Learned behavior is behavior that occurs only after experience or practice. Learned behavior has an advantage over innate behavior: it is more flexible. Learned behavior can be changed if conditions change. The power to change those conditions comes from within. It comes from you.
How often do we deny ourselves what we need? Defaulting to a learned behavior and avoiding our true self. How can we take a step towards our true self? Where do we start?
For me it was peeing.
I’m 40 years old and I wasn’t peeing when I needed. I would be on a call and instead of excusing myself taking my space and the time for me to pee, I would hold it. I would suffer needlessly. Still I wouldn’t excuse myself. Sometimes I would try to pee without the other person knowing. Muting the call and trying to finish in between. Awkward moments is when I would get caught midstream.
One day I took the first step. I told the caller mid conversation I needed to call them back, I had to go to the restroom. Despite my greatest fear that doing something so simple for myself would cause anger or harm somehow, the caller said ok call me back.
I took the first step. I now pee anytime I need. It was the first thing I started doing for myself. My first step towards my true self.
What are you denying yourself?
Tools and tips:
- Take a notebook and write the following 10 times. Answer each of the prompts without thinking. First thing that comes to your mind.
- If I didn’t have to be perfect I would…..
- I’m proud that I ….
- What is one simple thing you deny yourself? It can be eating out at a restaurant. Taking a walk. Calling your friends. Purposely make it as simple and achievable as possible then commit to taking that first step. Then accept yourself if you don’t do it right away and celebrate yourself when you do.