Awareness is the KEY to change but it’s simply the first step.
Even when we identify that we are running an outdated habit (or belief pattern) it’s often not that easy to let it go and find a new way of being in the world. As the saying goes ‘Old habits die hard’.
However, during my own journey and through helping lots of people and horses over the years I’ve discovered that, although maybe not easy, it’s entirely possible and very exciting when we have the commitment and support and can change our old habits into new, more expansive ones.
One of my old habits was to ‘manage on my own’ and it has served me very well. But, as my business grew it was counterproductive. I simply couldn’t manage everything on my own. But, my old habit did not let go! I worked long days, late nights and started early in the mornings to look after the horses, write articles, do marketing, plan workshops, print folders, teach riding clients, run workshops, prepare the food. The list goes on! In some early workshops I did the facilitation, the horse handling and prepared the lunches by myself! Whilst I might argue that I did it for financial reasons, as it was in the early stages of my business, there was also an element of not being able to let that old habit go.
I can still remember the morning when I decided to make a change. I was pushing the wheelbarrow in the field and noticed a tightness in my shoulders. When I paid attention to it a little voice said, “I have to carry the load on my own”. This was a light-bulb moment. I realised that it was simply an old habit of behaviour, a belief, which may have served me in the past, but right now was causing me to run myself into the ground.
But, changing it, even though I wanted to, was not that easy. It has taken time, commitment, honest appraisal and ironically SUPPORT to allow myself to ask for help (when I need it) to enable me to move forward more effortlessly!
I began by engaging a coach to help me gain perspective and decide what to outsource and how. I found someone to do my PR and someone else to attend to my social media. At different times, I engaged in healing to overcome old and deep patterns. I learned that part of the process is to acknowledge that these old patterns served me very well in the past and helped me survive. However, I also learned that with practise I can create hew habits which, when I integrate into my life, can serve me more efficiently in the life that I am living now.
So, the next time that you become aware of an old habit that you want to change:
1. Identify the old habit, belief or behaviour
2. Acknowledge how it has helped bring you safely to this point in your life, with gratitude
3. Create a new, inspiring and expansive habit, belief or behaviour
4. Integrate this new habit into your life – with the support that you need (from a trusted friend, coach and/or therapist)
If you are interested to find out how a session of Equine Facilitated Learning or Wellbeing Coaching can help you to integrate a new habit into your life then please get in contact.