I Am Not the Kind of Person Who Does ThatJan 03, 2023
“I think you need a daily meditation practice.” This was the advice my friend Jeff gave me four years ago. I was sharing with him how stressed I felt and how lousy my sleep was. He immediately suggested a meditation app that he found very beneficial.
“You know me well enough to know that I’m not the kind of person who does that,” I responded immediately.
While I appreciated his guidance, I had already decided long ago that I was too high-strung and too Type A to ever have the patience to meditate. Jeff asked me to trust him and try it. And he reminded me that he’s as high strung and Type A as me.
Jeff was right: According to my Calm app, I have meditated for 1,367 hours and 40 minutes since that day. While it’s not an every day routine for me, I try to meditate for 10 minutes four or five times a week. It grounds me. In that small block of time, really creative ideas come to mind. And my blood pressure is markedly lower since then, according to my doctor.
But until Jeff’s insistence, I was a hard no for meditation.
The same holds true for journaling. For years, I actually said out loud, “I’m not the kind of person who journals” when anyone suggested it. But as time went on, I started to see similarities among people who journal: high achievers, successful entrepreneurs, and people confident in who they are, what they want, and where they are going.
In January 2019, my business partner Jessica suggested that I try Bullet Journaling and bought me the book that explains the method. She said, “it’s not like regular journaling. It’s a way to help you track lists and goals and streaks. Plus you can use color and doodle on the pages and make it crafty, which you love.”
This month I will begin year four of journaling. I filled five books so far with ideas and reflections. I have had more professional and personal growth during this time than ever before in my life— and it’s all captured on those pages. I absolutely love journaling. I begin each morning looking at my list for the day. I write down what I am grateful for. I track my workouts, meditations, and sleep. I also track personal wins and the things I am proud of. I return to my journal at the end of every night to check things off my list and to feel a sense of focus and accomplishment. My paper journal has replaced all my post-its and the miscellaneous things I used to try to remember in my head. I now have one organized place to keep all those things safely. Journaling, although I resisted it for years, has become one of my favorite habits.
Are you feeling a little annoyed right now? Like you’re still not the kind of person who would do this? Yup, that was me. I get it.
Over and I over I have said that about so many things. I resisted. I was even proud for refusing to conform to popular norms and ideas and trends.
But at some point, you have to wonder, why are so many smart and successful people doing that while I am still holding out? Do they know something I don’t know?
How often do we resist change, and assume “I’m not the kind of person who does that,” without actually trying?
After so many friends switched to a plant-based diet, I still assumed that wasn’t for me (because I love bacon, and there’s no way in hell I’m giving up pizza.) Except that once I tried plant-based eating, I realized I could do this for 90% of my food choices and still make occasional exceptions. Today marks week #5 of this new way of eating. I feel better, healthier, leaner, less bloated— and once in a while still treat myself to pizza or cheese fondue.
I was also “not the kind of person” who needed an instructor on a screen telling me how to ride a stationary bike. Then at my friend’s insistence I tried a Peloton at a hotel two years ago. I was once again humbled because it turned out she was right. I’m now at 532 workouts completed and a 107 week streak. Incidentally, my legs have never been stronger.
I was “not the kind of person” who’d take supplements, drink herbal tea, or use essential oils. Check, check and check. I believed I was not the kind of person who’d get divorced (but that happened). After my divorce, I proclaimed I was not the kind of person who’d ever remarry. In fact, I held onto that ridiculous belief for almost 20 years. Yet the moment I committed and finally remarried in 2020, my life profoundly changed for the better.
Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. We are stubborn. We like to do what we do because that’s what we’ve always done.
Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? Especially given how committed we say we are to our own growth and development?
I share this with you because I know you are resisting certain things… and if you tried them, they just might make you happier and healthier, or get you out of your funk.
Are you a little uncomfortable reading this? Great. That means we’re on to something… What’s coming to mind? What’s that thing you’ve been avoiding, resisting, or holding out on and refusing to try?
What if, starting today, you became the kind of person who simply says yes?