In a rut? Try on a new tuxedo. Rent to own.
So… feeling kind of stuck in a routine that’s not working for you, also known as a rut? Maybe one that isn’t supporting where you want to be in your own self-care? Some habits that you want to change? Thinking that always leads to feeling defeated and criticizing yourself? Relationships that leave you feeling misunderstood?
Not sure where to get started in making changes in your life?
When they talk about what they aren’t doing in their lives, and they start heaping all that self-criticism on, or tell themselves why change is so impossible, I make a simple request:
Take all of those negative messages you are giving yourself and turn them into a desire for how you would like to be in life. Think of yourself as renting a tuxedo suit, just for an evening. A tux that will allow you to step into the role of the person you want to be more of. Check out the styles, the colors, the fit. You can have whatever tux you want.
And then I follow it with a not-so-simple question:
What do I look like as someone who is more empowered, who is taking responsibility for my own self-care, being more of the person I think I can be, living my life as fully as possible? What’s different about me? Or, how would you like to look in that tux?
To answer this question, you have to get specific with yourself: “If I was feeling, thinking, behaving as my best self, what would my day look like?” This includes:
How would I begin the day?
How would I schedule the day? Any new activities?
What would my priorities be for the day?
If ____________ happened, how would I react (or choose not to not react)?
What situations would I avoid? What situations would I welcome?
What would my self-talk be like? What would I tell myself to stay calm and focused?
What would I be eating, drinking, not eating, not drinking? Any changes I would make in my diet?
What words would my friends and family finally hear me say. And finally not say? Would I surprise them?
What expression would people see on my face?
And most important, what would I do to promote my physical well-being? My emotional well-being? My spiritual well-being?
Now, after you have an idea of this new way of being in the world, imagine yourself living out this new role, just like you do when you rent a fancy tuxedo (or a dress) for yourself.
How are you looking in that new outfit? Pretty good, I suspect. How has putting in on changed how you think and feel about yourself? How others react? And most important, what’s going better in your life? Enjoying playing that new role?
Now, keep in mind that this is a rental. Give it a try. You don’t have to commit to keeping it. You may wear it for an evening and decide it’s not quite the right fit, or the right look. Maybe you want a black tux instead of that chocolate brown. Or not so many ruffles in that shirt. Different cuff links. (If you’re choosing an evening gown, adjust your requirements accordingly).
No problem. Take it back and rent another one for your next night out on the town.
You can think and think and think about what you need to do to live a healthier, happier, optimistic life, criticizing yourself for what you aren’t doing, beating up on yourself for not being motivated enough, feeling frustrated that you aren’t yet in the right place at the right time, or that something or somebody is in your way. Waiting until you are ready to start making changes. You can keep saying to yourself: If only…
Or, you can decide not to wait, and instead, to take action – now – to take better care of yourself. In other words, you can decide to dive into life and act “as if” until, well, you just are.
You are work in progress. And so is your new tux. Try one on for awhile. Take a few baby steps. See what works. Give yourself some encouragement, take another step, regroup when you need to. Rent a different tux and see how that one fits. Once you get to the one that you like the most, you may want to turn your rental fee into a down payment.
Don’t wait to “feel” motivated. It’s a whole lot easier for feelings to catch up with actions than for actions to catch up with feelings.
Now, ready to take the next step toward your own best self?
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