Something I’ve noticed so much with myself and with clients I work with, is the power of small. I know, it sounds very unsexy because we all want huge transformation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about exponential change and transformation, but despite being able to take huge action on something we want to change, you can’t quite hack your emotions in the same way. Sometimes you can’t physically hack your body in this way either.
I’ve experienced so much frustration with my health over the last year. For months I was trying to take these big leaps - working out hard to prove to myself I ‘could’, attempting to eat things, which I knew I’d become intolerant to because I wanted to feel ‘normal’. The intention was good but what happened was feeling utterly exhausted and ruined the day after working out and feeling unwell due to eating foods my body couldn’t tolerate.
When you’re going through a breakup, you want to feel better and back to your old self. Whilst you will get that in the long-term, you have to take small, incremental steps to get there. You can’t just leap forwards to ‘better’ or ‘normal’. (Um, if you can, please tell me how!)
If you find yourself self-sabotaging in this way, then I have a few tips for you that should help.
Say we’re measuring how you feel on a scale of 1 - 10 (sorry - I hate to use scales as much as I do spreadsheets but this is the best way I can illustrate this!) with 1 being the worst you could possibly feel and 10 being vibrant, exhilarated, full of energy and the best you could feel, where would you sit?
Ok, so whatever that number is, what would it take to get you to a 0.5 above that? What small things could you introduce into your day, self-care practice if you have one (which I strongly recommend!) or mindset? What would need to happen?
Next I want you to write down these things and how they would make you feel by doing them. How would things change for you? I know that a 0.5 isn’t hugely measurable but what’s important, is that your brain can comprehend feeling this way because it isn’t 10,000 miles from where you are now. Jumping from a 3 to a 7 - yeah that sounds awesome but your subconscious brain is just going to call BS on it. It won’t believe it’s possible because so much would have to change in such a short space of time. Your emotions need to adjust. You know you’ll get to that 7 in time because I bet you’ve got there before from a 3. You can already trust that. But taking a small step up the scale isn’t going to make you self-sabotage in the same way that leaping to that 7 could.
I recently had a session with a client who did this and his 0.5 up the scale was coming home from work, opening the windows to let some fresh air in and tidying up the house instead of coming home from work and sleeping. Doesn’t sound radical but for him that meant his doing the everyday things that represented his ‘normal’ and feeling content. Removing the stagnant atmosphere in the house.
The actions aren’t hugely exhilarating but they’re far more appealing to him than what he’s doing right now. They remind him of the person he wants to be again and by doing these small things, he can feel like he’s becoming that person instead of just waiting for it.
The idea, is that you do this consistently to keep moving up the scale and what you’ll probably find is that you can start to take bigger leaps. I’ve done this with my health and it’s really worked. Instead of going all gung-ho with my workouts, I’ve started with yoga, walking and some resistance work. I don’t break a sweat or feel like I’ve had an immense workout but I feel better because I can keep some level of consistency. I’m sticking to foods I know work for me and trying new things every so often to see how I react. Emotionally I do the same thing because that side of me got a good kicking too throughout the whole experience.
If you’re going through heartbreak, you can do this too of course (as my client I’ve mentioned did). It works really well. What would that 0.5 look like? What would it feel like? What would you do to get there? Go from a 3 to a 3.5 and in the next few days after you’ve gotten used to that, what would you need to do to get to a 4? And so on.
See how you go with this - I really hope you find it helpful!
I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog for the past month! At LY HQ there’s been so much good stuff going on. My new website with all my new coaching programs around bouncing back, transformation and creating a drama free life (because we all want that, right?!) will be going live in a few short weeks and I’m putting together some events and private workshops, which will be listed on there too. I’m buzzing about being able to help you all in a MUCH bigger way as I’ll be honest - it’s my mission. My why.
As for the Let’s Talk Heartbreak podcast, I’m going to be relaunching and rebranding that too come the summer. Breakups will still be something I cover but it will be much more focused on the idea of bouncing back and transformation with broader subjects. Will keep you all posted!
On a personal level I've just moved into a new place and I couldn't be more excited! There's something about this time of year that feels so fresh - out with the old, in with the new as they say :)
As always, please reach out to me if you need to or to find out about how to work with me on firstname.lastname@example.org