Last week I shared using emotional discomfort for change.
As an example, before Joey and I met, I was in an unhappy relationship. After behaviors of control, possessiveness, made to feel less than and not being good enough, I was full of hurt and anger.
I channeled all of that into my workouts. My health and wellness. Mentally and physically. And I ended up being in the best shape of my life.
But it was more than navigating that control and possessiveness.
My body was compared to a friend of ours. She had a 6 pack and I didn’t. That was the first time ever in my life that body image became an issue for me.
I became self-conscious of my appearance, even though, I had absolutely no reason to be.
Step #1: Find your true “why.”
Your “why” is the reason behind the reason… behind the reason… behind the surface reason you want to make a change in your life.
Finding your “why” is a shortcut to finding your pain.
Because often, your deepest reason for wanting to change your body or habits dredges up yucky stuff.
For example, the shame of having gained 30 pounds after having kids. (‘Why does every other mom seem to have it all together?)
Or the helplessness of realizing you can’t even bend down to pick up a pencil off the floor.
Or the regret that comes with admitting you’re not the kind of active, inspiring parent you want to be.
These are the “whys” that drive change.
Don’t settle for the easy answer.
Getting to your “deepest reason” requires some introspection. An exercise called the “5 Whys” can help kickstart the process.
Here’s how it works: Take your initial reason for wanting to make changes to your nutrition, workout routine, or lifestyle, and use that as a starting point.
Maybe you want to get fit.
Ask yourself why do I want to accomplish this?
Then, with whatever answer you come up with, ask why again and again
I’m reminded of my toddler asking “why” with every answer I give her, BUT there is something to that method.
For instance, for me currently:
"I want to be healthy."
That’s a lot of insight for a few little questions.
For me, being healthy really means being in charge of my life to prevent outcomes like my mom.
That’s a crucial insight.
I’m not just looking to be as strong as I was.
I also want to feel a certain way at the end of the process. Strong. More energetic. More in control of the outcome (even though we have no way of knowing what will actually happen, at least I can say I did everything I could).
And that's what's really important to me.
Being strong is just a way to get there.
Put in the work.
Some people can define—and confront—their “why” quickly. For others, it requires a little more time and effort.
Practicing meditation and/or mindfulness can help you access uncomfortable thoughts you’ve been avoiding or pushing away. To get started, try this simple mind-body scan.
Find a quiet place. Take 5 minutes and find somewhere you can be without interruptions. This could be just before bed or just after waking. Or in your office, resting on a park bench, or sitting in your parked car.
Notice physical sensations. Scan your body from the top of your head down to your toes, part by part. Note how you feel along the way. Don’t judge or rush to change anything.
Notice emotions and thoughts. Once you’ve done your “body scan,” do the same exercise for your emotions and thoughts. Again, don’t judge or try to make sense of it. Just observe.
Ask yourself 3 questions. Right now…
You may find it helpful to jot down a few notes after each session. (It’s okay if you can’t find the perfect words.)
Over time, you’ll notice feelings, thoughts, and ideas that crop up consistently. These can be important clues to revealing your “why”… and your pain.
Ok, now it’s your turn to play. Write down your 5 Whys.
Give it some thought.
If you’d care to share send me a DM, I’d love to hear from you!
Nourish your purpose now,