IS IT NORMAL TO FALL OFF THE WAGON OR AM I FAILING?
I’m no stranger to personal growth. I’ve read the books (or listened to them). I know the tools. And, yet, lately something has just felt a bit, well… off. The positive self-talk has taken a back seat. I’ve dropped some of the habits that keep me grounded and flourishing.
So Let me catch you up. I was flying with the podcasts. I had an epic plan of what I wanted to talk about. I don’t like to record the LHL podcasts too far in advance because I like them to be real and relevant but I do have things that come up in my life that inspire the podcast.
As I mentioned on the podcast there were a number of things I was going through
at once that overwhelmed me. Sometimes it can feel like you are juggling so many plates that one has got to give.
For me it was Leading her life. I stopped personal development and the knock on effect from that was the podcast and Instagram. Because the podcast and insta grows in real time with me.
It was official. I’d fallen off the personal growth bandwagon. And, I could feel it. Massivley.
But you know what girls, this shit is Normal… with a capital frigging “N”. Our growth journeys are far from linear and it is so common to have some ebbs and flows on our paths. Any time you make any kind of change in your life, your habits can get uprooted, and that includes your personal development and vibe.
Falling Off the Wagon, “To cease or fail at a regimen of self-improvement or reform; to lapse back into an old habit…”
Falling off the wagon isn’t fun. It isn’t satisfying to fail at a goal or revert to old ways. And falling comes with shame.
If you’ve built your habits by holding yourself to a daily practice and keeping track of your days-in-a-row self-improvement, you might be missing something important about self-improvement. Self-improvement is not about records or numbers. It’s about, well, improving yourself.
Am I going through the paces of my habits every day simply to be maintaining a record? If so, I am a slave to the habit instead of its master. I’ve let record-keeping become the goal, instead of actual self and life-improvement. I might try to do the work and keep going, but my heart won’t be in it.
I had toyed with the idea of sharing this. How could I be the host of the leading her life podcast and author of the Leading Her life blog which is all about creating your best self and leading your own life when I was in a bit of heap and had fallen off the wagon?
When you fail after a long string of success in a habit, you learn your real choices. You can either abandon the habit, or you can take it up on its own merits for self-improvement, with no pats on the back or impressed onlookers.
When I failed to show up, I had to wake up at some point and ask myself if its is really worth it to me. I didn’t have the promise of a growing record to tempt me. I only had the facts.
And I decided it was worth it. This is my passion, this lights up my soul. But I just had to let myself feel how I was feeling first. I also had to take away the feeling of guilt for not showing up. For not listening to podcasts to upskill myself. For stopping posting the podcast weekly when I said I would. For stopping posting Instagram daily. I actually stopped looking at other inspiring podcasts accounts because they made me feel even more guilty that the successful people have shown up every single day despite what was going on. But you know what? I’m not a robot, I’m normal.
I will try again — and again and again, for as many times as I break my record and fall off a wagon.
And I’ll have learned how to get back on the wagon and start over from defeat — surely the hardest habit to build?