“I am learning to ask ‘What am I really reaching for?’ when I think I want a cookie, brownie or am avoiding taking care of a piece of business”, said my client Taliah. Frankly I could not be more proud of her. In three short weeks she has moved from an autopilot mode of operation, to being very present and mindful of her actions. By asking herself this question Taliah is simultaneously creating more insight about her habitual patterns of thinking and doing (or not as the case may be). She is consciously comparing these patterns to her values and goals and is now taking actions that are in service of her actual priorities. The more Taliah does this, the more natural and dare I say automatic her reflections and matched actions will become.
It seems so simple to say if I don’t want to keep this weight on, I need to not eat cookies, but in truth for most of us this is harder to do in reality especially so now that it is girl scout cookie season (WHAT is it they put in Thin Mints?) Taliah’s question is just perfect “What am I really reaching for?” In other words what need am I trying to meet? And is this the best choice to help me meet this need? Is this a short-term gratification filler when I really need to be making a choice that has a big payoff in the future?
Taliah is asking a perfect question that stimulates developing insight. The other important thing she is doing is moving from insight to action. A few weeks ago I wrote about the idea that insight is not enough. Insight is important but without meaningful action that propels you towards what you want, all the insight in the world can feel for naught. And for some folks it can be detrimental, leading to spiral of feelings of inability. Sometimes gaining the insight is the easy part, taking action, doing something different developing new habits, takes time, steady steps that build and can be hard work. Like Mama always said, few things worth having come easy.