In preparing myself for the rigors of my first triathlon I had nothing to work with for the swim portion of the race but a very chaotic crawl stroke that I had taught myself. At age seven. Playing Marco Polo in my neighbor's pool.
To transform what I had been doing for years did NOT come naturally. Even after a conscious decision to swim better, every thing I was trying to master felt unnatural. Like alien commands traveling along my nervous system.
After much more time and effort than care to admit, the only way I was eventually able to improve my sloppy swim ways was to REFUSE TO SWIM THAT WAY. Not one stroke. Ever again.
Because the "swimming" file in my brain instinctively churned out the sloppy Marco Polo crawl every time I dove into a pool, I had to stop thinking of my workouts as "swimming." My workouts instead became merely trying out just one tiny piece of perfection. By breaking the big job down into bite size parts, I could then begin to practice doing just those parts perfectly.
One skill at a time, the deep grooves in my brain and muscle systems began to be slowly over-ridden by the new and improved methods. Occasionally I even had moments of being inside the body of a strong and efficient swimmer! It was remarkable to experience myself improving, and it strengthened my faith in the process of change.
Maybe you are swimming with destructive patterns or habits in your life. If so, start now, with just one bite sized area. Have it be small--something in your life that you will now practice doing differently FROM THIS MOMENT ON.
In the same way that I was able to slowly but steadily transform my swim stroke, you too can override old patterns, habits, or addictions in your life. Here's how: EVERY TIME YOU REFUSE TO KEEP DOING WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DONE, the "grooves" in your brain are softening and gradually re-writing themselves! Each time you practice TURNING AWAY from a destructive habit, doing something different each time you "jump in that pool," you are making it easier to turn away again next time. And the time after that.
Although probably unnatural feeling now, over time that new and improved response will become like second nature!
Your life right now is full of opportunities to practice and eventually become everything that you most want to be. Click here to head to www.mythoughtcoach.com for extra help as you continue to practice tiny bite sized pieces of perfection! Here are a few titles that might help you get started:
- Affirmations for a More Stress Free Life
- Progressive Relaxation
- Easy Does It Power Nap