to work.
When we have a setback, we also can indulge in confusion and major second-guessing of ourselves. This is never helpful.
We say things to ourselves like, "well, this must be a bad idea, I must have made the wrong decision, this was a crazy idea in the first place, what was I thinking anyway?" Does this defeating self-talk sound familiar?
Keep your mind sharp.
I know you know this one well, because we all do it. I certainly do, and I have to keep my mind sharp by practicing my self-coaching skills so that I don't get stuck in this snake trap. Otherwise, I'd give up on so many of my dreams and goals and never share my gifts with the world.
Please share your gifts with us ladies, we need your inspiration.
Us busyaholics, recovering or not, are so darn good at this one, right? The misery of indulging in confusion. Beware. Save yourself now!
Here's how you can start practicing keeping your mind sharp today:
So what if these “setbacks” are not “setbacks” at all? What if it’s absolutely a normal part of the change process, and an indication you’re right on track? Woohoo!
The thing is, changing some of our long-held habits & patterns is hard. And that’s ok. Really. It’s normal that it’s hard sometimes. I'll share an example from my life, that I have written a lot about recently...
While my schedule is better than it was, I still have to work at getting 100% savvy sticking to my schedule and not “adding on” at the cost of my personal time.
Getting familiar with your "Why," can really help.
I am currently working from France, and my personal time is extra important to me now. I want to be out visiting the beauty of the French Riviera: going to the market for fresh food; visiting museums; going to my favorite yoga classes; hiking in the beautiful trails above Nice; dining out, barbecuing and picnicking with friends; and checking out schools where I can study French!
By the way, this is my "Why!" Why my schedule and my commitments to myself are so important, so that I have time to do these things in addition to my work that I also love to do.
What is your "Why," for sticking with your schedule, or with some new thing you are trying to get good at, even if it's hard? Write it out and post it, where you can see it every day for inspiration.
For maaaaaaaaaaaaany years I’ve worked a packed schedule and let it roll into my weekends and evenings. It was something I was “used to” even if I didn’t love it. It was familiar, and in a strange way, easier to just work way too much.
It’s an odd paradox that it feels easier to stick with something that’s not working, than it does to do something new or create a new habit.
But this is how our brains are designed. To avoid the new. We know the old well, the thought patterns are well ingrained and easy to re-think and re-do over and over again.
To stick with what's familiar is easy because supposedly we are safe in the familiar. You know what I'm talking about?
But as with this example of my scheduling challenges that lead to me over-working, how many things are familiar to you that are actually a detriment to you, or even hurting you? A job, a relationship, overworking, overeating, overspending, over-anythinging, isolating, avoiding? The list can go on and on.
What is your one thing that is familiar, but detrimental?
Just pick one, because it's normal that you have several. And please don't beat yourself up for this. The ultimate form of self-care is never beating yourself up, under any circumstances ever!!! And please don't beat yourself up, when you realize that you have been beating yourself up. I say this over and over, but because we need to hear it over and over. Practice self-compassion. Act towards yourself when you are looking at what you want to change, how you would act towards your best friend. Kind.
So these “setbacks,” they’re actually more like "speed bumps."
Each bump represents an old thought pattern or old habit that you slowly and gently keep replacing with the new. We don’t speed up, well most of us, when we see speed bumps. We don’t turn around and go home. We slow down and take the bump gently and keep going.
How we frame our thinking on our journey is EVERYTHING. Really. Take this in. Pause and think about it for a moment.
We think the circumstances changing will make us feel better (i.e. my sticking perfectly to my schedule), but it's actually our thinking that will make us feel better. Can you see in the example above how someone holding something as a “setback” versus a “speed bump” might set you up to respond differently in the same situation?
You might berate yourself internally — with little awareness that this is actually happening. There might be just a vague sense of "I feel crummy today, I am not totally sure why though."
Look what happens when you change your thinking...
"Ok, hey now, I've just hit a speed bump. I'm well on my way to progress, because that's what speed bumps mean." And, "I just need to re-group and re-focus and keep practicing the thought that 'I got this,' and the ways to do things differently or better will come."
How do you feel when you think that?
A lot better, right?
It’s not just fairy tale thinking.
When you really look at how you’re thinking about a situation and see the results that thinking is driving, you start to see how, with a different thought, you can create a better experience as you go through something.
And best news ever — You won't give up on yourself.
This is a daily practice for me.
If you want to learn more about how to do this, set up a free Mini Session with me. I’d love to talk with you!