As many of you know, I am currently doing Couch to 5k and as the photo shows a part of me really didn’t want to run that day. This was the first time I had really not wanted to go but I knew I had to. I so didn’t want to go that I made David and Bracken come with me. Now David is 6’ 4” and Bracken is a spaniel. I am 5’ 5” on a good day. David and Bracken walk at the same pace as I run/jog/shuffle.
A part of me was definitely having a “toddler tantrum” about having to go.
On reflection, I was curious about why a part of me really didn’t want to go, after all this is good for me. This took me to thinking about the ego and how all it wants is certainty, predictability, repetition and control. The ego wants you to survive and be safe; it doesn’t care if you are happy. If the ego perceives you are surviving in your current environment and under the current conditions then it will not want change. Change leads to uncertainty which can lead to danger so why change?
In that moment, just before the run, when a part of me knew it was going to be a challenge and challenge may lead to change, my ego decided to kick off. Going out for that run was a perceived threat to the “safe” environment that I had been surviving in. So what were the choices in that moment?
  1. Stay home.
  2. Go on the run with a negative inner dialogue and risk giving up half way round.
  3. Go one the run and pray my ego got on board.
  4. Get a support team in place to help cheer me on and hold me accountable.
  5. Have a firm word with myself and get on with it.
  6. Be curious with my ego and that part of me that didn’t want to go.
A part of me chose 4 and 6 and I am very grateful to my support team.
In the past a part of me would have done any one of the other options but none of them would have been executed with compassion. A part of me would have berated me and beaten myself up about my chosen option.
It is also important to remember the ego’s concept of danger and the threat to safety has not evolved over time. It sees change as a stressful event and stress is equal to a “life or death” situation. The perceived change that may occur as the result of going on one run and the stress that is created is processed as a “life or death” situation by the ego. For parts of me this makes no sense and for other parts it is an interesting concept and may or may not be true. Over time parts of me have learnt to show compassion to the ego, it is scared after all.
How will you react next time a part of you is resistant to change and/or throws a “toddler tantrum”?
Until next time….
Best wishes
Philippa x