Beliefs systems. It’s a theme that keeps coming up in coaching sessions, whether with me and a client or during sessions with my life coach 🥴 sometimes what we believe and our habits no longer serve us as we move forward through life, which means we need to adjust our lives accordingly.
I think it’s clear to most of us that we are complicated beings with many layers, some layers were gifted to us at birth, some were laid on us by our environment and some are chosen (or absorbed) by us as we go about our lives.
I believe that as we grow, we are meant to shed some layers before we move into a new season of our lives.
It’s like moving into spring from winter, in order to enjoy the new weather, we change our jackets to lighter ones, the same may need to happen to our beliefs and our habits.
When we were children, our clothes were (mostly) chosen for us, unless we had parents who were very forward thinking in allowing us to use our freedom of expression, or maybe they were simply picking their battles 😂.
Can you remember the time when you took it upon yourself to choose your own clothing?
I have a vivid memory of a grade 6 concert when I decided that I wanted to wear a mustard yellow shirt with shoulder pads from my moms closet. I was determined to wear it but the moment I got to school and realized how different it was from the other children, I felt sooooooo uncomfortable.
This is how it can feel for me, even to this day, when I am introduced to new ways of thinking or new habits that I want to adopt, it can be so freaking weird and downright uncomfortable at first.
Things that go through my mind are “what will people think if I try ____?” Or “will people notice if_____”. I often worry that my new ways of being will make others uncomfortable or will cause disruption in my relationships.
So why change anything you may be asking? ...OK, who’s kidding who here, this is exactly what I ask myself most days 🤷♀️
I challenge the beliefs and habits I have because in order to evolve into who I am meant to be, change is necessary. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Its pretty obvious that we are forced into this evolution anyway (hello covid), just as seasons change throughout the year, so do they throughout our lives. Can you imagine a 70 year old grandfather acting like they did when they were 17? Maybe you don’t need to imagine 😂
So how can we try on new “outfits” without feeling like a 12 year old in a bright yellow shoulder pad shirt in a sea of white t-shirts? Here are some tips:
FFT- F—king first time. This comes from international speaker, best-selling author, podcaster, professor, PhD social worker 😅 and over all badass, Brene Brown. Her description of how it feels to do anything for the first time is worth a listen to in this podcast episode https://open.spotify.com/episode/6UAoHu3VQJNrZcBubo4ABF?si=NqSjCvSiSQCNUpzvQX25JA. It describes how weird and icky it usually feels do something for the first time. Even recognizing this can be very helpful in getting past those first time jitters. I wear yellow and shoulder pads now with confidence, I might even add some print, all because I got through that FFT
Give yourself grace. Grace is defined as an act of kindness and it’s the best condition we can adopt when we discover that a way we’ve been thinking or something we’ve been doing all of our lives must now change in order to move forward. Sometimes what makes us uncomfortable in trying on new beliefs is the feeling that what we have been doing is wrong. I like to reframe it with grace “it served me until now but it will no longer serve me moving forward”. We out grow jackets just as we outgrow some thoughts. Giving grace is as simple as placing your hands over your heart and taking deep breaths 💕 when you’re feeling bad about yourself.
Phone a friend. When going through transitional periods it’s important to have mentors, ideally someone who’s gone through similar, to talk to about the uncomfortable feelings of change and to help remind us of why it’s important to us. Hot tip: pick someone who is understanding and supportive not the friend who’s fun to gossip with but you wouldn’t trust with with the proverbial ten foot pole. Need a mentor? Life coach for hire right here 🙋♀️
Have fun with it. This comes to mind with me doing my best to be inclusive and dropping “guys” as my word of choice when referring to crowds of people during my programs. “Alright guys”, “hey guys” or “let’s go guys” have been go-to’s for me for a couple of decades and it’s hard to shake. Instead of beating myself up over it when I notice I’ve said it, I’ll just add something like “guys, gals, geese and ganders” or something silly. Keeping it light while still acknowledging changes need to be made is a better way for all rather than adding shame to the situation.
Sometimes we need to shed our beliefs or habits just like we shed our winter coats in order to reveal who we really are. Remember, life is not a one size fits all 😜 and the first time you try shoulder pads is uncomfortable for everyone 🙃
What beliefs/habits/expectations have you shed in order to be where are now?