You’re learning, you’re motivated, you’re doing therapy, exposing yourself to new ideas, reading books and [insert wellness thing x here]. Cool! Buuut you're not seeing the change that you want to... so now what?
More than learning
Remember how Neo downloaded kung fu in the Matrix? He basically learned it all at once and then was able to execute it immediately in a spar against Morpheus. He didn't have to deal with the actual steps of making change and growing. He was simply ready to spar. Bad news -this is not how change works in our reality. Sorry.
Change doesn’t come from just learning. It's of course essential to the process of change, but is not the entirety of what needs to happen to make change. You actually need to start doing. "But I am doing, damnit!" I don't doubt it and I’ll address you more specifically in a moment.
Start doing. Implement the information that you are taking in. If you never actually implement what you're learning, what's the point? Change doesn't come from scrolling through Instagram wellness images. Or Facebooks ones. Or Pinterest. You get the idea.
Yes, it can be intimidating to try something new. You're going to feel dumb. You're going to feel embarrassed. You're going to think that you're doing it wrong. You're going to doubt that you'll be successful.
Allow these doubts and insecurities to be. It's okay for them to be present. Yes, it's important to be evaluating the efficacy of what you're doing and I'll touch upon that a littler later on.
But these doubts and insecurities are a normal part of trying something new and a normal part of challenging yourself. When my coach challenged me to journal, I at first felt irritated. I didn't make journaling a practice of mine at all. But I embraced the irritation and journaling is now something that's a realistic option for me when I need it.
But hey, maybe you're already doing...
If you’re already doing, then do again. That might be the problem. You can't just try something once and then proclaim that it's ineffective. You can't half-ass a meditation and then disregard it. You gotta give things an honest attempt.
So do again. "But Justin, I'm already doing and doing again!" Okay then...
If the thing you're doing is ineffective or if you really don't like it, then do something else. Just cross it off the list. There is an absolute slew of free information on wellness pretty much everywhere. If you've got one of those rectangles that accesses the information of the world, this should be a pretty easy solution.
So when you "do another," pick something that appeals to you. Or pick something that someone you trust vouches for. Or something that has some evidence behind it. Pretty much anyone and everyone has advice on wellness and it's not all equal. Depending on how desperate you are, I'd really recommend putting in some research before spending money or trusting a stranger on the internet.
Do more often
Make it a daily practice to do whatever the thing. Doing it once might not be enough. Doing it once every now and again might not be the right frequency. Making something a daily practice might be a good idea though. I created a 30 day course called Building Safety Anchors that has daily learning in doing in small doses. It guides you through what to learn and what to practice every day. It helps you to become more grounded in the present moment.
I'm sure there is such a thing as "too much" of whatever wellness technique you're practicing. Just like there's too much of anything, right? So when I say "do more often" I'm not referring to some limitless capacity that you don't have. I'm not expecting you to lose sleep or sacrifice your relationships. It's something you'll have to be checking in with yourself on as you evaluate what you're implementing and the effectiveness of it.
Maybe daily is too much for 10 minutes of meditation. What about daily 2 minute meditations? What about 10 minutes every other day? The point is to do your wellness activities on a regular, predictable basis. And one that works for your individual lifestyle and goals.
So as you're learning and then implementing new things and feeling all insecure about it, don't forget that it's okay to have fun too. Yes, this wellness and getting unstuck work is serious business. But if you allow some fun, spontaneity and customization into the mix, then your willingness to try again tomorrow is probably going to increase.
When I began journaling, I was imagining it had to be a certain way - paragraph form, left to right, deep thoughts. But when I put the pen to paper, I immediately allowed my inner creativity to come into play. My journal is more note style. Free flowing thoughts. Phrases. Arrows, sketches, doodles. I like to start with one word or concept in the middle of the paper, circle it and then have a wheel of spokes coming out of it that have ideas that stem from the main journal prompt.
It's not just learning and doing. It's also being, feeling, noticing and experiencing. Doing things the "right way" comes from an evaluative sympathetic state. Worry less about getting the right answer and be more interested in the true experience of change. The goal of all wellness work is to eventually be more in the present moment, in my opinion. Just like in Building Safety Anchors, the goal is to feel more in your body. More safe. More present. And from there, change can really happen.
Assess and audit
Evaluation is going to be important too though. You're learning and doing for a reason. There is a goal that you probably have in mind. So evaluating the efficacy of what you're doing seems at least a little important, right?
That means some things you're doing will stay and other things will go. Maybe just for now. The journaling might stay. The meditation might go. The play might stay. Focusing on the pain might go. A certain mindset might stay. A certain therapeutic modality or therapist might go.
You would have to look at what your goal is and ask yourself if wellness thing x is helping you to achieve that goal or not. Is it helping you to get closer to that goal or not. Is it something you feel some hope in or not. Is it something you feel a push away from or a pull toward? These questions in comparison to your goal(s) might help you to rule in or out various wellness things.
Thanks so much for reading this and I do invite you to check out Building Safety Anchors. It's not for everyone. It's really for that person that is ready to invest in their change, commit to their change and become more grounded in the present moment. Check it out through the link image below or email me if you have a question about it.