So, anyone like to hazard a guess as to why Horder is sat on a Bali beach enjoying a fresh pineapple juice – and sweating like a pig in long trousers and long sleeves while all around are stripped to the minimum and catching the rays? And why the bottle that’s currently of most interest to me is not a Balinese Bintang beer, but pure aloe vera?
You guessed it – an excess of sun in the first two days! So now I get to spend a few days recovering from my early over-confidence, carefully shielded from any more direct sun.
Unpreparedness meaning we didn’t bring any after-sun with us, I didn’t sleep so well last night, and I got to thinking about the lesson here. I realized, it’s a lot like how most of us approach our New Year Resolutions – go for it 100% from day one, sh1t or bust. And how often do we bust, crashing and burning within a couple of weeks?
The trouble with me exposing my body to quite so much tropical sun is that it simply isn’t used to it, so it can’t cope. And it lets me know, with redness and sensitivity after day one – unless I ignore it, and then it makes its point no uncertain terms – ouch!
And the trouble with exposing your unconscious mind to quite so much of the novelty of your new resolution, is that it simply isn’t used to it, so it rebels – and lets you know it’s not comfortable. “We don’t do this sort of stuff!” it wails, “Stop it, now – you know I’m afraid of change!”
And if you choose to ignore its complaints, like my body giving me painful skin to dissuade me from my beach excess, your unconscious brings out the big guns: “You can’t do this! Who do you think you are, a success or something, do me a favour” and ramping it up with “Come on – it’s not as if you’re worthy of success.” Oh yes, the old “I’m not worthy!” blocking play, that’s sure to come up if you overload your unconscious with too many aspirations.
What I should have done to achieve my lovely holiday tan can give us a clue about how to stop your unconscious from sabotaging you. As a rule, I don’t burn, so this little episode is especially annoying for me – because if, rather than throwing myself into sunbathing full-on, I had paced myself, taken it gently, slowly increasing the amount of exposure, I would have been fine. My body would have had time to get used to the whole looking-tanned-and-healthy thing, and adjusted to suit the new situation, prompted by that limited early exposure.
Maybe it’s the same for your unconscious and your resolutions. If you give it gentle exposure to your new ideas, taking things gently, allowing it to get used to the idea a bit more slowly, maybe it would allow you to get further before it starts getting uncomfortable.
What if it was the very determination and commitment that we think we have to apply to our resolutions that is making it so much harder to keep them?
PS: I did consider adding a ‘selfie’ of my glowing shoulders and chest, but I was persuaded to spare you all that!