Have you struggled with the discomfort of a change you’re trying to make? You’re not alone. Whether it’s because we’re attempting to distance ourselves from something or someone by attempting healthier boundaries or we’re trying something new or stretching ourselves for a challenge, discomfort might send us into a tailspin. It’s because our identity is based on an outdated version of ourselves: a distorted self-image.

After initially feeling able, confident, excited, even, fear, doubt, insecurity, panic and anxiety set in. Oh my gosh. What the hell have I done? We panic about potential rejection, failure and humiliation.

In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I share my experience of using lessons from No Contact and my initial struggle to create healthy boundaries to train for the 2018 London Marathon and how this updated my self-image.

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Some nuggets from the episode:

  • We stay in uncomfortable comfort zones because we figure that we know it. Our mentality is that it’s painful… but at least we know what to expect. Surely it can’t get much worse, we decide, only to gradually feel increasingly uncomfortable.
  • Sometimes we have a fear of who we might become. We’re afraid of our potential. We’re still using that distorted self-image.

Something being hard isn’t a reason not to do it.

  • If we didn’t experience discomfort from change, how would we know that we are changing? How would we know that we’re doing something different and progressing in some way? How would we know that we’re moving away from where we’ve been to somewhere else?
  • ‘Easy’ becomes rather painful. It holds us back. It’s tougher to go against ourselves.

Get off the ‘I’m destined for failure’ train of thought. Plan for success, not failure.

  • It’s not worth silencing yourself 100% of the time for the 5% of occasions that meet or exceed your expectations of conflict, criticism and drama.
  • We use catastrophic thinking to prevent us from ‘getting big ideas about ourselves’.
  • Sometimes we reference past experiences and fears to determine who we are now and what to do next. We forget that we’ve evolved.
  • Of course, we feel bloody anxious when we’re trying to imagine every scenario and control the uncontrollable instead of addressing what we can do!

What you think you can’t do and what you actually can’t do are two very different things. Update your self-image.

  • Going from 1.5/2km to 7Km bust through my mental barriers. It changed the identity I held for myself.
  • We forget that we do things, that we achieve. It’s as if we do a manual reset each day and start from scratch (we don’t).
  • Imposter syndrome/complex: we haven’t internalised our accomplishments and achievements. We behave as if we’re going to get called out for being a fraud.
  • We have to test the limitations that we’ve imposed upon ourselves. This is how we update our self-image.
  • Falling off the No Contact wagon didn’t make my previous efforts a waste. If anything, it taught me a lot about myself and cemented my decision. I was free and clear to move on.

So many of us are entrenched in identities that don’t reflect who we are. We are allowed to evolve beyond our past self.

  • I used to see myself as a Fallback Girl based on this underlying outdated notion that I was not worthy of love, care, trust and respect. I also didn’t think that I could have boundaries and be liked and loved at the same time.
  • If something that you believe isn’t serving you, it’s worth going through the discomfort of challenging it.
  • What a lot of people want to do is find out about things without having to leave their comfort zone. Not gonna happen!

You’re more resilient than you think.

  • Don’t give into feelings and temptations that don’t tell the whole story and have the potential to lead to you betraying yourself.
  • Sometimes our interpretation of our feelings sets the bar lower than the truth.
  • You can find more gas in your tank.
  • You can shift the direction of your thoughts, and by changing the meaning you change the feeling.

Perfectionism is a fast track to feelings of failure.

  • As a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist, I’m aware of my I-Want-It-Yesterday mentality. In the past, I ended relationships and wanted to fast-forward to being over them and in another relationship. I wanted to fast-forward to a happy ending.
  • You would never do anything if it always had to be perfect or you had to be guaranteed success at the end of it. But that is how a lot of us operate, hiding out in the shadows of our lives.
  • Why do I (and others like me) push ourselves to be done already? Because we’re afraid of the vulnerability of risk. We don’t want to go through the vulnerability of exposing ourselves to the possibility of failing, of making mistakes or even the possibility of learning. It takes us out of our comfort zone. We want to know how it’s going to end up so that we can try to have it all figured out.
  • Unfamiliar territory prompts feelings of inadequacy. Perfectionism (and people pleasing) allows us to pretend that we’re in control.
  • Often our doubts are about us questioning whether we have the identity to do something.
Note to self about self-image: What you think you can't do and what you actually can't do are two very different things. by Natalie Lue for The Baggage Reclaim Sessions. Podcast on Outdated identity

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Listener questions can be emailed to podcast AT baggagereclaim DOT com and if there’s a topic you’d love me to talk about, let me know!

Nat xxx

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