Why Quitting Gets Easy
There's a common sentence that floats around amongst coaches: "quitting during training only makes it easier to quit when it counts."
And I agree. What we practice, we perfect.
Naturally, if, every time in the middle of that set of squats/burpees/pushups, we quit, and call 8 reps "close enough" to 10, when we're at a meet or staring Oreos in the face for the 8th time that night, we get "close enough," and then it gets really hard. Because we haven't trained until we're done; we've trained until we got close to done.
We've prepared not to finish what we start, but to *almost* finish. Close enough, right?
Wrong. And this mindset shows up not just in the gym or the kitchen, BUT EVERYWHERE.
Mean to fold all your laundry Sunday night and feel great going into the week with a clean house, clean clothes, and food prepped? You mopped and grilled chicken and put the laundry in the dryer. Close enough; you can get dressed out of the dryer for a few days (except every time you walk by you get irritated at yourself for just not finishing and putting it away).
Plan to come home from the job you hate, update your resume, and apply for 3 jobs before sitting down to the latest Netflix binge? You sat down at your computer, tinkered around with it, applied for one, and thought, "well, there's always tomorrow. I'm so worn out right now that nothing good will get accomplished anyway," and proceeded to zombie out to Netflix (an hour later feeling more alert, but, hey, you already packed it in for the night).
We put our deepest desires and our biggest goals last so often, it's absurd. We get better and better and weaseling our way out of it, creating a mythical "better time" in the future at which we never *actually* arrive, because we've found 959035 more important things than caring for ourselves every time we turn around. We've gotten great at following through on our best intentions to 80%. Or 50%. And then, eventually, not at all.
Quitting gets easy.
Especially when it comes to taking care of ourselves.
Similar to the way waiting until the "right time" only makes us better at waiting, putting ourselves last only makes us better at neglecting ourselves. And we all do it, right? We're the only ones that know we missed out on our bubble bath or meditation or walk through the park. Even though we know it makes us feel energized and at peace, we don't have time, we feel like everyone and everything else needs to get done first, and we never get around to it. We have this martyr complex that says we can only take care of ourselves if everyone else is taken care of, and, even then, the purpose of self-care is to be a better parent/partner/friend. We've practiced giving that up, abandoning it before it's complete and before we're recharged and before we've communicated to ourselves that we're taken care of and worth that time...over and over and over again.
We've trained not to go in, do what we need to do to create love and peace and safety for ourselves, and then go about our lives, but to drop everything for everyone and leave ourselves last, depleted, and rejected (by ourselves, no less!). No wonder that even though many of us have an inner child screaming for attention (or a blanky and a nap), s/he gets easier to ignore every time. We're pros.
Now, don't get me wrong: being selfless and loving the people we have is a noble pursuit. And we can't give what we don't have. But have you ever considered that you're worth taking care of for the same reason you take such great care of others: because you're a human being with feelings that's worthy of love and attention?
We are worthy of every ounce of growth, every minute of love, every drop of joy that comes our way. And we get to create it at any moment we choose.
Passing ourselves over during the times it seems inconsequential to choose us vs others- like when we choose to bump our weekly hot yoga peace to meet the coworkers we feel okay with for drinks, or when we say yes to that networking thing out of obligation when we'd rather take a bubble bath- only makes it easier to pass ourselves over during the times we're burning the candle at both ends when we need to prioritize ourselves in order to be the nurturing, strong, empowered women we are.
Create space for self care, today and every day.
-go on a walk, alone or with a pet or a podcast or a friend, preferably throughout nature
-call a friend just to talk
-cook something new (or take a cooking class)
-do yoga or otherwise move intuitively, addressing where your body wants to go
-take a bubble bath
-take a contrast shower (my favorite, of late: as hot as you can stand for 10-30s, as cold as it goes 10-30s, repeat 2-4x, get in bed.)
-get a massage
-read a book
-turn off your phone!
What's your favorite go-to strategy to show yourself some love? Drop a comment. <3