Why We Quit Self Care
It's happened to all of us. You've reached your wit's end. You're sick and tired of being sick and tired... and stressed and broke... and whatever else may be plaguing you. So what do you do? You make the resolution to change your life. You commit to start taking better care of yourself. You commit to self care. You commit to self improvement.
Could be that you wanted to increase your health so you chose to exercise more or eat better. You may have wanted to lower your stress levels so you committed to start meditating, doing yoga or getting a regular massage or spa treatment. You may have wanted to achieve more in your life so you chose to start the process of regular study, journaling or going through a coaching program.
Whatever you've chosen, you're absolutely ready to get better results in your life and get away from the stress so you make your best commitment to take better care of yourself and all is well for the first week or maybe even the first few weeks and then... what happens??? You start to slip. You miss one time or session. Maybe you pull yourself back on track and then before you know it you miss two more times and all of the sudden, like magic, you quit your self care entirely and you're back to square one.
This resonates with all of us because it's frustrating as hell. The only option you have when you slip back is to your previous life where things are a lot harder than you'd like them to be or maybe you're just barely making it or struggling to getting by. One thing is for sure... every time we slip back, it's never to a place we want to be.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN??
You really meant it when you wanted to change your life and you didn't want to live a life that felt like it was beating you down all the time. You meant it when you said you wanted a healthier body. You meant it when you said you wanted to start taking good care of yourself. You meant it when you said you wanted to improve your life. So... Why did you quit taking care of yourself?
First off, it's not your fault. I don't mean that in a cheesy or "Let's hold hands and hug and everything is going to be alright" kinda way. What I mean is, you would never do this to yourself if you understood you better so let's let go of the guilt and shame and stop beating ourselves up so we can take a good, deep dive into the real reasons why we quit. It's only when we let shameful feelings go that we choose to take a look at what's holding us back and it's only by becoming aware of what's holding us back that we can begin the process of overcoming it. Getting rid of what's holding us back will automatically open the door to creating a self care process that sticks, serves us and will begin to get the results WE not only want and deserve but, those around us deserve.
The answers to why we quit taking care of ourselves might just surprise you and I know that the simple solutions for overcoming this starting and quitting cycle of our self care will surprise you.
Reason #1. RESULTS DRIVEN MOTIVATION....
What??? Aren't we choosing to take better care of ourselves purely for the results we want to receive? In short, the answer is yes but if the only reason we will continue to take care of ourselves is because we get the results we want quickly, we can find our motivation waning as we wait for the results we want to show up. This can really mess things up as we start our process of self care. More often than not, we will not receive good results immediately. Unknowingly, with results driven motivation, by giving our results the power of determining whether we will continue the process, we give them the power over whether we succeed or not.
In order to overcome this we must first understand that results will come but will come from the habit we create of taking care of ourselves more than they come from any one or few sessions of self care. We must change our thinking from immediate self care results to creating the habit of self care. We must think of the person we want to become and the regular actions they take.
It may be that after starting to exercise more, instead of feeling an immediate energy boost from your exercise sessions you are feeling more fatigue, especially later in your day. Or maybe your massage sessions are leaving you foggy minded and unproductive or your yoga or meditations aren't helping you to focus but rather are leaving you more anxious and stressed out.
Whatever the case, results driven motivation, without knowing, goes something like this: If I get the results I want from this new self care behavior quickly, I will continue. If not, I will stop.
How to overcome this is really quite simple. Exchange your results driven motivation to a habit driven motivation by defining the person you want to be and asking yourself what regular things (habits) does this person do and then focus on creating these habits in your life. Let the results go, knowing that in time, they will take care of themselves once the habit is established. Instead, focus on congratulating yourself for taking your new, self care action, creating your new habit and being the person you want to be.
Changing your life is never a true decision unless you're choosing to do it no matter what. Give yourself an allotted time like three to six months of consistent self care and then re-evaluate whether things have gotten better for you. You may find that your life has c