I have long been a planner – the type of person who has to know the outcome before I take the first step. I have always called it “calculated risk,” but recently, with the help of both my life coach and my therapist, I have come to realize that these “calculations” are a form of perfectionism. And my perfectionism runs rampant. I have a deep-seated need to be perfect at first attempt, and I rarely start a project without a clear step-by-step plan for completion. Rather than allowing me to discover an exciting new passion, my perfectionism has held me firmly in place.
I’ve convinced myself I cannot do something before I even try, mainly for fear of failure. As a result, when I do try something new, I typically give up. Why? Because I have it all meticulously planned. I have expectations on how something should look, feel, and be, and the moment the “plan” goes sideways, I am discouraged. My ego steps in with her nasty comments: “See. I knew you shouldn’t have done this. You’re making a fool of yourself.” Or, “Did you really think you could pull this off? You’re an idiot.”
You see, our egos don’t want us to try anything new. Our egos, the subconscious part of ourselves where our patterns and identity are stored, wants to keep us safe. And by safe, that doesn’t always mean physically safe or healthy. It means that it wants to maintain the status quo, even if the status quo is the unhealthiest version of ourselves. In order to overcome the ego, we have to put in a mountain of effort and remain consistent. We have to train ourselves to break new habits while instilling newer, healthier habits.
The best way to do this, is to just start. Start small. Start anywhere. Just take a step forward. Commit to doing only five minutes of the new thing every day. And tomorrow, do five more minutes. By showing up every day for five minutes, you prove to yourself that you can show up – that you are reliable – and that you will survive this new thing you are trying out. And you’ll slowly build a habit that you can expand upon.
So start. Start today. Start small. You can do anything for five minutes.
Until next time,
Create peace in your world,