In the throes of a new year, I can’t help but to stare a bit more closely at our cultural relationship with self-discipline. And while I can clearly see that my self-discipline is (most of the time) strong, the bigger piece of this puzzle, the underlying item that makes or breaks my self-discipline, is my relationship with self-care, or the amount I BELIEVE that I deserve when it comes to health, wealth, and happiness.
Crazy, really, when I think about it. Could I still have thoughts, beliefs, at almost 54 years old, that subconsciously tell me regularly that I deserve what is less than abundant? Really?
The answer, is yes, I still have these thoughts, I still subconsciously honor these beliefs.
I waiver in and out of strong self-discipline because of the things I tell myself when I am at the brink of a precipice, collapsing back into my daily routine which I found undesirable, only days or weeks prior.
Most of the people I know can do anything for 21 days, or 30 days, or the month of January…but most of those same people (including me) struggle to maintain these things past the deadline upon which they’ve been focused. And THAT is the difference between deciding to apply self-discipline to achieve a goal or deciding to choose a shift in a BELIEF to achieve a lifestyle reshape.
If my beliefs around Dry January, for example, are: I will do it, but I’ll hate every moment of it…It will be hard…It is good for me to detox for 31 days, but come Feb 1…watch out!
Then I can bet my bottom dollar that ALL of that will be exactly how I feel during the 31 days of January. And if I BELIEVE these sentiments, and in turn I FEEL these sentiments, my behaviors will be in check for 31 days…and not a day longer, proving to myself that I, indeed, can successfully accomplish Dry January, but not a day more.
But what, then, do I do about how I take care of myself in February, March, April, and so on?
It’s ok to be an occasional drinker, that’s the key to balance, in my opinion. Just as it’s ok to be an occasional cupcake consumer. When I choose to overindulge more days than not, I am operating from a BELIEF that I am not deserving of all the good things* that balance offers.
Yet, I am! As are you.
So, now that Dry January is one for the books, let’s look at February, March, April and so on…
Look closely at the BELIEFS you hold about yourself. Are any of them limiting you? Are any of them allowing your inner groovy you to shine for only 30 days at a time? Are any of them manipulating you to believe that balance is boring?
Listen, I am in this boat with you, if in fact you are in this boat.
This past January (actually, all of 2023), I have been getting very honest with my self-BELIEFS, and as I’ve done so, a lot has changed. This honesty got me very UNcomfortable before it got me comfortable. But as I tell my clients again and again, our personal growth and gain is just past the discomfort. You will not find grand growth, or a life reshape if you stay “comfortable”. And the kicker? Likely, what we’ve been calling “comfortable”, is exactly what has been KEEPING us UNCOMFORTABLE, limited, oppressed.
If you desire to stretch, grow, or reshape, you must first take a very clear look at the BELIEFS you hold for yourself.
- “I won’t ever make more money than I am making now…”
- “My relationship with my grown child won’t ever be better…”
- “No matter how hard I try, these 20 pounds won’t come off!”
The THOUGHTS we have are our beliefs. And they can be limiting, or limitless. You decide.
If you’d like to explore this idea in more detail and with more determination, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have a 21-day program that will exercise you right into new, stronger, more beautiful, and a hell of a lot more accurate BELIEFS about yourself.
Beth Clardy Lewis, LPC-S
Founder and Creative Director at Vervewell