So here it is: I don’t always feel like meditating. There are other things I’d rather be doing. Sometimes it’s just an excuse, but sometimes the need to do something else is very real. Yet if I let this become a new daily habit, I find that the only thing holding me back from meditating is myself.
Here are some of the habits that I’ve found that can hold me back. By identifying them, I can stop them and hopefully you can as well.
#1. The Power Struggle
Instead of meditating, I could be watching Netflix. I could take a walk. I could go to the store. I could even clean the house. Instead of focusing on my breathing, I find myself thinking about many other things. Resisting this struggle makes it even worse. Try to acknowledge the thoughts and move on.
#2. I Give Myself an “F”
Do you grade your actions and decisions every day? I know I sure do. That includes grading my meditation time. If I feel like I’ve failed, then I give myself an “F.” The problem with this is that consistently bad grades make me feel like I should just give up. No one is perfect, so no meditation session will be completely perfect. Forgive and keep moving forward.
#3. Practice the Preaching
I’ve talked a lot about meditation to others over the years. Sometimes I feel like that is more important than actually meditating. Sometimes the best way to practice what is being preached is to just sit down and do it. Let others see you meditating and they can learn just as much as when you talk about meditating.
#4. That Moment of Awesomeness
That moment when I achieve total clarity is a feeling beyond compare. It’s also a dangerous trap. Not every meditation session brings clarity. If I compare those moments with my moments of complete success, it makes me feel like I’m inadequate in some way. Try to take every day as it comes and embrace what it provides to avoid the unhealthy comparisons.
#5. The Environment
The truth is that there isn’t a perfect environment for meditation. There will always be a distraction. I’ve found that purposely meditating in noisy, imperfect places can help me to avoid the distractions that can stop me when I’m in my preferred location.
#6. The Bandage
I’m feeling stressed out, so I’m going to meditate. Ever had that thought? I sure have. It’s that type of meditation that robs us of the real benefits we can achieve. Meditation is not designed to be 100% reactive. It’s a proactive stress reducing creativity enhancer.
#7. Scheduling an Agenda
Because of the benefits that meditation can provide, it’s easy to approach my meditation time with a to-do list. I might want to plan out some new content here or schedule out my evening so I have an itinerary of fun. Yet, strangely enough, these checklists hinder what meditation can accomplish because it requires judgment. I’m telling my subconscious what I think is best instead of listening to what I’m actually trying to tell myself.
There’s nothing wrong with avoiding meditation for a day or two. You can meditate in whatever way best suits you. What I’ve found is more important to focus on are the ways I hold myself back from my full potential. These are the things I’ve identified in myself. What about you? I’d love to hear about how you hold yourself back during your times of meditation and what you do to solve that issue.