The Subtle Art Of Bullshitting Yourself
I'm sure I don't need to go into depth on what bullshitting yourself means. I haven't met a single person (including myself) that isn't a master of this art.
But for clarity's sake, bullshitting yourself is when you act in ways or do or say things that aren't aligned with who/where/what you say you want to be, and yet you continue to tell yourself that they are.
This can be a tricky subject because the ways in which we've learned to bullshit ourselves continue to become more and more subtle the more that we grow.
How many times have you said you are going to start something new only to find yourself back in the same spot one week, two weeks, two months down the line?
Now, I want to make a point that some things simply aren't meant for us and therefore aren't meant to work out no matter how much we try to will it to happen.
The majority of the time, however, the reason things aren't working out the way we want them to is because we are finding ways to get in our own way.
For example, maybe you say you're going to start working out and cleaning up your diet. And so you buy the gym membership, go shopping for a bunch of healthy foods, meal prep for the week and get everything set up -- and then you get sick. While you're sick you go back to all your same habits and even after you start feeling better you can't seem to find the drive to restart the plan you created for yourself.
What created the dis-ease? Did you just very subtly manifest a situation that seemed outside of your control to prevent you from taking action on your dreams because there's a deep part of you that is scared of change and does not feel worthy to be someone different than who you've come to know yourself as?
This happens more often than most of us would like to admit.
Or let's say you stuck to your plan and you started seeing results and because it's been working for you you start to believe that it's the only way to get results. And so you continue to follow the same plan and refuse to change even when the results aren't happening anymore and you're starting to feel worse even though you've convinced yourself that you're getting better.
Or let's say you stuck to your plan for a month and because you didn't see the results you were hoping for you decided to completely change your program. And then after a month of that you do the same thing again and you continue to bounce around trying to find the "right one," all the while never giving anything a long enough chance to achieve any noticeable results.
As you can imagine, there's a virtually infinite number of ways we can bullshit ourselves into believing we're doing the right thing when all signs are pointing the other way.
While I don't find it very helpful to guilt-trip yourself or shame yourself, becoming aware of these patterns is the first step to changing them. Notice what thought patterns arise and what sensations you experience in your body. Most of the time, what seems like a problem "out there" is really just a reflection of stories we tell ourselves or stuck emotions we've never fully been able to process. And until we address these stories and trapped energy, we'll keep repeating the same cycles that are a product of those stories and energy.
One of the most practical and helpful ways I've found to break an old pattern or begin a new one is to find the minimum effective dose (MED) and start there.
So if you say you want to start working out, instead of telling yourself you're going to do this intricate routine and try to make all these changes all at once, make it your goal to just show up at the gym. That way, as long as you show up you've won -- you accomplished your goal. And more than likely you're going to go ahead do a workout once you show up.
Or if you want to start meditating, instead of committing yourself to 30 minutes per day and missing days and coming up short, commit to 3 minutes and build off of success.
In my experience, consistency is the biggest factor. It's easier to maintain momentum than it is to start from a dead stop. And success fuels more success.
The beauty of this approach is that if you can't show up for your MED then you really know you're bullshitting yourself.
This is also where having someone or a community to hold you accountable can be very helpful.
Change can be easy if you believe it to be. It can also be the hardest thing you've ever had to do. It is what it's supposed to be for you to grow into who you have the potential to be.
I hope this helps.
Always with love,