Episode 33 | (00:00):
Hey there, friend. Do you wanna know the quickest way to start keeping your midlife promises to a very, very important person — yourself? That's what we're talking about today. We're talking about keeping midlife promises to yourself and why it's so important to do that.
Now I'm gonna give you three steps, just three little baby steps, that you can do to make sure that you start keeping your midlife promises to yourself and really start building up your confidence and start releasing some of that self-doubt, okay? You ready? I am too. Let's do this!
Hey there, Easy Ager. If you are not already on the Easy Aging® Insiders' list, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and sign up right after this episode, okay?
I just have to tell y'all, I got my teeth cleaned and they feel so good. I mean, I remind myself of that lady on the Pearl Drops commercial. Do you remember that commercial? She was really pretty, and she would run her tongue over her teeth and go, "Mmm, Pearl Drops. It's a great feeling."
I am the Pearl Drops lady, just letting you know. I'm really loving my little teethies right now. And I just wanted to give a shout out to Carla, my dental hygienist, for making my teeth feel so good.
Now that has absolutely nothing to do with what I wanted to talk about today, but I just wanted to let you know that my teeth are feeling good.
So anyway, today I wanted to talk about promises. I mean, I'm not talking about like the big promises like putting your hand on the Bible and testifying in court, or saying "I do" in front of a bunch of people, you know, your friends and your family. I'm not talking about that.
I'm talking about the little promises that we make every single day. Now, I don't know about you, but I am amazing at keeping promises to other people. I get to work on time. I hit my deadlines. I'm always available for my family if they need something.
I'm always available for my friends and I keep their confidences and whatever it is they need, I can take care of it for them. If I say I'm going to do something for you, I'll do it. No questions asked. I'm really good at those kinds of promises.
So what about you? More than likely if you're a midlifer, you are really good at this too, right? You've made a decision to be available for friends and family and employers and all of that, just like I did. And following through on those promises are second nature to us.
Let me take a moment and move my Superwoman cape over. There we go. Now I'm going to talk to you about a different type of promise. I'm talking about the promises we make to ourselves.
Now, I gotta admit, it has been these promises to myself that I have had to spend some serious time working on. I don't know what it was when I was younger, if it was just a worthiness issue or an enoughness issue, or maybe just general low self-esteem. I have no idea. All I know is that I used to self-sabotage on a very regular basis.
I mean, it was getting kind of silly because I did it so often. The promise is like, "I'm gonna lose the weight" or "I'm gonna go after that new client. I know they're really big, but that's okay. I'm really gonna do this. I'm going after that client."
Or "I'm gonna take that class I've been talking about for so long. I've been eyeing that class for a while, and I think it'd be a lot of fun to take."
I don't think I'm alone in this. By midlife, we have made all these promises to ourselves and more than likely, we've also broken a lot of promises to ourselves too, right?
In the moment we are making the decision to break the promise and yes, it is a decision you make. You have a choice when you break that promise to yourself.
Even if you say, "Oh, I forgot. I forgot to do that today. I'll do it tomorrow. No worries." Or, you know, "I'm a little confused on what it looks like. I'm not sure what I'm doing here so I think I'm just gonna wait."
When we say things like "I forgot" or "I'm confused," these are simply excuses. They are just forms of resistance. Your brain is being resistant to keeping that promise for some reason.
And more than likely, there is an underlying fear to keeping that promise. Even if it's something really wonderful that we know we want, there might be a little something under the surface that might make it difficult to keep.
So when we find that moment to break the promise, when we find those excuses that seem quite plausible, we make the excuse, we don't follow through, and then we spend hours, maybe even days beating ourselves up over it. I mean, how ridiculous is that?
Every time you break a promise to yourself, no matter how small it is, to a certain extent, you're killing off a little part of yourself. I know that sounds kind of melodramatic, but stay with me. I'm gonna explain this.
When you don't keep a promise to yourself, every time you break that promise, you are eroding the trust that you have in yourself. And then you may break it and you go, "It's no big deal. It's not a big thing. Whatever, I'll catch up with it tomorrow."
But the reality is, if you keep doing this over and over and over again, if you keep breaking this trust, the self-doubt is going to start creeping in. You're not even aware of it. By wearing down the trust, little by little, you're increasing the opportunity for the doubt to come in.
Then next time when you wanna go after that goal, or you wanna go after that big dream that you get really excited about, that little voice — and you know the little voice I'm talking about — that little voice in the back of your head starts reminding you of all the times that you failed, of all the times you made excuses, of all the times that you just didn't follow through.
