It's not going to be easier and you're not going to have more motivation, inspiration, conviction, or willingness tomorrow. Start now.
This is a follow-up post to yesterday's topic and it's the action I took 20 minutes ago that lead me to writing this now. No surprise, yesterday's skid, as I'll call it, slid right on into today. Turns out, you take your brain everywhere. I was off schedule again, except this time there was less guilt and pity and beating myself up. There was more of me getting tired of my own shit, so here we are. And this is what I have to say to you, with the same tough love I gave myself: start now. Not in five minutes, not tomorrow, not on the 1st, not in 2021. Now.
We have this idea that we're going to be stronger, more motivated, more willing in the future. We aren't. We bring our brains with us. It's not going to be easier in the future. More time will have passed, and in that time, you will have likely piled on more self-judgement, more shame, and more self-loathing. If anything, it gets harder in the future. Plus, all of that time in between you're practicing not doing it. That's like driving the opposite direction and wondering why your destination seems so far away now. What you practice get's stronger.
If we're not actively working on our dreams, we're actively working on our nightmare. Or, more often, our ability to tolerate oour nightmare. It's why we buffer - to tolerate the intolerable. Buffering is using an external thing to solve for an internal problem. Drinking, overeating or emotional eating, and using social media are all examples of buffering. Instead of feeling difficult emotions: disappointment, guilt, shame, frustration, or whatever emotions we find intolerable, we turn to something external to help numb or dampen those emotions. To make our world more tolerable. To make our lives more tolerable. In order to feel and really understand what's going on for us, the buffering has to stop. It has to stop long enough for us to see what feelings we've been trying to avoid. If we stop the buffering, we have our answer.
What we need to feel is the discomfort. The horror. The embarrassment. The dissapointment. The complicity. To allow those feelings to be there without buffering. If we allow what's intolerable to be, you'll be able to have a good look at it. We'll be able to shine the light on it and see it with clear eyes. From there we can take meaningful action to make a change. If we want motivation, we'll find it in those moments. It'll feel like we might crawl out of our skin if we don't take action right then and there.
Now, I don't mean reacting to emotions or acting out emotions. I mean feeling and allowing those emotions. We think if we allow our emotions that means we'll act them out and feel out of control. No. We can feel anger and not lash out. We lose control when we try to suppress emotions, stuff them down. At some point, they come flying out of us and all of that stuffing down can lead to acting out of emotions. If we just breathe them in, and allow them to sit with us, we'll see they're harmless. Just feel the vibration they cause in our bodies. Identify where we feel the emotion and what it feels like. Is it fast or slow? Intense or subtle? Do you feel it in your traps? Stomach? Head? The back of your legs? Just notice. Breathe. Notice. Breathe.
Here is the best part. The part where we get to take back our power: process the emotion and then decide. Decide what it is that we want to do and decide quickly. In 1 minute or less. Is it to make a donation? Reach out to a friend? Read a book? Clean up the house? Write that paper? Call your Senator? Work out? Is it to follow your schedule? Whatever it is, decide. It can be big or small. Right then and there and take action in that moment. Don't put it off. All of our power is here, right now, in this moment. It starts with a decision, which leads to a feeling of determination, and that determination leads to taking action.
If you want help working through powerful emotions, or you'd like to learn more about what coaching can do for you, schedule a free consultation. I can help you take all of your power back.