4 Things To Do A Lot When Learning To Live Your Own Life

Recently I’ve been trying to learn how to snowboard. I’m spending a lot of time practising getting up without taking the snowboard off. The main reason for this part of my learning process being that I’ve become really good at falling down. 

After yet another very close encounter with the slope’s surface, I was reminded of something I often tell my clients.

“We didn’t learn to walk in a day, did we? Learning how to walk, takes a lot of falling down and getting up. It’s the same with every new thing we learn. Even living life in a different way. It takes practice which includes a lot of falling down and getting up.”

Have you ever observed a toddler learning how to walk? I mean, really observed?!

Have you noticed how often they fail? How often they fall down?

Have you also noticed how often they get back up?

How they slowly but gradually get better at standing first? Then at taking one step? Then another?

It’s amazing how much tenacity and perseverance toddlers put into learning how to walk.

They don’t give up after those first few fails. They keep getting up and trying again!

You know what’s even more amazing? All of us have that tenacity and perseverance inside of us! If we didn’t we’d all still be crawling around on all fours.

We just don’t always remember how to tap into it.

I have to consciously remind myself of this while learning the new skill of snowboarding.

When I once again found myself inspecting the snow from way too close up after yet another ‘face plant’, I had to actually tell myself out loud: “You didn’t learn to walk in one day either, Gerdi”

Related Post: Ignore the People Who Still Stop You From Living Your Own Life Now

Why am I telling you this?

When you’re learning how to live your own life, you’ll find yourself falling down lots of times.

Falling back into old habits and behaviours that may have been useful in the past, but no longer serve you.

You’ve lived with these habits and behaviours for most of your life. So much so, that they’ve become your default behaviour. And default habits and behaviours are our fallback position when things get tough.

So how do you get back up when you’ve fallen into your default, your fallback position?

These are the things I do

1. I take note of the fact that I’ve fallen down

Well, that’s an obvious one! You’d think so, but it isn’t.

Noticing that you’ve fallen into default behaviour can be challenging. Especially when you’re just starting out. After all, you’ve been doing things a certain way, living a certain way for most of your life.

Going back to the walking analogy – you don’t have to think about how you walk. You just walk.

That’s how it is with living. You’ve been doing it your whole life without thinking much about how you were doing it. You just did.

So! Consciously notice that you’ve fallen down.

2. Analyse what made me fall

Now go back and think on what made you fall. What happened just before?

What triggered you dropping back into default behaviour?

Was it something someone said or did? Something you did?

Was it something someone didn’t say or do?

Under what circumstances did you fall down?

It’s not necessary to make this into an in-depth 20 hour therapy session. (Unless of course you feel that’s really necessary)

However, it is necessary to become aware of the things that make you fall.

3. Think of something I’ll do different

You know what caused you to fall down (step 2).

That means you can also think of what you can or need to do different next time around.

Yes, there will be a next time! Just think of the toddler trying to learn how to walk.

Don’t just casually decide on what you’ll do different.

Consciously decide what it is about your habits, behaviour, etc. you’ll be changing. Go over it in your mind.

Visualise the situation: “When next XYZ happens I will do ABC”

Do this as many times as necessary until your response is almost automatic. This will greatly increase the chance of you actually doing ABC instead of XYZ.

4. I get up and try again

I know what caused me to fall into default behaviour.

I know how I intend to handle myself when I find myself in similar circumstances.

Time to get up and try again!

And again! And again! And again!

You get the drift!!

As always …

#LiveYourOwnLife #LiveUpToYourOwnExpectations

Go dare greatly!

Photo credit: Mattias Olsson (Unsplash)
Video credit: © 2017 Gerdi Verwoert