Diet soda taught me a lesson this week! Actually, Diet Pepsi!
You see, for years I drank a TON of Diet Pepsi. It was common for me to consume six cans of diet soda each day. Plus a refillable fountain drink at lunchtime. I drank a lot of soda!
After years of this, I began to hear about all the trouble this causes for our bodies. Weight gain and the long term affects of Aspartame. Not to mention the expense!
I decided I wanted/needed to give it up! So I did. The first time for a few weeks. The next time a few days. Eventually I gave it up for several months. Yet each time, it seemed I would end up going back to it.
Each time I started drinking Diet Pepsi again, I felt like I had failed. Drinking soda again meant I didn’t have willpower, I was not good at making a commitment, I was weak. I was bad. These are the messages I would tell myself.
Flash forward and now it has been several years for me. It is not something I crave or even think about. The last time I was somewhere and it was the only option to drink, I tried it.., and for the life of me, couldn’t figure out how I ever drank it in the first place.
This week I was reminded of this old behavior… But even more important, I remembered how harsh I was on myself when I didn’t achieve my goal of stopping the behavior. Yet, once I did stop, I never acknowledged the success! Why would I be so critical in one scenario, yet ignore my success in the other.
All of this makes me realize two things. First, we really are our own worst critics. And second, sometimes the shifts or changes in our lives, take practice!
When I slowed this whole scenario down and really began to contemplate it; I realized there are a lot of these situations in my life! There are many things (behaviors, routines, habits or preferences) that I have wanted to shift or change. At first it seems easy, because I am motivated. Then it becomes challenging because triggers or old patterns reemerge. Then it seems daunting! Then one day, I realize whatever it was I was intending to change… Has actually changed!
We set intentions. We create goals. Perhaps we choose a new way. And then we begin the journey toward our new future. If you are like me, perhaps you get sidetracked. Maybe it requires a few attempts or extra practice. The important thing is to remember what you want to change, shift or create and keep coming back to it. And, just as important – skip the critical self-talk! It REALLY doesn’t help! In fact it is just a delay. Sometimes it takes even more effort to release those negative messages we tell ourselves; than the effort it takes to make the desired change!
Giving myself the time to think about this has opened up a new perspective. I see the fruition of many intentions or goals. My life is completely different than it was at one time, simply because that is what I set out to do. Were there bumps along the road? For sure! Was it always smooth sailing? No! Was it worth it? You bet!
So in hind-sight, the only thing I would change is the hard time I gave myself! Many of us have these unwritten rules that we operate by; like perfectionism or that there is only one way to be successful. The truth is that the way we achieve our dreams or desires is unique to us! We can model our journey after someone else’s and observe what did or didn’t work for them. But ultimately it is up to us.
How about you? What are you creating in your life that is still finding its way to you? Are you being loving to yourself in the process? Is there any negative self-talk you could set down today? Remember in our own way, we are all Masters of Change!
With Light, Love, and Laughter