Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Courage to Transition

In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of shifting your thoughts about yourself and your body from critical self-talk to only positive thoughts.  Although it may feel silly to consciously "talk to yourself", it is important to be open to CHANGING the way you think and moving yourself in that direction.  One of my favorite quotes is by Albert Einstein, and it completely summarizes the point I am trying to make.  He said that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  In other words, in order to get different results, we have to change what we are presently doing.  We have to change our behavior, because what we are doing now is not clearly working for us.  I personally believe that the only way to get the results that we seek is to be brave and to have the COURAGE to move outside of what is currently our comfort zone.

Moving outside of your comfort zone.  I know that sounds scary.  It may sound really scary to some.  As human beings, it our nature to resist change.  We don't like to have to do things differently.  We don't like the uncomfortable or the unfamiliar. We are creatures of habit and we like repetition.  Generally speaking, we don't like surprises. We often like learning about new ideas and fresh perspectives, but we often resist changing our behavior to bring those ideas to life (especially if they weren't our own ideas to start with).  Yet,  in order to achieve a healthier body, have more energy, and reduce stress, we have to find the COURAGE to BEHAVE a little differently.  To step outside the comfort zone.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  We actually don't mind new behaviors, once we are used to them.  What we really dislike, and often fear, is the discomfort of TRANSITIONING from a familiar behavior to a new one.  Here's why:  Once we adjust to doing something new and we start making that new behavior our new habit, that new habit becomes comfortable to us.  All of a sudden, it becomes our new repetitive behavior and is now the familiar. 

What sometimes holds us back from is the fear that the transition of going from the old, unhealthy behavior to the new, healthy behavior is just too hard or it will take too much time or effort. We fear letting go of the familiar. We fear not feeling safe.  We fear that we will fail.  We fear we will let ourselves down, or let other people down.  We fear that it will take too much energy.  We naturally think of all of the barriers that keep us from achiveing what we want to achieve.  But, if you imagine yourself as a caterpillar getting ready to enter the coccoon, you know you only need to be there a short period of time before you emerge as a butterfly.  If you think of yourself like a caterpillar, you can be in the right mindset to transition to achieve your goals.  This is why I strongly believe that all you need to be on your way to a healthy body is the COURAGE to just show up and be willing to do it. (Just like the caterpillar.)  And, the best thing I can do as a coach is to help make that transition as comfortable and easy as possible.

In short, if you bring the COURAGE to go through the newness and unfamiliarity of a TRANSITION, and that transition is made as comfortable as possible for you, you will CHANGE and get the results you are seeking.