Sometimes I think I’m making too big a deal of giving up wine and sugar. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t that important. But in terms of the patterns it creates in my thinking and my habits, it’s very important.
I don’t think most of us stop to think about the power of the tiny little decisions me make every day and the patterns these create in our lives – the things we come to believe about ourselves, the excuses we make and the opportunities we miss.
Until recently, I failed to complete almost every alcohol free or sugar free period I promised myself I would commit to. As I stand back and think about that pattern of giving up, I can see it in many other areas too, all the way back to childhood.
These are just a few, off the top of my head:
- Brownies – I got bored and quit to do rollerskating
- Rollerskating – I quit to do horse riding
- Horse riding – I was scared. I quit.
- Netball – I was bad at it. I quit.
- Acting – I went to drama school and then quit before going to any auditions
- My business – I started it with the intention of hiring 100-150 trainers. It stayed a one-woman band (admittedly a financially successful one but still another failed completion)
- My second business – I got scared and doubted my abilities. I quit.
It comes back to this.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
Do you know what I do if my husband gets cross with me? I walk away. I storm off, unwilling to see the conversation through. Of course I always come back but my instant, default response is to quit the conversation.
Want to know what I do when my 4 year old, Max, holds me to ransom with crazy, small-person demands? I walk away. Again, I always go back but my default switch always makes me quit.
“This is too hard. Walk away. Nothing you can do now matters anyway.” That’s the line I’d hear in my head. “You’re powerless.”
I’ve spent the last 18 months changing that rhetoric and that’s why I think these little habits are worth making a big deal of – not to the point of losing perspective with everything else – but to the point where we start to show ourselves what we’re capable of.
As Maya Angelou so elegantly put it,
Stand up straight and realise who you are, and that you tower over your circumstances.
Todays little wins become tomorrow’s proof that we can do it – and whatever else we decide to do.
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