Are you a self-improvement Junkie?
Do you regularly seek out new activities and throw yourself into whatever it is with all your heart only to lose your enthusiasm a mere few weeks or months later?
I’m speaking to you potters, yoga bunnies, watercolourists, tourist Italian-speakers, silversmith hobbyists, sourdough bread makers or any other activity you’ve signed up for when fired up with the feeling that this is it - the thing you’ve been looking for.
It might not just be hobby type activities either. Yo-yo dieting or healthy eating or even going regularly to the gym share similarities of a commitment made and interest lost in an overly familiar pattern.
These are commitments you made of your own free will because you really, really want to and then after not too long these are destined to be your ex-activities, the something you used to do.
So, what is the process here?
These activities are external to yourself. Something you consider you could do that you would enjoy doing and would maybe make you feel better about being you. Except they don’t stand the test of time and your commitment to them wanes in direct correlation to your growing realisation that they don’t make you feel any better about being you.
Does this sound familiar?
Is your home littered with a half macrame’d hanging basket or stacked canvases with outlined 'en plain aire' scenes of market town square or hills and lakes?
It could be worse. Perhaps you’re struggling to store your potter’s wheel and kiln or your hand built loom. Perhaps your tapestry frame is gathering dust in the corner of the living room along with your Nordic poles. Are your ice skating boots stored under your bed along with your tango shoes and your bird watching binoculars?
People don't just distract themselves with activities either. Some people obsessively date so that they're rarely alone and always out socialising. Others treat drinking or drug taking like a hobby that absorbs their attention and keeps them distracted.
What could be driving your restless search for pre-occupation?
Perhaps you’ve confused wanting to improve yourself with wanting to like yourself more. Maybe it was never about the doing but more about just being.
There’s a lovely quote in the novel by Paul Theroux about his train journeys through Asia called The Great Railway Bazaar. It reads, “….the grand tour is just the inspired man’s way of coming home”.
So perhaps all those activities you’ve tried that didn’t hit the mark are a sort of grand tour and what is needed is a way of coming home to yourself. So perhaps it’s not activities at all that is required but a pause from the latest shiny distraction.
All that glitters certainly isn't gold, but it does distract for a while at least.
If you were to pause from being so busy with your latest craze what would you need to look at? What would require your attention if your focus wasn’t elsewhere?
I’ve seen distractions used by my clients in so many different ways so that they can avoid looking at the elephant in their room. Addressing the one key thing that would make a real difference to their life, their relationships, their well-being.
It can feel scary to look squarely at your truth but equally chasing the latest distractions and activities is exhausting and at some point, you know you just want to come home to yourself.
If this resonates with you and you know that you’ve been filling time with distractions only to find them hollow and unfulfilling perhaps you’d like to book an obligation free call with me. It took me a long time to come home to myself but I’m so grateful I found a way to do that, and you will be too.
Sally Baker is Senior Therapist, published Author and Speaker in private practice in London for face to face sessions and the world over via the internet.
With almost twenty years of professional experience, she employs cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to help one person at a time to transform their lives.
She has extensive experience working with people to alleviate their anxiety, depression, anger issues, eating disorders as well as conflicts within relationships and the family.
To find out more about Sally Baker, her books and her work visit her website, www.workingonthebody.com