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Backsliding or Still Climbing?

lessons from coaching Jul 09, 2022

I was coaching someone the other day. She was beating herself up because she wasn’t feeling as good as she was several months ago. She called it, “backsliding.” “I’m backsliding…I was doing great a few months ago, and now I feel like A$$.”


I didn’t see it as backsliding at all…I saw it as growth. She had taken on a new job with A LOT of new responsibilities. And it felt like A$$. And that’s normal. So. Normal.


New job. New relationship. New baby. Heck, sometimes even a new car. All these “new” experiences challenge our sufficiency. I was an expert at driving my old car, having a family with one kid, and doing my old job. Now I have a new car, a second kid, and a promotion. I’m a beginner. Again. W. T. F. Growing into something new can be painful and difficult. But the growth period won’t last forever. Think about the last time you were new at something. How is it feeling now? See? You’ll get there.


The brain does not like change, it likes the status quo. Anytime we experience change, even when it’s a change we chose, the brain offers up protests. “Are you sure?” “Do we have to?” “Wasn’t it easier before?” That’s just our brain protecting itself- change takes work and work takes energy and the brain is all about conserving energy. Stay put = No energy expended.


So, I offered my client, “You are not backsliding, you are continuing to climb.” 


There are times when we feel comfortable. We have a routine. We got THIS. Then -change happens. As it always does…and learning curves suck. But if we never had a learning curve that would mean we are NEVER changing. Is that what you were hoping for? No change? Ever? 


You just want change to feel easy and good and fun. Ha. Your brain will never let that happen. As soon as you contemplate change, the brain secretes cortisol. Extra cortisol makes us feel anxious and antsy and not ourselves. But we need cortisol for action and energy. It just doesn’t feel good. 


Until it does.


Don’t think of it as backsliding. Think of it as climbing, again. You enjoyed the plateau of sufficiency and complacency for a while, and now it’s time for the next thing. Whatever that happens to be.


And don’t worry, they have that thing in your new car that reminds you which side the gas tank is on. So, you won’t be pulling into the gas station on the wrong side forever.  

Want to know more about what I do? Try my new course,

"Stress and Overwhelm: Causes, Cures and Coping."

In it you will find neuroscience, practices and my signature sense of humor. All at your fingertips in the Kajabi app.



I also offer 1:1 coaching for physical therapists and other people in health care who want to love their life, jobs and career again. If you’ve been thinking, “All I need is a new job, new career, new something and I’ll feel better”… I can help you feel better right now, right HERE. 


Click the link to book a free 45 minute stress-assessment call and get started on your unique plan. 




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