Do you hate being told what to do, sticking to the rules and conforming? Have you ever noticed that self-discipline isn’t one of your strong points?! Well that is me with a capital M! And if you’re anything like me, this can work fine until you have a big goal you really want to achieve where sticking to some rules and guidelines with consistency and focus is kinda important to get the job done.
I really noticed this for myself last year when I committed to entering a body sculpting competition. I was all inspired and enthused right up until the point that I had to get serious about my eating and follow a fat burning eating plan. I had to change from eating roughly 3 times a day on the run to 6 small meals a day of food which had a perfect balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates to burn fat. I am not, ahem, the most organised of people and this was a real challenge for me. But what took me most by surprise was when a certain inner 2 year old fronted up and flatly refused to do it. “Too many rules” she said, “bit anal, isn’t it?!” she said, “I don’t have time for that shit” she said. Before I knew it, I had a full blown battle on my hands.
I discovered I don’t like to be told what to do – even by myself!
So what to do? Here’s what I did:
5 Steps to putting your inner 2 year old in their place (nicely)
- First notice and acknowledge what is happening. If you have something that you really want to achieve and it is just not happening for you, it is not laziness or lack of motivation, it is resistance. Resistance can look like excuses, grumpiness, procrastination, laziness, lack of motivation or willpower, defeatist thoughts (“it’s too hard”) etc
- Let yourself feel resistant without actually acting on it. Don’t wait for the resistant feelings or behaviour to go. Keep taking the action required to achieve your goals while the resistant feelings are still there. These feelings may feel highly uncomfortable but it’s all right. All is well.
- Don’t believe the resistant feelings and actions. They are just based on old thoughts, old programming. Question them instead. e.g. “this is too hard, there are too many rules, I’ll never stick to it” – Is that true? Can I be absolutely certain that is true? The feelings will then change as the thoughts change.
- Replace the old thinking that doesn’t support you with thoughts that do e.g. “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly while I get better at it”, “all beginnings are hard” etc
- Be kind to your inner child. She resists for a reason. She learnt these resistant strategies to keep you safe and protected from failure, humiliation, being dominated etc. Imagine that scared little boy or girl inside who is fiercely resisting and ask them what they need right now. It probably looks like love ♥