We’ve all had those days: nothing is going right and we’re frustrated and wanting to just give up, go back to bed, and stay there for a week. I know I gave into that desire to run and hide and ignore the world too many times in 2020, and I don’t want that to be how I spend 2021.
I’m still working from home—gladly, I would add. But being at home all the time lets me sink into self-sabotage a lot more often than if I had to go out into the world more regularly. When I’m home, I’m in my comfort zone. Any goals or ideas for the day that I had in mind can go quickly out the window when a few things don’t go according to plan. If I had plans to workout, for example, but the dog is being difficult and I ran out of coffee that morning, I quickly abandon my plan because my couch is so much more inviting and Netflix is a click away. My mindset goes directly from “personal progress and development” to “heck it all, I’m going back to bed.”
And my mind is sneaky about it: When I start to feel like I don’t really want to try that hard because my goals aren’t coming easily, I start to have thoughts about why I’m not “content” with what I have. I call myself “ungrateful” because I have the desire to improve something in my life. And telling myself that I should be grateful and content with where I am gives me all the more reason to sabotage all my best intentions and go back to bed. It makes me thoroughly enjoy giving into my self-sabotage because I have convinced myself I’m vindicated in my choice to abandon my goals. And besides, I deserve some relaxation. All the “signs” were there that I should just give up for the day, right?
Unfortunately, giving into that self-sabotage has the inevitable drawback of later feeling disgusted with myself that I didn’t follow through on the goal I set out for. I still want the thing or things I had every initial intention to work for (a healthy body, a healthier financial situation, a deeper relationship), and the fact that I gave up so easily just makes me feel like a total failure.
I’ve heard it said a million times: You don’t regret the days you show up; only the ones you don’t. In other words, even though I can convince myself in the moment to say “forget it” to my plan to work out on the grounds of “being grateful for and content with my body as it is,” I will always later regret my decision to skip my workout. If I do the workout and it is difficult and sucks in the moment, I’m still proud of myself for getting it done.
So many of my days went the way of self-sabotage in 2020, but I want 2021 to be different. I want 2021 to be a year that I can feel good about in the present, excited about for the future, and that I can look back on when it is in the past and be proud of how I lived it. So when my sneaky self-sabotage starts trying to work its way into my mind (because a little thing goes wrong here, or plans change there, or I don’t really feel like doing the things on my list), I do the following things to help shift my mindset and get me back on track toward where I want to be:
1. Turn On My Diffuser
The first thing I do is turn on my Bamboo Lantern Ultrasonic Diffuser with a few drops of Peppermint or Sweet Orange essential oil. I need energy to shift my mindset and get out of the self-sabotage spiral, and Peppermint and Sweet Orange are great essential oils to help promote energy. I let the diffuser fill my space with essential oils as a first step toward changing my mindset.
2. Do a Deep-Breathing Exercise
Second, I do a deep-breathing exercise with an essential oil. I like to simply open the bottle and hold it up to my nose while I breathe. I do a 7-4-7 deep breathing exercise: 7 seconds breathing in, hold for 4 seconds, 7 seconds breathing out. The essential oil you choose can depend on how you want to feel: Clary Sage can help you feel balanced in your body and mind. I use this one when I’m feeling like I’m too out of whack—too unbalanced—in body or mind to stay on track with my goals. Sweet orange essential oil can help you feel joyful and childlike. I use this one when I need to get excited about my goals again—like when I was a kid dreaming about what I’d be when I grew up.
Doing a deep-breathing exercise like this helps me shift my mindset from defaulting to what would be easiest (giving up, going back into my comfort zone, skipping ahead to the rest without doing the work) to one of growth and resolve.
3. Elevate Heart Rate
Next, I begin to cultivate energy by moving my body to get my heart rate up. I might go for a quick walk, do a short yoga video, or go for a quick jog around the block. I put peppermint or sweet orange essential oil on my diffuser necklace so I can smell the oil while I’m moving my body.
4. Do the Thing
Then, once my body is warmed up and my energy is high and I’m in a growth mindset, it’s time to do the thing my self-sabotage was trying to get me to skip. Do the workout; have the conversation; send the email; write the chapter. Whatever the task, I get it done.
Finally, as a reward for doing that important thing I almost didn’t do, I treat myself to a hot bath. I love to diffuse Lavender essential oil in the bathroom while I take a bath with Epsom salts to help me feel fully relaxed.
It’s amazing how accomplished and proud I feel when I do the thing I was trying to avoid and then reward myself with rest. My self-sabotage would have had me taking a bath or “relaxing” in another way without doing the thing I had set out to do first, but when I’m able to shift my mindset and do the work, my relaxation is so much more satisfying!
Don’t let self-sabotage take your day off the rails again and again. No matter how many things go awry in your day, you can always get back on track with your goals by shifting your mindset with the help of pure essential oils by Belle Aroma®.
I hope you reach all your goals this year, friends!
Kate for TheGiftofScent.Com