Why Checking In With Yourself Is So Important

Checking Your Facebook Timeline More Often Than You Check In On Yourself?

How truly connected do you feel to yourself and those around you? If, like me, you love social media, your first instinct will no doubt be: I’m very well connected, thank you very much, I’ve got tons of Facebook friends and thousands of Twitter followers. 

OK, so now let me repeat the question: how truly connected are you? 

Let’s face it, most of us check in on our online selves more than we do on our real selves and then we end up wondering why our dreams remain dreams and our goals are just….far away goals.

If you truly want to realize your dreams and reach your goals, you need focus and to gain focus you need to be in touch with yourself. So how do you do that? Read on (and why not challenge yourself to avoid checking your Facebook or Twitter timeline along the way!). 

Something often needs to change when we want to realise a dream or achieve a goal and for many of us, change can be a scary thing. Luckily, we live in such a content rich world these days that there’s no shortage of ‘stuff’ that can distract us from scary change: we can bury ourselves in work or general busy-ness so we don’t have to listen to that little voice that says: life sucks at the moment. We can eat, drink or smoke ourselves to distraction. We can lull ourselves into a trance in front of the TV. We can enter a virtual world on our games consoles and smart phones or…..we can lose ourselves in Facebook and Twitter – all to avoid the scary question: so if life/part of your life sucks at the moment, what exactly are you going to do about it?? 

Now here’s the thing: powerful and effective change comes from inside so if we only focus on the world outside us, we’ll never unearth, nurture and realise the dreams and goals we desire. 

If you truly want to calm your “addiction” to the outside world and if you want to learn to check in more with the true you rather than the virtual you to create the change you want, follow these steps:

1. Accept you’re “outwardly addicted”

The first step to creating change is in accepting there’s a problem in the first place. If you’re still with me at this point, some part of you no doubt recognises the pull of outside distractions. If you’re easily distracted by outside “stuff”, start to pin-point what your “stuff” of choice is. Is it additional work and busy-ness? Is it food, drink or cigarettes? Is it TV even when there’s nothing worth watching? Is it your smart-phone (email, web surfing, Facebook, Twitter)? Is it all of the above?? 

Once you know what your “stuff” of choice is, ask yourself how much time a day you spend doing it. And yes, if you’re really serious about changing, you can even keep a note of how many minutes and hours you distract yourself. 

2. Ask yourself what you get out of being “outwardly addicted”

Yes, that’s right, we do get a positive gain out of our addictions – even the “bad” ones! So, for example, when I used to smoke up to ten or more a day, I used to say: “I know it’s bad for me but I really enjoy it.” What was my gain? Ironically, smoking actually helped me take deeper breaths! And (I was shy in those days) it gave me something to do with my hands. 

Be really honest with yourself. What positive gains do you get out of your outward addictions? 

3. How could you let go of the addiction and still keep the positive gain?

In my case, where smoking was concerned, after a long and sometimes difficult time giving up, I eventually got fitter and took up running. After a long, steady run, you can’t help but take deep breaths and once or twice a day when I meditate, I make sure I take a number of “cleansing” breaths. I used to watch more TV than I do now because I felt it helped me switch off. These days, if there’s nothing I really want to watch, I turn the TV off or, if my other half’s watching, I take myself off to another room to and switch off by reading a novel.

What can you do to keep your positive gains? 

4. Once you’ve let go of the outward addiction, what else could you do that would benefit you more in the long run?

Like most people on the daily commute by train, I would more often than not squeeze onto the train, settle down (on a seat if lucky, standing if not), reach for my smart-phone and check Facebook or Twitter. Or my emails. Or my texts. Or all four. One. After. The. Other. Then one day, I remember looking around me and seeing most people on the train doing the same. Oh well. Safety in numbers. What are we all avoiding, I wondered. And scarier still, what am I avoiding?? 

Luckily, recognizing I was becoming seriously outwardly addicted and losing my connection to myself, I followed the steps I’ve listed above. And these days whenever I get on that train or bus, I may check my phone quickly but then I’ll be sure to do one or other of these things: meditate, do some releasing around negative beliefs, write in my journal or revisit my goals. 

Allowing yourself to do any of these things instead of getting distracted means you’re giving to yourself and giving yourself more energy and resources to focus on what you really want to achieve in life. Why do you think top athletes excel? Because they have a singular focus on their goal and are tuned in to every aspect within their mind, body and emotions that will get them there. 

Why on earth would you choose to do different? So from now on:

Make a list of things you can do to connect/check in with yourself more (make sure some of these fulfill the positive gains you used to get from your outward addictions). 

Look back at how much time you spend distracting yourself. 

Commit to filling this time with things that help you connect/check in with yourself more and…..DO IT! 

So what will you commit to from today? Leave me a message below and/or visit me here www.jackiemendoza.com.

Jackie Mendoza is a change coach working with people who want to find their true passion and transform their lives. You can access her free e-course “Warm-up to making change happen” here: www.jackiemendoza.com