Have you ever decided to make a change in your life and then, for whatever reason, found it really hard to make the change long-lasting?
If your answer is yes, you're not alone.
When I work with my clients who want to create a new habit, one of the metaphors I often use is a rocket ship blasting off from planet earth into outer space.
In the language of metaphor, imagine you are the rocket, and outer space represents the destination of your new habit.
In order for the rocket to make it to outer space, it needs enough fuel and energy to get it going.
At what stage do you think the rocket uses most of its fuel?
If you guessed at the very beginning, you are absolutely correct.
In the very first few seconds and in that first minute, the rocket needs to expend enough fuel to counter the force of gravity that keeps it on planet earth.
Gravity is strong, and so a lot of fuel and energy are needed.
Sometimes it seems like the rocket might not even be moving at all, even though all the work of fiery power and billowing smoke is present.
But then, at some point, the rocket moves an inch.
Then it moves a foot.
And then it moves a few yards.
Soon enough, the rocket gains momentum and moves with more seeming ease into the sky.
The rocket blasting into outer space is an apt analogy for when you move to create a new habit for yourself.
When you decide you want to create a new habit in your life, you’re charting a new destination (outer space) for yourself.
The new habit could be meditating for 10 minutes every morning, or eating more vegetables in every meal, or cleaning out your email inbox at the start and end of each day, or going to one networking event each week to meet new people, or whatever you choose.
After you decide on your new habit, your next step is to start taking action.
This is where the energy and fuel are needed.
Say you decide to meditate for 10 minutes every morning.
The action could be you setting your alarm to wake up 10 minutes earlier and you sitting down somewhere comfortably where you won’t fall back asleep.
As you sit in meditation, monkey mind can show up and attempt to distract you.
“Go back to your comfy bed,” it says. “Why don’t you just start tomorrow?”
Yet, you persevere and stay committed to finish the whole 10 minutes.
Your perseverance and your staying committed are your initial fuel being expended, keeping you focused and on track to the destination of a new habit of meditation.
As you continue this new activity of getting up and meditating each morning, there are moments it might feel extra challenging as other distractions show up.
“I already meditated for the last 3 days. I deserve a break for this one day!” you might tell yourself.
Or, “I have an early morning meeting to get to, and I won’t have time for the morning meditation,” could be another thought that pops into your head.
You might have a co-worker that you told about your new pursuit, and they say to you, “Gosh, that sounds so hard. I can never do that!” And what your co-worker said makes you wonder whether your morning meditation is worth it in the first place.
All of these distractions, whether they’re your own thoughts or what other people tell you, are a symbol of the gravity wanting to keep you from rising, to remain on planet earth so that you stay within the boundaries of the person you’ve always been.
Your ego wants you to be the safe and secure person who doesn’t change up your routine.
The ego thinks going into outer space is scary and unknown. In its own way, the ego is trying to protect you.
The people in your life who question why you’re making any changes also like you for who they think you are.
When you start to make changes to your life for the better, your efforts nudge others to look at their own lives and wonder why they aren’t making any changes themselves.
Comfortability and playing it safe are like gravity, exerting its own force to keep you in place.
That’s why you need to keep exerting energy in the direction of your vision, despite any distractions, even if it looks like you’re not going anywhere.
Eventually, like the rocket, you’ll move an inch.
The meditation becomes easier and ten minutes seem to fly by.
Then you’ll move a foot.
You start looking forward to your meditation and starting off your day this way.
You’ll move a few yards.
You can’t imagine not doing your meditation. You might even think about making it fifteen minutes instead of ten.
And soon enough, you’ll have created enough momentum so that you’re soaring into outer space, on to your destination.
With all this being said, I’m not making the argument that creating a new habit means it will be challenging and difficult for you.
Creating a new habit could actually be fun, easy and effortless.
What I am saying is, if you do happen to encounter those rough spots where it might seem easier to turn back to your old way of being, know that there’s a payoff when you keep on going.
And the payoff isn’t just creating a new habit that now serves you.
The payoff is also you expanding your own sense of what’s possible for you, because your sphere of what you believe you are equal to (known as your comfort zone) is now expanded.
When you expand your sense of who you are, you create room in your consciousness for more good to show up.
Your sphere of possibility has grown.
Just as the rocket ship eventually moves with greater ease in space, you too get to experience a greater sense of spaciousness.
So my coaching question for you today is this: what new habit are you open to creating in your life?
Then, like the rocket, chart your course and blast away!
Abundant Blessings and Namaste.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about today's article. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
A little about me...
My unique ability is helping people figure out what’s really holding them back and to fully support them in a safe and sacred space, with the result of people feeling excited about life and believing they can claim the driver’s seat of their lives. I've been called the "Aha Whisperer."
If you’re feeling the need for support in creating a life filled with more spaciousness, purpose and joy, I offer a complimentary life coaching consultation that may provide you with the insight and resources you need in this moment. To learn more about this, click here.
Joselito is a spiritual life coach helping people create a purposeful, spiritual path to career and financial freedom.
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