As I started up my car the radio came on and I heard a voice on the radio say "Just try it." He paused and I wondered what he was encouraging people to try. He continued, "Just try not being in debt. You can always go back to being in debt if you want to." Most of us would probably respond in our heads with why would someone want to remain in debt? But acknowledging that old or "bad" habits are tough to break, I can understand that fear would be the next emotion to rise. But what caught my attention was the last part; the part where he reassured that one could always go back to the habit if they wanted. It seemed...comforting.
I also thought it was clever because that made the idea of change sound more interesting, like a challenge. We all know debt is bad for us, smoking is bad for us, fast food is bad for us...the list is probably endless. We experience fear in knowing we cannot have what we want or what we are used to. But the permission to go back to the old way if the new way is not acceptable seems somehow to make the initial attempt at change easier.
It's like variations given in yoga. I will offer a pose and say this is option A. If you would like to add on to the pose, here is option B. If you aren't sure option B is for you, you can always try it and, if it doesn't feel right, go back to option A. Without adding that last part, here's what I anticipate occurring. People afraid of change, trying new things or questioning their abilities will stay with Option A. People who feel they have to go bigger and harder will take option B...and they will stay there even if it isn't okay with their body. Ah, but if you give permission to sample a taste of option B and go back to A if it doesn't meet their culinary standards of the day, they are more likely to do what is best for them. And we experience ahimsa on the mat.
We all know we can try new things but somehow permission to try and retreat is more palatable.
I found this quote online this morning that I taped to my computer, "Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic." -Unknown
Here's the thing- don't wait for someone randomly speaking on the radio to give you permission to try change. We can gift ourselves that all by ourselves.
Gina Greenlee wrote, “What would happen if you gave yourself permission to do something you’ve never done before? There’s only one way to find out.”