What stops you from trying something new? Not just a new dish at your favorite restaurant but something totally foreign to you?
Downloading a meditation app and trying it every day for a week.
Calling someone instead of FB messaging.
Stretching on your lunch break (or after work) instead of scrolling social media.
Actually engaging with someone rather than just watching on the periphery either online or in person.
Running (I can see my friend Natalie rolling her eyes at that one.)
Saving money instead of spending.
Yoga, in a class, with people who know what they are doing.
Saying no to something that you don’t want to do instead of yes out of obligation.
Asking for a raise, or more time off, or tuition reimbursement.
Getting a certification in something other than your specialty.
Going back to school.
Not going back to school :)
Now I am not saying you HAVE to do any of these things. You don’t. These are just some examples to get you started. It is an exercise for those of you who maybe have said “something’s gotta give” or “something has to change” or “I just want something more.”
We don’t have to be in a terrible situation to want more.
It’s just more obvious if we are in a tough situation.
It is a natural progression to want to keep upleveling.
So again, what stops you from trying something new?
Belief. Belief is what stops all of us.
This belief can take many forms but it usually falls into one of three categories.
I literally can’t. I can’t do it because______________ (It’s too hard. I won’t follow through. It won’t work. I don’t have time. I don’t have the ability. I don’t have the energy)
Something bad will happen if I do. (ie: my family will suffer if I take time away).
People will think badly of me (I will look stupid/be rejected). We all think we shouldn’t feel this way, we “shouldn’t” care what people think but it is built into us as humans. It is a survival technique to prevent us from being pushed out of the herd.
Based on these beliefs, it makes total sense that we avoid trying new things.
Except that trying new things is the currency for changing or improving or upleveling our lives.
So now what?
Now we figure out how to get around belief and, good news, belief is just a thought that we have invested time and energy into. Even though beliefs feel like facts, they can be questioned and changed.
First let’s deal with the “I can’t” objection.
What do you tell your patients when they say they can’t do something? When they can’t “ever change the ostomy bag” or “can’t ever feel like a woman” now that their breasts or uterus has been removed. When they can’t do the stairs after a hip replacement. When they can’t tell their family about a bad prognosis. How do you deal with that?
First, you approach them with compassion, not judgement. You don’t expect them to know how to navigate this. You hold them up while they figure it out, encouraging them along the way. You do all this from a place of full belief that they can absolutely do these things. You believe for them until they can believe for themselves. You start with the “let’s just try” approach. You plant the seed that “maybe there is a way”.
Second, you normalize the fear. This addresses the second belief of “something bad will happen.” It’s totally ok that they are afraid. They are experiencing this for the first time but you have the benefit of experience. You have seen tons of other patients have the same experiences and get through them. This is part of where your absolute belief comes from. Fear is just part of the
process, it’s not a reason to stop. That fluttery feeling in your chest or pit in your stomach doesn’t indicate that something is ACTUALLY wrong. “Take your time, do it slowly. I’m here for you.”
What would your life be like if you could step back and observe yourself as the patient. What if you chose to believe that maybe there is a way that you could find time to exercise 3 days a week? What if instead of judging yourself you could feel some compassion for yourself in your struggle and know that it will get better if you keep going? We have seen our patients overcome amazing things, physical and emotional.
What if we borrowed some of the belief we have in our patients
for belief in ourselves?
What if we reassured ourselves every single time we "failed" instead of using it as evidence that we can’t do something.
And when it comes to the third belief that we will look stupid or people won’t like us, there are 2 things I have to say.
There are always people who like you and people who don’t. It has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do, they will make their own stories about you either way. One person may think you look stupid while someone else may be inspired to try something that they see you trying and struggling through. Spending time in other people’s minds is a huge waste of time and energy. You'll know this is what you are doing because you will feel that sting of potential rejection. Notice when you are there and get the hell out as fast as you can.
Think about how YOU will feel about you. If we decide to not beat ourselves up as we learn (just like we wouldn’t tell our patients they should do it better, or faster, or sooner) how would we feel about being the person who tries and accomplishes new things, no matter how long it takes? Sit in that feeling of success for a minute. Imagine accomplishing the end result and feel the feeling.
That feeling is available whenever we need it to push us to keep going.
And if you still struggle with this? Borrow my belief in you. Yes, even though I may not know you personally. I have the advantage of experience of seeing tons of people just like you change their lives by trying new things, by believing new things.
I have no doubt in your ability. It’s like my confidence that if you lift weights 5 days a week for 100 days it is guaranteed to make you stronger. There is no way that it can’t. It’s a done deal. It’s science.
Take my belief in you and use it until you have enough of your own belief.
Try something new and keep upleveling.
And then pay it forward by believing in someone else.
If you could do anything, what would it be?
There is no limit to growth and potential.
Isn’t that exciting?
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