Why do you do things that seem to hurt you?
Do you ever wonder why you do things that seem to hurt you?
Sometimes we do things that leave us scratching our heads, wondering why we keep repeating
the same, self-sabotaging behavior. The truth is we get some benefit from doing it.
The benefit exceeds the cost of changing, at least subconsciously. As an example, my coach gave me an assignment to write down action I have not been taking and why; what was the pain associated with it? This was difficult for me because I thought I AM taking actions, too many of them. I tend to burn myself out.
So I wrote this: I've not been letting go of activities that I consider obligatory and not very enjoyable, like walking the stairs every week day. The pain associated with letting go is the fear that I'll gain weight if I stop doing the stairs. Next I wrote the pleasure that I derive from not letting go of certain tasks: I get
praise/significance for doing so much (I don't know how you do so much, Angie). I feel important, thinking no one else can keep up with me. I also can play the martyr at times. I'm an addictive personality and I tend to take to new activities with a vengeance and drive.
I am just now learning when to let go of them: when they no longer bring me joy.
What will it cost me to not let go of excess activities? I will burn out, be grouchy and irritable. It will negatively impact my relationships for obvious reasons, and I won't feel like being intimate if I'm too tired. I will not want to serve others if I'm not energetic and happy. It will affect my ability to receive abundance too.
What will I gain if I release the need to be hyper-busy? I'll be more energetic, calm, peaceful and connected. I'll be more productive. My relationships will be smooth and fun. Life will flow and I won't DO things out of guilt, but rather out of choice.
The last step is to write down the action I need to take and a plan to take it.
For me, it looks like this:
1) Don't walk the stairs if I don't feel like it (I haven't done this for months now after years of doing it!). 2) Honor and respect my body's signals. If I'm tired, rest (I've been taking more afternoon naps).
3) When I feel overwhelmed, I breathe deeply. I breathe in the emotion and let it go.
I hope you take a few minutes to examine some of your self-defeating behaviors. I've bolded the steps.
Basically all I've done is a pleasure/pain analysis, in financial jargon, a cost/benefit analysis. We will not change our behavior if changing is more painful than our current way of existing.
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