When the work pays off: The 2 things NO ONE warns you about
Originally published at stronginsideout.com on May 1, 2017.
When the work pays off, there are 2 things that happen to a lot of us that NO ONE WARNS US ABOUT. Going into this stage unprepared can trigger you back into old habits. To help you get ready for the life you’re working so hard to create, I’m gonna let you in on the secret.
Here are the 2 things that happen when the work pays off that might shock you (and how to soften around their edges).
1. The surprise of it
There’s a point in your recovery, fitness journey or personal development path, when you’re hit with the most surprising thing that could ever happen:
The work has shifted your default.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s the first time you:
- are able to run a mile without stopping.
- default to “I look good” instead of “I wish I could change that.”
- reach for self care over your old addiction.
We do hours and hours of work to train ourselves to deal with something differently, but that first time you realize that the work has paid off takes us completely off guard. It’s hilarious how mind-boggling this shift is. It seems so sudden…until you look back and realize it wasn’t at all.
Why does this change surprise so many of us when it’s exactly what we’ve been working toward for so long?
We have a tendency as super-feelers to distrust the work, or even to distrust that we in particular can make change happen for ourselves (especially if we’ve “failed” at making it before). There’s this belief that there must be something in our DNA — and ours alone — that won’t allow for the change we want. We think that we’ll never get there or maybe that it doesn’t even exist.
I know that’s what I thought before I’d lived the other side. I believed:
- Friends who didn’t eat over emotions in public just ate in secret like I did.
- People who were happy for long periods of time were fakers.
- Yogis who could do the kinds of yoga moves I can do now were just super-people; it was impossible for the average human being like me.
But I did the work from a loving place anyway because it felt good to live in that space of growth instead of my default. To my surprise, I proved myself wrong on all of those beliefs.
Little bit by little bit, we direct change with our actions and the intentions behind them.
When we do the work in a loving and accepting way, our bodies and minds have no choice but to follow suit. The realization that it’s happening after years of it not happening is a foreign — and therefore scary — thing. That’s why I want to also talk to you about this next part.
2. Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Along with the surprising result of change, you might also feel a distrust of the results you’re seeing. I hear a lot of my clients express fear that this change they’ve manifested can’t be lasting. It’s usually because they’ve had so many bouts of unsustainable change via diets, too-harsh training regimens or other forced tactics (aka tactics grounded in fear, desperation, restriction, deprivation or unrealistic expectations of the self). Here’s what I’ve got to say to you:
If the path you took to create this change is different than any you’ve taken before, the result will be, too.
“Magic button” solutions provide short-lived results and so I understand that you’re afraid because those results are all you know. But this time, you put in the work.
If it’s recovery or personal development you’ve been working, then hopefully you’re learning how to deal with the things that caused you to relapse or backtrack in the past. If it’s physical or strength changes you’ve made, hopefully it’s from a place of love for yourself and the way the movement makes you feel. That will drive you to continue in a way that no forced exercise program ever will.
When you do the work from a centered, loving, willing place, the results will feel much different than those you got through rigid, forced tactics that required you to restrict, deprive or fit into a mold that, well, doesn’t fit.
It’s going to feel different, and that can be a really glorious thing.
And if you’re still scared
Fear is a required experience when change happens. What matters is what we choose to do in the face of that fear.
It’s when we choose not to deal that we get in trouble. It’s when we lose trust in ourselves and all the work we’ve done that we suddenly forget that we know how to live in these results — that’s what got you here.
After a LOT of recovery in different areas and a bunch of endurance- and strength-gains in my life, let me tell you one thing with absolute certainty:
If you’ve gotten here through Love, you know how to stay here.
The path IS the result. You live in the space of change until you’ve realized it. You are strong enough, in touch enough, and worthy enough to maintain these new habits and changes as long as The Universe allows you to.
If you can, please allow yourself to celebrate this moment. This shift is something you created. It’s something you allowed to happen through the Love you have for yourself. That is worth honoring.
Can I help you celebrate?
Even if you’re scared as f**k, let me send you some good vibes to buff up your love center! If you’re experiencing this shift right now, I invite you to share it with me on Twitter. Click here and tell me the change you’ve made so I can send you all my Love for this new life in front of you!
With all my heart I’d like to say, welcome. And if you’re on your way still, trust, allow, and just Love yourself there. See you soon.
Amy Clover is a speaker, writer and mental health advocate. This post was originally published on StrongInsideOut.com, a site devoted to helping you become stronger than your struggle through fitness, mindfulness & positive action. Join the email list to get weekly inspiration + goodies >> Click here.