And that really makes going after dreams kind of...bleech, right? It's just not nearly as much fun when all that self-doubt is creeping in, in one way or another. This has happened to all of us.
But the big question is, how do we change it? How do we stop eroding trust in ourselves? How do we stop breaking our own promises?
So here are three steps that can help you start getting down to the bottom of this. Let's get down to the nitty-gritty of what is actually happening, all right?
Your first step is, become aware. Just become aware that you're doing it. If you're not even aware that you're breaking promises to yourself, you can't make any changes, midlife or any other time of your life, right?
So start looking back at your behaviors, your lack of action, and see if you notice any patterns. And when you find those patterns, which most of us will find them pretty quickly, you can start evaluating them. So that's your first step, to become aware.
The second step is, spend some time figuring out why you're not following through. This is key because once you figure out why it's not working, then you can start figuring out a solution to get you to start doing it, to get it to working again, right?
The big question in this second step is just asking yourself, "Is there an underlying fear?" And I know we say things like, "No, no, this is good stuff, Michelle. It's positive, and it'll be great, and it'll make my life better."
That's not the point because let me just point out one fun fact, alI right? Fun fact: the fear of success can stop you in your tracks every single time you go after something. I don't know that it really should be called a "fear of success." Maybe it should be called "a fear of change that success will bring."
So here's an example: if you're up for a promotion at work, that's exciting. That's good. That's good stuff! There will be more responsibility. You'll have more challenges. You'll be moving up the career ladder.
You'll be making more money, and that's always good. You have all these wonderful things coming to you and that's what gets you excited. That's what you focus on when you're going after a goal.
But on some level, there could also be a fear. Maybe a fear of having to work more hours, then you're gonna be missing out time with your family as the kids are growing up. Or maybe there's a fear of the higher expectations that are being placed on you, and you're not sure you can quite live up to that.
Or maybe there's just a basic fear of being more visible to upper management. I mean, that's always a little scary in my book. There could be a lot of fears that come along with your success.
So if you have self-sabotaged in the past, or you've had some issues with achieving your goals previously, this could be a great place to start examining the why behind you not following through, you not take the right actions to get you where you want to be.
You know you wanna be there, you're just not following through with the actions. So take some time on step two. You're probably not gonna figure all of this out in one sitting, okay?
If you can figure out why you're not following through, more than likely, it's gonna be some kind of underlying fear that's associated with this change. Figure out that fear, then you can start dealing with it. You can start being aware of it. You can start making changes to it.
And the way you're going to make changes is number three, the third step, you're gonna set yourself up for success by not taking massive action. Instead, you're gonna take little fun-sized actions that are manageable. These teeny, tiny... actually they're stupid easy actions.
I mean, they're just so simple and so easy. I mean, they're embarrassingly easy. They are so simple. You would almost be embarrassed to tell your friends what you're doing. If one of your friends says, "Hey, how's that new workout going?"
And you come back with, "Great, I did a half a pushup today." I mean, the main reason you're doing this, the main reason you wanna take teeny tiny baby steps is because you don't wanna scare your brain into moving into protective mode because that is your brain's primary function.
Its primary goal is to protect you from scary things. So if you don't scare your brain and you take these little, small actions, at some point your brain's gonna rationalize, "Oh, you know, we did half a pushup today. Yeah. I think we'll do a full pushup tomorrow. Oh, we're already down here. Let's do two pushups."
If you wanna learn a little bit more about how your brain works and how you can bypass that brain paralysis that we sometimes go through when we're starting new things, go back and listen to episode 5. That'll give you the scoop on how all of it works together.
So to recap, if you wanna start keeping promises to yourself, number one, become aware that you're doing it, become aware that you're breaking those promises in the first place.
Number two, spend a little time figuring out why you're not following through and ask yourself, "Is there an underlying fear that's stopping me?"
And number three, once you figure out that, then you can move into fun-sized actions that are gonna set you up for success. Go check out episode 5 if you wanna know a little bit more, or if you just need a refresher from when we talked about this the first time.
So that's it for today. I do hope this helps you see the importance of keeping promises to yourself. Because when you start keeping promises to yourself, you can start building that trust back up.
You can start releasing your doubt and really start building up your confidence. You can start going after things that you get really excited about and start living that life that you know you deserve to live.
Once again, if you're not an Easy Aging® Insider, go to TheEasyAgingShow.com and sign up right now. And until next time, peace, love and blessings to you and yours. Take care. Bye-bye!