QUNN’S NOTE: This is Day 7 of a 7-day Write Yourself Whole journaling class to discover your Inner Heroes and name them. It’s free, but if you want to donate something because you like that idea, there is a donate button on my website.
Previous posts in this series: Day 1: Getting Started details here.
Day 2: Distort and Shrink Inner Critic.
Day 3: Perfectionist Inner Critic.
Day 4: You Are Not Enough Inner Critic.
Day 5: The Story Inner Critic.
Day 6: The Danger Everywhere Inner Critic.
The Scene: Your Inner Critic has a lot of company among your friends and family. If you are like most people, you will recognize this Inner Critic quickly.
You have decided to make a change. Eat more healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, stop gossiping. The work is hard, and slow, but it’s paying off. You are feeling better and your friends and family are noticing the change. The next thing that happens surprises you.
The Tactic: Your friends and family begin to give you Change-back signals. “You were more fun when you weren’t so picky about what you ate,” they’ll say. “Let’s go for coffee and a cinnamon roll, you can go back on your diet tomorrow.” Or, “Don’t be such a goody-goody, we aren’t gossiping, you know it’s the truth.”
It’s hard to stick to your plans when your family or friends ask you to change back to the way you were. When you change, you automatically require your friends and family to change. You are different and you behave differently toward them. You also want to be treated in the new way you are working on. But your family and friends don’t want to make the same effort. So they try to get you to change back.
Write Yourself Whole Journaling Prompts:
1. Write down the decision you made to change. Add a list of the steps you took to make the change work. Spend 3 minutes writing how proud you are of your achievements.
2. Think of some things to say to show your family how important your changes are to you. (3 minutes). Listen carefully to their answers. If they aren’t supportive, you are learning a lot about them. You already know about yourself.
3. What did it take for you to change? That’s the name of your Inner Hero. It might be a simple name like “Steadfast” or “Certain.” Or you might want to make it more complex, like “One who stands strong in the face of opposition.” Or, if you are more casual, “One who knows poop from pearls. And chooses pearls.”
Moving Ahead: Switch-Back messages are easy to spot. It’s a bit harder to not to feel alone when you get the messages to “come back to the way you were.” Remember your goal. Look at how you reached it. The people who don’t want to help you are not as strong. They are afraid of change. You have already changed.
You may lose some friends, but the ones you keep will be the worthwhile friends. Once you know who they are, support their change, too.
—Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and writer. She knows it is hard to make change work and how lonely that can be. But not as lonely as not changing. Quinn is a writer, trainer, creativity coach and author of The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal.