It doesn’t work like that – “I will wake up tomorrow morning and I will change everything!”

It is more like long-term and cumulative process.

I’ve started my “process of change” when I was 17 from the book “Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom” by William Glasser M.D. (more about William Glasser and “Choice Theory”, see William Glasser Institute). I understood in that moment, that my life can be different. And this “process of change” has been about all life dimensions.

The “process of change” speeded up when I started my PhD studies. I faced new situations, new challenges, new people, new responsibilities, new requirements. During my first year I attended “Breathwork” workshops by Michał Godlewski (more about “Breathowk” see the book “Rebirthing and Breathwork” by C. Dowling, and more about “Mindfulness” concept see the article “Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition” by Scott R Bishop et al.) and this technique helps me to work with emotions and previous experiences and to release suppressed emotions, feelings, memories, and free myself from living in the past, and be more conscious and grounded in present life.

Year in Bremen (I will write separate post about that) changed more than I could imagine, and to be honest – it was like a sprint right after a marathon. A lot of “processes of change” which I had started before just speeded up dramatically during Bremen-time to bring me in some nice, stable, normal, calm space/ time/ place in my life.

Huge changes comes from small  everyday decisions and consciousness in our acting.

In a work dimension I consciously have started working on changes in the beginning of this year. I have been practicing following small elements of a new system for last few months:

  • stopping useless habits (30-day challenge with FB, Sundays with Husband without internet and phone use)
  • setting new, better, useful habits (30-day challenge with everyday evening exercises, and everyday 15-minutes breathing sessions)
  • better, and long enough concentration on work (90-minutes working time, and 15 minutes break)
  • reduce of caffeine use (from 2-3 coffees per day to 1 coffee in the morning, then I can sleep better at night)
  • more clear division of working hours, and home activities (eg. changing clothes when I am after my working hours, for more “home clothes”, using my “office cup” only during working hours, avoiding of work after working hours)
  • letting myself to make mistakes (consciously convincing myself and reminding myself that there is no another way to learn something new like just try it, and I have right to make a mistake, and nothing bad happens, then I can just try one more time, and one more time, and one more time).

It is hard to stop be perfectionist, but remember – everybody makes mistakes. As Brene Brown explained perfectionism is self-destructive and paralysing. In her book “Gifts of imperfection” she wrote:

“To overcome perfectionism we need to be able to acknowledge our vulnerabilities to the universal experiences of shame, judgment, and blame; develop shame resilience; and practice self-compassion.

When we become more loving and compassionate with ourselves and we begin to practice shame resilience, we can embrace our imperfections. It is in the process of embracing our imperfections that we find our truest gifts and strengthen our most meaningful connections.”

This last point reminds me this video “KROK PIERWSZY” (The first step) by Krzysztof Gonciarz (you can turn on English subtitles):

Thanks practising this behaviours in small portions in different points of time, supported with different techniques, and apps, and workshops, implementation of a new work system for my PhD writing is easier than starting from scratch. Now I can put all elements together and cumulatively they build the new system.

It is close to “small steps” approach in “Kaizen philosophy”, about which you can read in the book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way” by Robert Maurer Ph.D.. I didn’t read the book. I bought it as a gift for my Husband (in that moment – 9 year ago – he was my “just met boyfriend”), and he summarised me the idea, and always reminds me about that, when I want to change something too quickly, and in too many areas in my life. My Husband always uses this parallel – “When you were a child, you didn’t start walking one day just like that. You were practicing a lot, and were making small steps, before you felt confident enough to walk freely. It is similar with all new things in a life”.

What is also important in the “process of change” and what I have learnt recently – be more forgiving for oneself. When we try to change something in our lives it is important to keep trying even if it doesn’t work for the first time or if we sometimes go back to our old habits. It is important to notice consciously what we do and go back consciously to new tracks without putting oneself down. Forgive yourself and keep going with your “process of change”.

P.S. To be frank, I wouldn’t start this blog one year ago. One year ago I was too perfectionist and less forgiving. Now I am less afraid of judgement, and more willing to try new things. It didn’t change in one day. It was long process, which finally brought me to this place. I am happy to be here 🙂

 

Useful links:

http://www.wglasser.com/ – William Glasser Institute website

http://www.uwolnijoddech.pl/ – Michał Godlewski website (only in Polish, but he speaks English too)

http://catherinedowling.com/ – Catherine Dowling website

http://www.personal.kent.edu/~dfresco/mindfulness/Bishop_et_al.pdf – Bishop, S., Lau, M., Shapiro, S., Carlson, L., Anderson, N., Carmody, J., et al. (2004). Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(3), 230-241.

https://www.youtube.com/user/wybuchajacebeczki – Krzysztof Gonciarz YouTube chanel

http://www.scienceofexcellence.com/index.php – Robert Maurer Ph.D. website

http://brenebrown.com/ – Brene Brown website