The Myth of Quick Change

We all know that real change is slow. And yet, when change is slow, we beat ourselves up for doing it wrong. The marketing industry has convinced us change is fast, and if you aren’t changing fast, you are doing it wrong.

We KNOW losing weight .5 to 1 lb. a week is healthier and more likely to stay off. And yet, how often do we beat ourselves up for not losing weight faster?

We KNOW getting in shape takes a long time. And yet, when we are out of breath walking up three flights of stairs after only one month of regularly working out, we beat ourselves up.

We KNOW acknowledging our feelings, practicing kindness, and learning new coping skills around our anxiety will take time. And yet, when we don’t do it perfectly in the first month, we beat ourselves up.

The myth of quick change has derailed so many of my clients. The idea that they are doing it wrong, the change isn’t big enough or fast enough, or worse: they still have anxiety so they MUST be doing it wrong.

The key to moving beyond the myth of quick change is to recognize the wins.

Having the awareness that you had a 10 reaction to a 2 situation when you came home from a hectic day and yelled at your son for not raking the leaves. Initially, you might not notice it until the next day, and then slowly, slowly over time, you will notice it earlier and earlier: first you might notice it a few hours after, and then a few minutes after, and then you will notice it in the moment.

Each time you notice it—it doesn’t matter if it takes two days or two seconds—stop, celebrate that you noticed it, give yourself some kindness, apologize to your son, and start practicing A.S.K.

As you skip your morning walk to buy Starbucks for the third day in a row, you realize maybe your BFF is running the show. You celebrate that you noticed it, practice A.S.K., and make a plan for doing it differently tomorrow. Maybe morning walks aren’t for you and you would rather walk in the evening? Or maybe you love morning walks and you also love Starbucks coffee, so you decide to walk to Starbucks rather than drive. Slowly over time you will catch your BFF talking sooner.

Quick change is a myth. As humans, we are biologically designed to change slowly. The marketing gurus can’t compete with biology. Tell that to your Monger next time she starts yammering about how slow you are changing, “It’s just biology.”

New on The Happier Approach

All this month on The Happier Approach we have been looking at how the self-help industry has sold us a bunch of toxic information. And for those of us with High Functioning Anxiety, who love looking outside of ourselves for the answers, this toxicity is especially troubling.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In this week’s episode, I take a closer look at self-care and how it isn’t just yoga, bubble baths, and breathing apps. Self-care done well is the ultimate in self-loyalty. Check it out on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or over here.