CONSISTENCY VS ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ MINDSET
There were several mindsets that I reflected upon my recovery from postnatal depression, to see whether they served me and my highest good or not.
This ‘ALL or NOTHING’ mindset was certainly one that I did imbibe and was one that I felt did not serve me any longer in motherhood.
It was a mindset that left me feeling either overwhelmed, or exhausted by being on either end of the scale.
When I did (and sometimes still do) ALL; I work myself to the bone, like a dog literally with a bone, unable to focus on anything else until it was complete. This would be fine if I didn’t have to work, have two boys and a fur-baby to look after, a marriage, relationships and other businesses to look after!
When I do the NOTHING approach of the scale, things pile up…slowly, but they do pile up, and the end result is a huge amount of OVERWHELM because it feels like a hugely mammoth task that feels insurmountable…so, it continues to be left undone, resulting in more ‘overwhelm’!
Now, this can pertain to anything! Fitness, cleaning, studying, working, eating habits, alcohol…if you can think of it, it can slide on either end of the scale. My most recent entries, which sparked episode 19 of the THRIVE podcast and this blog, have been my CPD (continuing professional development) and admin paperwork for our accountant…where the pile grows and grows with the best of well-meaning intentions, but it feels like a huge mountain that I can never start…because it feels so daunting!
The irony is, when I actually did get to it…and tackle it I did, it didn’t take as long as I thought it would…cue the eye rolls and annoyance by yours truly!
Why did I leave it for so long then?!
Upon reflection, I do not love the ‘start, stop’ approach to getting things done. I am in my divine masculine of order, control, organisation…and doing bits and pieces vs a huge chunk feels so counterintuitive to me…alas, I know that being in the divine feminine encapsulates flow, fluidity…and this feels more flexible!
In most areas of motherhood, I feel I imbibe the divine feminine…so how can I do that here too?
Now, that leads me into well, HOW can we be consistent?
- Harnessing this divine feminine of flow, flexibility and fluidity is a sure fire way to not be stuck, rigid and controlling!
- Doing things as they ‘pop up’, despite working on another project, IS a wonderful way to be; where things can be done synergistically, so that harmony can be the end result (hallelujah!)
- In the matter of my tax admin or CPD, perhaps if I work on them monthly, or fortnightly vs piling it up and having 8-9 months of work to CRAM; these ‘bite size pieces’ will maybe make me feel more productive more often? which my masculine side would love no doubt!
Now, in terms of developing a habit, I have always believed the statement of it takes 21 days for a habit to form. However, according to a PUBMED article (links at the end), that is a myth! Apparently it came from anecdotal evidence of it taking 21 days to have psychologically adjusted to their new appearance, and then then became the well-known statistic that you too may have heard!
According to Healthline, on average it takes more than 2 months, 66 days to be precise for a behaviour to become a new habit. The recommendation is around 10 weeks or 2-3 months for a behaviour to have a chance of becoming second nature!
I thrive on time frames to know what I should be working towards, it’s the PITTA part of my constitution. Therefore, knowing that if I consciously stick with a behaviour for around 2-3 months, this feels achievable and a specific frame of time to work with!
Now, going to Ayurveda, as I always like to do, this jumpy and erratic tendency makes sense, because my other constitution type is VATA. This dosha pertains to movement and traits of VATA, do coincide with starting/stopping a particular action. Whereas in contrast, a KAPHA type person with the earth qualities, whilst it may take longer for them to complete the task, they are more likely to stick with it.
My ‘MINDFUL MOMENT’ upon reading this blog, is to actually take stock of your CURRENT life and see if there are ANY areas in YOUR life where you practice this ‘ALL or NOTHING’ mindset. HOW is it serving you?
If it is serving you, then hats off to you!
If it isn’t, then HOW exactly can you make this aspect into bite sized pieces?
Is it waking up 10 minutes earlier and doing some star jumps and burpees?
Is it speaking of your upsets with your partner AT the time of it happening rather than let it fester and blow out into a raging mess?
Is it getting a weekly shop delivered and meal planning rather than feeling overwhelmed on a Monday morning not knowing what to cook or with what?
Whatever it is for you, lean into looking at what can be broken down and I hope this makes the mountain feel smaller, more easily walked over than climbed with all of your energy reserves.
I have taken stock, and hope to breathe it into my life again!
My final point is, that life is not static nor is our healing.
Our growth can be 10 steps forward and 5 steps back sometimes and it is OK that I have noticed myself doing this ‘all or nothing’ approach despite knowing that it does not encourage me to THRIVE. I won’t ever berate myself or be harsh; simply be mindful, observant and compassionate with how I choose to take my next step.
With little bite sized pieces, we can devour all that we need to and that our hearts desire!
LINKS to ARTICLES