We all want to do things differently in our lives. But we aren’t always prepared for how hard it can be to change. While breaking old habits and forming new ones can be challenging, the worst part is getting used to feeling uncomfortable.
Sometimes we’re surprised by how uncomfortable we are and for how long those uncomfortable feelings last. As a result, we begin to doubt ourselves and wonder if we’re doing something wrong. We reason that it shouldn’t feel this intensely uncomfortable and that it shouldn’t last for this long. We then back off on the changes we’re making to give ourselves some relief. And the next thing we know, we’ve slipped back into old habits and we’re right back where we started.
Change can be deeply uncomfortable and it can stay that way for a long time–for several months and, sometimes, even longer.
You need to know this going in. And prepare for it. The following are two ways that, in the past, you may have derailed your efforts to change:
~Having no support group. Who will you turn to?
You need to trust this person to tell you to hang in there and stay the course. They need to assure you that what you’re feeling is a normal and natural part of change. They need to remind you that the more you hang in there and stick with it, the sooner you’ll be through this uncomfortable phase.
~Not having a plan of how to soothe yourself when you’re in the throes of discomfort.
In the past you may have turned to a few drinks (or illegal substances) to take the edge off. You may have resorted to eating junk food or shopping or mindless video games or TV. This does NOT help. In fact this makes it MUCH worse. What are healthier and more helpful things you can do?
There may be other ways that you’ve thrown yourself off track when trying to change. Anticipate them. Write them down then brainstorm ways you can handle them. Keep the list handy so you can refer to it when you’re feeling uncomfortable.
You can do it, I know you can!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,