We’ve all heard the saying “falling off the wagon” and most of us can relate to what that means AND how it feels. Generally there is a lot of disappointment and shame related to falling off the wagon, and understandably so. We have great desires for change but those damn bad habits can be pretty hard to shake (especially when we’ve put them there for a reason).
But we are here to change that tune. We are here to shift that perspective. Falling off the wagon is just a part of the journey and you might want to get used to it because it is something we will experience many more times in our life. Remember, we all have to go past our boundaries in order to know where they lie.
We are human and with that comes making mistakes, being wrong, and feeling emotions. It’s not a weakness, it's natural. Somewhere, somehow, we have been conditioned to be ashamed of our mistakes. But as we bring about change, break bad habits, and try to live a healthier lifestyle, we will inevitably go too far, slip back into our old ways, and then feel disappointed.
But what if we were to acknowledge our missteps without shame or that familiar negative internal scolding, and instead we kindly take the time to recognize we are human. We can pause, refocus on our goal, recognize what triggered us, and then put in place possible solutions for next time.
In other words, say to ourselves: “Yes, you messed up. Let's learn from it because we need you to keep going and you’re doing great!”
Change takes time. And the bigger the bad habit, the more time it takes for us to break it. We will most definitely fall off the wagon... over and over again.
But by giving ourselves the grace and understanding that we are not perfect, we will help combat our negative reel and remind ourselves that we can still have faults, still love ourselves, and still reach our goals.
So get ready to wash, rinse and repeat when it comes to falling off the wagon. Let’s focus on sharpening our tools to respond positively to the process of change and shifting boundaries, which will inevitably include lots of mistakes and forgiveness.
Ming-Wai + Ming-Cee