What I learned from thinking I wanted structure
I have always been someone who has struggled with setting up a consistent routine that lasts me 52 weeks of the year, 365 days. And I have seen it as a negative. I have used words like struggle, hopeless, not committed, unfocused.
I have criticised myself for not wanting to exercise the same way every single week of the year. I would tell myself I am a failure because I don’t get up the same time every single day.
I would tell myself if I could bring structure to my life I would be more successful. It would make me more productive, I would get more results.
I have spent so much energy fighting myself. I have tried so hard to bring about this routine to my life, because I felt that it would make me a successful adult.
I remember one New Year when January rolled around, I told myself – “this is the year you will bring routine to your life, you need this structure.” I tried diaries and Excel spreadsheets.
I told myself that I wanted to wake up the same time, exercise the same way and time, eat the same time, go to bed the same time, every single day.
Did it work?
Let me explain.
- I was doing what I thought I should do
There are times when you might find yourself wanting to bring change about in your life and, without being aware of it at the time, it is change you are trying to make because you feel that is expected of you. The stories I was telling myself were things like, how can I be a good enough life coach if I am not committed to journaling every day? How can I say I am a spiritual person if I am not meditating every day? How can I be a good enough blogger if I am not writing my posts at the same time every week?
These stories and more, are all about what we think we should be doing so others see us a certain way. It can be tough to call yourself out on your stories, to really ask yourself “why am I feeling that I need to do this”?
Have you ever caught yourself cooking dinner and realising you are only doing that because it is dinner time? It has nothing to do with you being hungry, or even being interested in the food you are preparing. It is your default autopilot mode.
What helps bring this clarity to your life is to become clear on what you want, and see how the change you are saying you want to bring about is going to serve you.
Peeling back these stories and layers is a process that I really encourage you to do with self compassion and kindness. Not judgement and criticism. It takes courage to look at the stories you are telling yourself, and to look at them honestly. It can be confronting, and you do not need to be hard on yourself as you do this. It is process that will allow you to claim your power back.
- It was not connected to how I want to feel in my life
Do you ask yourself how you want to feel in life? When we set goals for ourselves we usually make them something we want. I want to lose five kilos in four weeks. I want to exercise five times a week. I want to buy a new car.
But when you look at setting goals, you can also connect with how you want to feel. So if you are wanting to lose weight, ask yourself how will that make you feel when you are there? And how else can you bring that feeling into your life?
So while I thought I wanted routine and structure in my life, it was the opposite to how I wanted to feel. I want my life to feel in flow and connected with my own wisdom. So what I was really doing was going against how I want to feel every single day.
When you connect your goals to how you want to feel it will make a huge change to your life and allow you to see what is aligned with you clearer.
Now of course my life has structure, I work full time and I live in this modern world. However, there are some tasks during my week where I can provide myself with the freedom to do these how and when I feel it its me.
- It didn’t embrace the cyclical nature of our lives
You and I live in a world full of cycles. Life and death, yin and yang, feminine and masculine, the seasons of the year, the moon and, for us women, our monthly menstrual cycle.
And yet the modern world we live in tells us that we should be go, go, go every single day. That we are an empowered woman who can do anything, we are strong and can push past being tired.
As a strong, independent woman we can keep going every single day.
And yet in this modern world so many of us women are exhausted. This is more than merely being tired. We tell ourselves it is work, being a mum, menopause, or part of getting older.
But what if instead we bought some curiosity to our lives, and took some time to tune into our own bodies. Your body, whether you are aware of it or not, is tuned in with the cycles of natural world.
So take a few moments, and a few really deep breaths. Scan your body, starting at your toes and finish with the top of your head. And ask your body “What do you want me to know today?”
What does your body tell you?
Whether you are aware or not, your body is connected with its own cycle. Life can be hard, tiring and feeling like a push when you are fighting against the cycles of the natural world.
Think of the seasons. Winter. Spring. Summer. Autumn. Does your life allow you to connect with the essence of the seasons? Or is your life continually the same.
Life is for you to embrace in your own unique way. It is not to be put into a box defined by someone else. It is about connecting to yourself, how you want to feel and working with ourselves. Life is not about fighting yourself, it is about connecting with yourself.
If this something you would love to explore further than let us book in a free 30-minute chat so we can explore how life coaching will help you connect with the real you.