We live in a time where everything now moves at a hyper-accelerated pace. We expect instant gratification, and most people have very little tolerance for things happening at even a slightly slower rate – we want everything NOW!
There’s even a bumper sticker that says “God, grant me patience…BUT HURRY.” Most people laugh at this sentiment, but it unfortunately reflects our current culture and lifestyle quite accurately.
Today, in contrast, I’m going to ask you to go against all of that – the urge to hurry, and the tendency toward impatience with anything that doesn’t come to you immediately. In particular I’m focusing on making those changes in yourself that you’ve identified as potentially most beneficial.
Be aware that you are probably placing enormous expectations on yourself, to make these changes quickly (and easily, if we’re being really honest – after all, who wants making changes to be hard work? Nobody – including yours truly!).
So rule number one in looking at the changes you want to make, and coming up with reasonable expectations regarding the time frame for developing expertise in your new ways of thinking and behaving, is to slow down. It takes 28 days to establish a new habit, and that’s with deliberate daily practice of the habit you want to create.
To give you an example, think about when you first started with the affirmation “Who I am is enough.” It probably felt awkward and strange, right? You were so used to feeling “I’m NOT enough” that your whole being resisted buying into the new belief. But if you have been practicing that affirmation daily as I’ve suggested, I’m guessing not only that it now feels more true and therefore comfortable, but also that saying it feels more natural as well. If not, I suspect you’re probably not really practicing it as recommended!
The point is, these changes take time, practice and perseverance. There is no getting around that; there’s no quick fix when it comes to reclaiming your true, unlimited, fully realized self. This is an ongoing process, which can include various techniques, tools, ideas and exercises – whatever it takes to get back the parts of your uniquely gifted, glorious self that have been suppressed, squelched and otherwise lost over your lifetime so far.
Think of it like a “power workout” program for developing physical strength: We are now rebuilding your inner core. You’ll get the most out of this process if you can see it as a true virtual treasure hunt – really worthwhile treasures don’t materialize overnight, so patience and perseverance are your most helpful allies in deriving the biggest benefits.
Keep that in mind as we go through this month, and be gentle with yourself! Let your expectations be flexible and adjustable, while holding onto your commitment to get to your desired outcome – those changes you want to see in yourself!
Your one-week “assignment” is to:
1. Identify 3-5 Changes you would really like to make in 2015, and rank them in importance by envisioning the impact they could have on your life and happiness.
2. Honestly Evaluate how entrenched you are in your current habits as they relate to these desired changes, and how willing you are to let go of those habits, then re-rank the list of changes in order from lowest to highest perceived difficulty to change.
3. Chunk Down the seemingly impossible changes into smaller, “bite-sized” changes that are more manageable; for instance, you could break down “stop getting mad at myself when I forget things” into two separate changes:
Change #1 might be: “Always follow getting mad at myself with the affirmation, ‘I forgive myself with love, because I deserve forgiveness’ until I’ve mastered that.” And after you’ve established that as a consistent habit, move on to change #2.
Change #2: “When I start to get mad at myself, remember to STOP! BREATHE! and FOCUS! Then say the affirmation, ‘Well I didn’t do that perfectly, and that’s ok – I’m human, and Who I Am Is Enough!’ Then take another breath.”
4. Slow Down your awareness, so that whenever an old habit occurs you catch it, then take the time to do your new practice.
5. Celebrate Yourself! ALWAYS be sure to congratulate yourself for catching old habits as they occur, and for remembering to practice your new behaviors. Shower yourself with LOVE and APPRECIATION, and feel the JOY of getting back the TRUE YOU that you were always meant to be!
I hope you like the five-step process in this post and remember, BREATHE! –Loren
Loren Gelberg-Goff, LCSW is best known for creating powerful, life-changing programs for women: “Take Back Your Life”. She believes that everyone has the power to live free of chronic, daily anxiety and overwhelm without having to constantly feel guilty, angry &/or resentful. You can learn more about her work and read a chapter from her book at: