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Helena Önneby

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Why aren’t we doing what we know is best for us?

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This time we’re all moving through right now is an excellent opportunity to take good care, support our immune system and put some extra energy into our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Most of us know what we need to do, we know what makes us well, we know what changes we need to make, and yet, we don’t do them. Why?

I want to start off by saying I don’t have a universal answer to this question, I don’t believe anyone has. I believe we need to listen inwards, to find our own individual answers. This text is an exploration of different clues to your answer.

With that said, self-awareness is probably one of the most important parts. Only you know what you need right now and only you can find the answer to why you’re not giving yourself what you need. Answer honestly; what do you know you need to be doing that you still aren’t doing?

Another important part is courage. Courage to dare to face yourself and be honest, if not towards others, at least towards yourself. What do you know you need to be doing that you still aren’t doing?

If an answer came up, I want to add another important part before your inner critic gets started; choose curiosity instead! It’s so easy to go into judgement when we feel we’re focusing on the “wrong” stuff or continue doing things we know is not good for us. When we choose curiosity towards our reactions and excuses and examine them with an open mind, we increase the possibility of finding something new. When we judge ourselves and decide we “are bad” we close the door to moving forward. Rather choose; “Darn, this didn’t work out, I’ll try again!”

When you’re choosing a curious openness, ask yourself these questions:

1.Why do you want to change/ do differently?

You will need a strong why to motivate yourself when the inner resistance gets strong or energy runs low.

2.What would be better if you did the change?

Having a clear picture of what you’d gain from this change will give you energy when it gets rough.

3. If you don’t make this change, what will your life look like in 1 month, 1 year, 10 years?

This question can be a real eye-opener.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now.” – Chinese proverb

4a. What excuses do you make up for not doing what you know you need to do?

If you’ve read any of my texts here before you know I’m a big fan of “getting in the driver’s seat of your own life”. When you actively choose to do so you take full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. The beautiful thing with responsibility is that you take back the power over your life, leave victim-mentality, and realize how strong you really are and that you can change things if you want to. You are able to respond, when you are responsible.

4b. Go through your excuses above. IF you chose to not make any excuses, what would you say instead? What would you do instead?  

5. Make a list of all the changes you’ve wanted to do in your life and actually did. What do you feel when you look at that list?

6. If your life was at stake, like “you need to do this change, or the plug will get pulled within a month” – how would you make this happen?

Sometimes we blame practical circumstances, like time, but if we’ve learnt something from this crisis it is that we are capable of changing really fast, when it’s acutely needed. If time is your excuse, track your time over the span of a few days. My guess is that there’s some time to gain from all the screens in your life, if you actually believed that this change was important to you.

7. If I claim that you actually don’t want to do what you’re not doing, what comes up in you?

If you were provoked by this question – be curious! What provoked you? If new excuses show up (that you might want to shout in my direction) – go back to question 4b and try again to “exclude excuses” from your life.

I’m writing this text because I’m with you. I also need to make changes that I’m not making, while others, like radically changing my lifestyle from one day to another back in 2012 was a “no excuses” change. There are no universal answers when it comes to human behavior, but with a huge dose of curiosity (instead of judgement) we can get far. And one thing is for sure, no one else but you will be able to make the change that you need to make in your life. You are so worth it!

So, what do you choose to do (or stop doing) from now on? 

This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are the writer’s own

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