Fully viced-up again Print
News - Final Word
Monday, 28 January 2019 10:08
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Most of us started off the new year with the intention of releasing all sorts of vices. But, by the time you’re holding this Bronnie in your hands, chances are you’re fully viced-up again, feeling guilty with a large dollop of self-loathing on top of everything else.

Life coach Christy Whitman kicked off the year with a vice-release programme that opened my eyes to something I couldn’t see before. You know how someone can say something familiar in a new way so that you can truly hear it for the first time?

Christy did that for me. She said that all vices started off because they initially helped you to cope. You started the pattern, which you now call a ‘vice’, because it was the only way you knew of to find relief from unbearable feelings. Don’t judge yourself for that. You did the best you knew how to make yourself feel better.

Of course it’s not been working out all that well in the long run, but instead of detesting yourself, just observe. Don’t use your ‘failure’ as an opportunity to beat yourself up. Just observe without judging. Just say, “Oh, this is me doing that thing again”.

You cannot heal self-destructive patterns with the shame of self-hatred. Einstein said that we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. So, you have to change your focus from the problem to the solution. Just start writing down solutions, even extremely silly ones. The point is to change your mindset; to get into solving mode.

I’m going to give you a truly scatological example. Someone once told me that she set her pupils the task of writing down what you’d do if you suddenly realised you had no toilet paper in the house. One pupil said you should get the hair dryer, blow-dry the offending bits and then brush it off.

Albeit harebrained, this is the silly kind of solution-finding you can entertain yourself with, girlfriend. It puts you into another kind of mindset. The goal is to become unstuck. We often get stuck in a rut because we act or react in set ways that, over the years, might have become far from what is true for us.

If you’re not living a life that resonates with your true self, you’ll feel as if something is missing; as if you have to keep reaching out for things that would soothe you. It sounds like such an easy task to pinpoint your true self, but you’ll be amazed at how many people mis-type themselves.

Carol Tuttle does a course, ‘Dressing Your Truth’, in which there are four basic energy types. She says that many women mis-type themselves based on the way they’ve been brought up. As a child you might have seen that certain characteristics earned good feedback, so you tried your best to ‘have’ them.

For example, you might have seen that your outgoing sister was applauded for her behaviour, so you tried to hide the fact that you’re painfully shy. You could have done it so successfully that today you might even type yourself as an extrovert.

So, do you feel more energized when alone or at a party? When you’re feeling ill, would you rather seek out others or go to bed with a good book? If you’re naturally introverted, a job that needs you to interact with people all day long is going to cause a lot of anxiety and stress. If you’re extroverted, spending all your time alone working from home as a solopreneur might drive you crazy.

Being successful at something is not just about massive effort and learned skill sets. It’s also about putting in enough hours. And that is much easier to do when you enjoy what you’re doing. You might have potential to be a good tennis player, but if you can’t stand the game, you’ll never put in the time. More importantly, you wouldn’t want to anyway. So, what causes you to lose track of time?

Sometimes we get so caught up in who we think we’re supposed to be that we cannot see who we are. But, girlfriend, believe me – everything you’ve been looking for is already inside of you. Always has been. You were never supposed to create it. You can only discover it. And then allow it. And then embrace it.