“I know we have talked about it over and over, but I really want to start exercising again.”
This, from my longest standing client. Let’s call her Lucy. Lucy is a highly intelligent, down to earth, thoughtful, uber successful business woman with grown kids and a jet setting lifestyle.
From the beginning, Lucy has wanted to integrate regular exercise into her life. She has started workout regimens numerous times since we have been working together. But it never sticks.
We have worked on the habit part: blocking out the time, making sure that she has her exercise gear, finding gyms at the places she travels to, getting her husband on board with eating dinner later and then choosing an exercise that Lucy enjoys doing.
Once Lucy dives in, she enjoys it immensely AND she loves the benefits: she has more energy, sleeps better, feels lighter and happier.
So why this pattern of starting only to stop again? Why does Lucy always find herself back at square one, still not exercising regularly?
Lucy is understandably frustrated and flummoxed by knowing that she wants something for herself and not feeling able to follow through with it. Especially because she has had success in so many other areas of her life.
Today I got Lucy’s permission to approach things differently. Instead of going over the logistics of how to get moving again, I got really curious as to what the underlying belief or resistance was that kept Lucy from integrating this new habit into her life.
Coaching is all about questions and where the answers lead. Even though we may start a session with one particular issue, we can then meander all over the place. But interestingly, we usually end up with the answer to the original question.
Here is a brief overview of what I walked Lucy through and the fascinating answer that revealed itself:
~Lucy enjoys exercise and it’s benefits. It makes her feel free, light, fluid and fun. It gives her wonderful amounts of energy.
~Lucy feels more tension and stress when she is not exercising.
~As an example of how the stress shows up, Lucy recounted that she recently over reacted when she had the correct answer in a situation but it was not acknowledged or accepted.
~When I asked Lucy what being discounted in this way reminded her of, she said it brought her back to her parents and the way they dismissed her feelings and ideas when she was little.
~When we went deeper with that, Lucy realized that she often feels that what she has to say and wants to do “are not worth it” and “don’t matter”. That perhaps her ideas aren’t good enough.
~Lucy was able to see a pattern of feeling this way through the course of her life–despite her countless successes.
~Then there was an a ha! moment. Lucy remembered being pushed to exercise as a child. It all came back: how she hated it, wasn’t good at it and how it felt more like punishment than anything else.
~When I asked how that tied into where we had started, Lucy realized that her resistance to exercise has been about fighting what she was forced to do as a child.
Let me repeat that:
Lucy realized that her resistance to exercise has been about fighting what she was forced to do as a child.
Immediately Lucy felt a weight lift off of her. Exercise was her choice now. This was for her, about her and her own idea–a GOOD IDEA. It is no longer her parents forcing Lucy to do something.
But up until today, she had old programming working in her system. Every time she thought about exercising she felt controlled. No wonder she didn’t stick to it.
Now Lucy can go into exercise on her own accord.
What a difference.
After our session Lucy emailed to say that even at work she had already chosen to walk up and down many flights of stairs today. She also gave the ok for me to tell you this story.
So now I ask you. Does Lucy’s experience remind you of anything? Is there something that you have not been able to accomplish and for the life of you, you can’t figure out why?
Instead of the typical surface reasons, is it possible that there is something going on underneath, like there was for Lucy?
Chances are, there is. If you would like to explore it further, so that I can walk you through it the way I walked Lucy, hit contact in the upper right hand corner to schedule your complimentary session.