Chapter Five: Talk Yourself Into Some Things

How easy it for you to talk yourself out of doing something or going somewhere?  For me it’s one of the easiest things in the world.  I have *excuses* for days.  

I’m tired.  

I have work to do.  

I’m already in the house.  

I really just don’t feel like it.

I’m not a fan of some of the people who will be there.

My energy isn’t where it needs to be for that.

And the list goes on and on and on.

I had so many plans at the start of this year.  I don’t believe in resolutions but I do believe in being a better version of myself and enacting change.  So I had all these plans and then when it came time to go through with them I had all these reasons not to do them.

For the summer I decided that I was going to really put forth an effort, and let me tell y’all, this is some hard stuff.

Every week I have a game and a dance class.  Every week on the days they take place I find myself saying, “Oh I can just go next week because I’m tired.”  Or more recently, “This is the first class, if I don’t go it won’t matter.”  I even go as far as saying, “I just…can’t.”

Let’s be clear, I’m a homebody and I’m awkward beyond measure.  My social skills are questionable and my ability to relax is almost nonexistent.  But I told myself that I would break the habit so this past week when I began to talk myself out of these things I said, “Okay, you’re so damn good at talking yourself out of stuff, let’s try talking you into them.”

Then things got real.

For every reason not to go I had two reasons to go.  At one point I decided that going back and forth was useless because I was going to go through with it either way.  

I suppose in some settings this could be considered reframing or change talk, among other things.  But it actually works…for me.  It’s not about thinking about how happy I’ll be when the game or class is over, it’s about how happy, accomplished, and confident I’ll feel on my way there.  

It’s about the journey, not the destination, at least for now.

Yeah, there are benefits down the road that I look forward to, but that doesn’t help me now.  We as humans often get discouraged when we see the huge gap between the present and the future.  It’s kind of like when I do yoga.  I remember starting out I was so self conscious and felt defeated each time I did it, even at home.  But here we are, months later, and I feel a little more confident.  There were times I stopped because I felt like I would never get further than where I was.  But I’ve had to remind myself that every day I get one step closer to where I want to be.

That’s a life concept.

There are so many things we talk ourselves out of on a daily, for various reasons.  But I challenge you to do what I did, flip the script.  Realize just how good you are at not doing things and become just as great at doing them.  Imagine all the time that has gone by since you said you’d go to the gym, start writing, record music, take more adventures, go biking, or go out more in general.  Think about all the things you could have done, all the experiences you could have had, all the joy you could have felt.  

Now get out there and do it!  Or at least try.

And then keep going.

Once the season is over I’ll look for something else to get into.  Maybe I’ll advance to the next level of dance.  Who knows, but I’m going to talk myself into putting forth the effort to show up for myself.

Be Gentle With Yourself

📸: p.l.berry