Radical changes fail about 99% of the time for me. My counselor taught me the power of nudge. If you watch motivational speeches you may listen to the difference between good and great is one degree. The difference between hot water and boiling water is one degree. Look through several of the videos and recognized that stuff was way over my head when I started counseling. My counselor taught me the power of nudge….change just a little bit. I learned this when I shared with my counselor that I was terrified when anyone touched my wrist. Someone jokingly grabbed my wrist from behind and I had to freeze to keep from tearing the poor unwitting soul to shreds. We worked out a plan. Wear a bracelet. Day one. I wore the bracelet for less than 15 minutes before ripping it off my arm and throwing it across the room. Emailed my counselor told him I failed. He replied…do it for only 5 minutes. I learned I can do anything for 5 minutes. Day 2 I wore the bracelet for 5 minutes. Success with a bucket load of anxiety. For the next week, I would wear a bracelet for only 5 minutes….I reported success. Up the time 5 minutes. Another week 10 minutes a day with focusing on grounding and relaxation to decrease anxiety while I wear the bracelet for 10 minutes. After 6 months I could wear a bracelet but still freaked when some touch my wrist. 10 years later, I feel no distress if someone touches my wrist. Not a moments anxiety. I learned to nudge myself along in much smaller increments.
Basics of the Power of Nudge…
- Decide where I want to end up. Start with a goal in sight.
- Start moving. Hard to head toward a goal without moving.
- Take baby steps. This is the important key… a nudge is a teeny tiny shove. It doesn’t knock me over. It doesn’t send me spinning. Just a little bit.
- Keep moving. I am startled by how far I can go one baby step at time.
- Encourage myself and congratulate myself on progress. I believe this is an important step for an abuse survivor. I needed to stop looking for praise outside myself. Praise and acceptance was how my abuser controlled me. If I look for praise within myself, then I control me.
Nudging my way through life, I am achieving goals that when I started I didn’t believe were possible.