I had a moment of clarity today…one of those simple “ah-ha” moments. I had gone for a run in the morning, and listened to “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. It’s my third or forth time listening to it…and it’s been almost a year since the last time, so it’s like new to me again. I enjoyed it, and understood it, but I wasn’t really into it, as my mind was wondering with the running thoughts…my legs are tired, OMG another hill, ah there’s my rhythm for breathing, etc. When I was back at my in-laws house, my youngest son was trying to close his paw patroller, and the cab was in the way of the trailer roof closing. I said to him “Don’t just push harder…look around and see what’s in the way.”
And then, I looked up and a light bulb went on over my head. OH!!! I GET it now! I have spent a lot of time over the last few years digging deep into my emotions and motivations. Getting Deliberate, Inspired and Going (from “The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown). I’ve learned and practiced DBT, CBT, and mindfulness. I know the importance of naming what is coming up in order to challenge the truth of it in order to calm down and/or move on. However, in practice, I keep searching for the “How to’s”…I keep looking for education and information, and in return, I keep failing, repeating old patterns, or getting stuck in an endless cycle of learning and not taking action, depending on what specifically we are talking about. But here it is. I need to look around and see what is in the way, and address that first!
“If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world from a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way-especially shame, fear, and vulnerability.” – Brene Brown, “The Gifts of Imperfection”
So let’s dig in a little, shall we?
I have fallen off the fitness and nutrition wagon. I have basically been on a 3.5 month plateau, in which I recognize I’m not doing the work that I was doing before in order to get results. But why? What is getting in the way? I actually have more time since going part time at work, so that’s not a reasonable excuse. Part of me tells myself I “deserve” a break, since I have worked so hard and achieved most of my fitness goals this year and done well with the running. But when I really get down to it, I truly believe that I deserve to feel my best, and most energy, and that’s when I’m eating healthfully and exercising, not filling my body with bread and sugar. So what is really getting in the way? Perhaps it is the fear that reaching my weight loss goal isn’t actually enough, or won’t look like I imagined it would, and the fear of disappointment is keeping me from getting that last 10 pounds off. Hmm…that feels very honest and vulnerable. Perhaps it has to do with perfectionism and shame…I have “cheated” on my “diet” and therefore I’m not good enough and don’t deserve to reach my goals. Perhaps, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, that I can’t do it, so I’m sabotaging myself to prove my gremlins right. Perhaps, it’s a combination of them all.
And with my art…I want to make a series of my own work, and apply for a gallery exhibition of my own, and yet I distract myself by signing up for so many courses that I can’t possibly keep up. And the courses that I have already started, I haven’t finished…what’s that about? I DO enjoy the courses, and I AM learning a lot, and I know that by learning from multiple teachers is the best way to develop my own style. But it’s another excuse, another cover for the truth. The truth is, that I am afraid of failure and of not being accepted or understood. I’m afraid of not fitting in, and of not being good enough or not being unique enough. I’m afraid of putting myself out there, and pouring my heart and soul into MY art, and having it rejected or ignored. Wow…there’s another moment where I can feel the vulnerability, and wonder why I am sharing this with you.
The main thing getting in the way seems to be fear. That sneaky little gremlin…I thought I had him beat. So now that I have named him, perhaps I can work through the fear and move on. Wade through the swapland, as Brene refers, rather than standing on the shore. Feel it, lean into the discomfort, and move through it to get to the other side.
So remember, don’t keep doing the same things that aren’t working and just push harder…you have to take the time to look at and deal with what gets in the way, in order to move forward. Do something differently, be truthful to yourself, and you will reach your goals. (Sorry, no picture today…I’m practicing imperfection. 😉 )