When we want to make changes or try a new habit it can feel daunting or overwhelming, particularly if we put pressure on ourselves to do it right first time. But when we treat something as an experiment it eases the need (or belief) that it must be the solution we were looking for.
In this episode I share:
Pressing Pause Episode 103 Experimenting in life
Welcome to Pressing Pause, I’m your host, Gabrielle Treanor, a coach, writer, introvert and sensitive soul with an inclination to ponder over the stuff of life. Join me as I explore how we can create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in our daily lives.
I wonder, do you know that I have a bunch of free guides and audios to help you live with more calm and joy that you can download for free on my website? There’s a guide on how you can start your day with more calm without needing to find a single extra minute in your morning – I guarantee I will not tell you to set your alarm a minute earlier. There’s an ebook on how to overcome your overwhelm as an introvert, because us introverts can get overwhelmed really quite easily! There’s a set of guided meditations you can listen to and there’s a guide on making your own soothing self care kit.
You can choose one or all of these freebies and you can download them from my website at gabrielletreanor.com/free. You’ll also get my weeklyish emails where I share more from my own experiences along with tools and ideas for how you can catch your breath, re-centre and live with more calm and joy each day.
The emails are always the first place that I share new offerings I’ve made for you and give special offers. I’m spending less time on social media these days so if you want to connect with what I’m sharing outside of this podcast my emails are the best way to do that.
So, check out my free guides and download any or all of them at gabrielletreanor.com/free
Okay then, on with the episode!
Welcome to episode 103. Something I often talk about with my coaching clients is the idea of experimenting. We’re not talking lab coats and Bunsen burners (it was a miracle I passed my Chemistry GCSE), this is a different kind of experiment.
It’s a way to help ourselves try something without the fear of failing getting in the way, which makes it a great antidote to perfectionism. It’s a way of giving ourselves some accountability which makes it more likely we’ll keep going rather than quit when things get tricky.
When we want to establish a new habit or make a change it can feel really difficult and daunting, even when it’s something we really want.
We might feel lacking in permission to do whatever it is. Or perhaps our perfectionism tells us there’s no point in starting if we can’t be certain we’re going to do it right.
By treating this new action as an experiment it takes off some of the pressure. We’re not saying we’ll get it 100% right, or that it has to be the solution, or that it’s going to feel easy and comfortable.
But we are saying that we’re open to giving it a go.
How you conduct the experiment is up to you. You can simply tell yourself it’s an experiment and you’ll see how it goes, that’s it.
Or, you can lay down some criteria for the experiment. So you might give yourself a timeframe for the experiment, say two weeks or a month.
You decide the action for the experiment – perhaps you’re going to meditate for ten minutes every day.
And you choose how to measure the results – maybe you’ll make a note of how you feel before and after you meditate, as well as at the start and end of the experiment.
Now, you could be reading this and thinking it sounds very formal and a lot of pressure. And, yep, that’s one way you can choose to look at it.
Or you can choose to see it as simply… an experiment. So, with our example, you’ll try meditating for ten minutes every day for two weeks, you’ll see how you feel afterwards and decide what you want to do next.
You’re not telling yourself that you have to meditate every day forever more and if you don’t you’ve failed.
You’re not telling yourself that meditation will be the perfect supportive practice for you and if it turns out you don’t feel the benefit it means there’s something wrong with you.
What you are doing is giving yourself permission to try. To explore an idea, try it to see how it fits and see what happens.
If you find yourself thinking that you don’t have time to meditate because there’s too much to do, and people need you, the experiment acts as a permission slip. You’re allowed to give yourself ten minutes because skipping it means meddling with your experiment and will leave a gap in your data!
And if you do skip a day that doesn’t mean your experiment has failed and you should abandon it. It’s all data and by keeping going you might find you get to the end of the two weeks having only missed one or two days. But without sticking with the experiment you’d never have known just how many days you did do your ten minutes of meditation.
Then, when you get to the end of your experiment timeframe, if you don’t think you have clear results – perhaps you need more time to gather more data or you want to tweak the action like changing the length of time you meditate to five or 15 minutes – you can do that and keep going.
You’re the scientist in your own life so you get to choose what experiments you want to run.
Maybe you’d like to experiment with finishing work and switching off emails at 5pm to see if you can be focused during work hours and be more present in your home life too.
Or perhaps you’d like to experiment with saying no to your demanding friend to see if it really feels as scary as you think, and how, if at all, it affects your friendship.
Or maybe you’d like to experiment with not setting the alarm at weekends to see how much sleep you really need and what time you wake naturally.
What would you like to experiment with because you think it could help you feel more calm and joy but you’ve felt too daunted to try?
Thank you for listening to Pressing Pause, you can find details of what I shared in this episode in the show notes at gabrielletreanor.com/podcast.
If you enjoyed this podcast it would be incredibly helpful and lovely of you to leave a rating or review on iTunes. Reviews make a big difference to how podcasts are found and it would be wonderful if more people could find and listen to this podcast.
There are lots more resources to help you to create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in your life, including free guides, blog posts, online courses and one to one coaching, at gabrielletreanor.com. Make sure you’re getting my regular emails too, they’re designed to soothe, inspire and delight.
I always love to hear from you, what you take from the episodes and what you’d like me to talk about, so feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
Thanks again for listening, until next time.
Throughout this website and my work when I refer to women I include people identifying as women.
If you have, or think you may have, a mental health problem that requires professional diagnosis or treatment, please consult a mental health care professional and your GP.
You can also talk to the people at Mind on 0300 123 3393 or SANE on 0300 304 7000 or Samaritans on 116 123.
Copyright © Gabrielle Treanor
Site by cptcreative