Don’t Wait

Don’t wait
until you feel like you are
worthy or good enough
to treat yourself with
kindness and compassion

to go for your dreams

to pause working so hard
and stretch and
enjoy a cup of tea
and a quiet moment

to speak to yourself as you would
to your best friend

to touch yourself with gentleness

to wrap yourself in softness

to surround yourself with people
who regard you and love you
as you are

to truly nourish yourself

to expect miracles and
and deep love in your life.

Don’t wait
until you feel like you are
worthy or good enough for love.

Just start acting like you are.

Lisa McCrohan, ©2021
Your Light is Rising

I recently read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.  Though I had heard of the book, I put off reading it.  In all honesty, I put it off because I thought, “Okay, yet another ‘how to’ book that is going to be all surface and B.S.”  I have a really practical side to me and I don’t like cookie-cutter surfacey self-help books that are so formulaic and don’t deliver squat for real change.  But like millions of other folks and by the urging of one of my good friends, I picked up Atomic Habits.  Having read it now twice and listened to several podcasts – by myself and with my daughter – I am humbly eating my words!

If you haven’t read Atomic Habits yet, I highly suggest it!  We are now having family conversations about this book and putting several of the practices into place.  And it is changing the way I approach behavior change – with my own self and with my coaching and therapy clients.  Yes, it’s that good.

Atomic Habits isn’t a relationship book nor a book about love. But its concepts and practices can be applied in every area of our lives.  And as an integrative coach and psychotherapist, I’m interested in the intersection of tiny habits that generate mega love.  Love in all its forms – self love, love for our dear ones, love for one another, and love for our world.

There are so many awesome concepts and practices in this book.  One of the concepts that I recently shared with my coaching and therapy clients is this: creating identity-focused habits.

“True behavior change is identity change.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

Pick any habit you either want to start or stop. The habits that will stick are the ones that are aligned with the kind of person you believe yourself to be or become.

We are a society obsessed with goals and outcomes.  We don’t think the person who is depressed but got up today and made his bed is achieving anything big.  It’s not news-worthy when a person who wants to be a runner runs for one minute without stopping.  We think, “Big deal?!” when a budding author writes a paragraph in their manuscript, or an artist gets out their paint brushes and doodles, or a pianist practices for five minutes.

But when these small “atomic” habits become just what we do and reflect who we believe ourselves to be, we can experience big shifts.

In my world of integrative coaching and psychotherapy, I am in the business of change.  Not a temporary or short-lived change.  I am about change that is actually going to be life-giving, life-enhancing, and that is going to LAST.  I am about change that is founded on LOVE – love for self, love for our dear ones, love for one another, and love for our world.

That’s where atomic habits and mega love come together.

If you want anything to change in your life — if you want to up your self-care, have better boundaries, be more fit, deepen your relationships, or be a more influential and innovative leader, identify the type of person you want to be.  And then take micro actions that embody that person.

Here’s a practice for you:

First: explore what your current habits say about the type of person you are.  Play with this:

~ List out your some everyday habits.
~ Then write, “I am the type of person who….(insert your habit).”

Here’s one of mine: I am on social media for my work and to connect with folks. I have a limit set for it, but I often go over that limit.  What does this say about the type of person I am?  I wrote, “I am the type of person who spends more time on social media than talking in-person or on the phone to a friend.”

YIKES!  That is NOT the type of person I want to be!

Try it for yourself.  No need to beat yourself up (you all KNOW that I’m about mega love — and that includes mega doses of self-compassion!).  When you play with this exercise, have a laugh at what some of your current habits say about the type of person you are.

Do your current habits reflect the type of person you want to be?

If not, identify the kind of person you DO want to be:

Here are some examples:

“I am the type of person who values my wellbeing.  I am fit and healthy.”
“I am the type of person who has good boundaries.”
“I am the type of person who practices self-love.”
“I am the type of person who lets go of resentment.”
“I am the kind of person who chooses love.”
“I am the type of person who doesn’t sacrifice my self-care and self-regard to take care of others.”
“I am the type of person who follows my own intuition and what delights my heart, rather than doing what the world says I ‘should’ be doing.”
” I am the type of person who loves writing (painting, baking, leading with integrity, playing music).  I am an author (painter, baker, leader, musician).”
“I am the type of person who gives myself TRUE rest and renewal through naps, time outside, movement, phone calls with friends, making nourishing soups, laughing….and NOT through social media.”

But what if you don’t BELIEVE you are the type of person who……?

Here’s again where mega love comes in — DON’T WAIT.  Don’t wait until you FEEL like you are the type of person you want to be.  Don’t wait until your mind finally BELIEVES you are good enough and worthy of being the person you want to be.

Just start acting like it.

Practice being the person you want to be with some mega self-love thrown in there.

This is what I did when I was learning how to ski.  About few years ago, my son asked me if I wanted to try out snowboarding.  So I said, “Sure!”  I found out quickly that snowboarding was not my thing!  But I was up for trying to ski!  And over the past three winters, I have become a skier!  I have done it my way!  Each time I get onto the slopes, I am just a bit braver — sometimes 1% braver, sometimes 10% braver.  I would SHOW UP and embody being a skier.  And now, I absolutely love it.  Micro step by micro step.  I didn’t take big risks.  I just kept showing up and loving it.  You can read this post What if you were 10% braver and this post The body of a poet and the shadow side of publishing for inspiration!

We are a society that is obsessed with perfection.  And if we can’t do it perfectly or according to our own (often inhumane) standards, we throw in the towel. We want it all and we want to do it perfectly without much discomfort.

You ARE going to be uncomfortable.  You ARE going to doubt yourself, your progress, and even who you are.  You ARE going to question, “Is this new habit really getting me anywhere?”

But keep on saying, “I am becoming the type of person….

who keeps loving myself even when I mess up.

who keeps practicing self-love.

who keeps choosing mega love.

Keep practicing being the type of person you want to be.  Keep embodying the small, everyday choices that are aligned with the kind of person you want to be, and you will become that person. So you see – you don’t have to wait until you FEEL like you ARE that person or to feel good enough or perfect enough to call yourself a runner, an athlete, an artist, an a savvy entrepreneur, a great leader….  You can just start practicing being that person now.

You are worthy of love.  You are worthy of going for your dreams.  You are worthy of feeling good in your body.  You are worthy of self-compassion.  You are worthy of shining and thriving.  You are worthy of “success” – however YOU define it.  You are worthy of peace.  And you don’t have to wait.

And if you want a professional to journey along with you, consider working with me in integrative coaching.  Sign up for a free consult and we can talk about the possibility of working together.  And then, get the book, Atomic Habits!

* As an Amazon associate, I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases.


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