I am a Hypnotherapist, and see several clients a day, and all day long I help my clients to get over negative behaviours, addictions and change their unhealthy patterns.
BUT, I have a dark secret to confess… In the seven years I have been a hypnotherapist, I myself have been hiding something – a personal behaviour that is not healthy …I have my own unhealthy addiction that I really did not ever want to own up to or most certainly want anyone else <especially my clients> to ever know about.
I was really worried that if I ever admitted my own unhealthy addiction out loud, how would I ever be able to call myself a credible hypnotherapist ever again… and surely if my clients found out, they would all be so horrified to find out that their very own hypnotherapist was harbouring her own secret addiction!
Having said all that, I think NOW is the time. It’s time for me to CONFESS! …I have thought about this long and hard, and even with my credibility potentially going down the toilet, I have decided that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, and I will spill the beans, and literally own up, and admit out loud that…
I literally have a whole massive walk in wardrobe neatly stuffed from top to bottom with half my seasonal clothes and shoes. (Where is the OTHER half, I hear you ask in shock) Well, that’s an easy answer… It’s all under my bed! – So, at the moment, the Autumn/Winter collection is all out on beautiful display – clothes, outerwear and shoes and all my Spring/Summer and Holiday wear is all under my bed, neatly folded up in squidgy vacuum bags… Oh, and my 48 pairs of flip flops and sandals are in a nice plastic see-through box. It’s very organised indeed. Oh, and of course it is beautifully colour coordinated too. Every girl’s dream? Well, this is THE PROBLEM! …It should not be anybody’s dream to be consumed by consumption.
My walk in wardrobe was getting more and more full by the week as I would get sucked in by the SALES emails – the bargain, the deal, the sale, the code that would give me 20% off for that day only… with the suggestion to buy “just one more” black turtleneck or the “made for you” leopard print dress… Maybe another pair of knee high boots, because 6 pairs is just simply not enough. Perhaps I also need some more jeans in all the denim colours on offer, dark denim, light wash, and also distressed would be good too.
What I then realised was that I was getting distressed as well, as I seemed to be negatively hypnotised by my own mindless over consumption as my wardrobe was getting jam-packed, so was my mind. Not only that, my bank balance was definitely taking a hit.
I knew it was getting to be a serious problem when I ordered items and immediately forget what I had bought. Packages would arrive and I actually wouldn’t remember (or keep up with) what was going to be contained in that box, that day…
I also realised my addiction was getting out of control, when I immediately ripped off the labels and tags and shoved the piece of clothing nicely in the relevant section of my walk in wardrobe, making it seem like the item had always lived there <secret stashing = NOT GOOD> …My mental thought process went something like this “Dipti, you work really hard, you run your own business single handedly, you earn all your money yourself and you really, really do deserve these lovely things… Just go ahead and treat yourself…“
So, I decided to STOP! …I set myself an interesting personal CHALLENGE! I challenged myself to STOP SHOPPING FOR 365 DAYS! So, no more secretive online visits or real life trips to ANY shops to buy myself any more clothes or shoes for a WHOLE YEAR! Yep, a whole year. That’s 365 Days of NO SHOPPING (for myself) AT ALL!
As I write this blog, I am 36 days into my challenge, and so far I have managed to resist all temptation. I have successfully managed to get through the Black Friday Weekend, as well as two shopping trips with my boyfriend (because he needed to buy some stuff for himself). I have not opened any of the usual retail marketing emails that have persistently landed in my inbox (which I have now unsubscribed from). It’s been really difficult, and I’m not going to pretend it is easy… it has caused me to break into a nervous sweat on the odd occasion, especially over the Black Friday weekend, but I have coped, and I have not given in!
I think it is really important to notice when things are not right in your life. This challenge has highlighted for me that I really did finally need to address this ‘secret’ – but for so many years I was kidding myself and making up excuses for my unhealthy habit. This is unfortunately a strange protective human instinct we have to defend and deny our behaviours – so we can stay ‘safe’ and have that self validity – but actually, when we do own up to our demons, and our shadows – we can shine a light on them and then we can sort them out and get over them! So, I feel really liberated and excited about the next 329 days. Every time I get an urge to buy and resist it, I give myself a clap! I am my own audience (you are also part of the audience now too!!)
I had to think really long and hard about how I would be able to stick to this challenge… So, I came up with a bit of a genius ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN! …I know that if I say something to myself, I will stick to it with roughly 80% commitment, but I needed to cultivate the extra 20% to really make me sure that I will to stick to this challenge and be fully accountable. So, I came up with this idea of HOW I could guarantee success…
I confessed on Twitter:
The local BBC Radio station picked up on my tweet and have asked if they can follow and track my progress for the year! Anna King, the mid morning presenter came to interview me in my walk in wardrobe and you can listen to the interview below – this is actually a brilliant bit of good luck for me because it does mean that I have my accountability sorted and in my mind, I REALLY HAVE TO DO THIS NOW! …I CANNOT POSSIBLY GIVE IN!
As you can see, I’m not using my own individual and potentially unreliable self control, or relying on my own pot of <wavering> determination and unpredictable personal will power. I am actually using the forceful power of social accountability. I have put my challenge out to the planet, with the tweet, the youtube video, the radio interview and now this blog, and I am super confident that with the great Jedi power of the internet, radio, youtube and my own social media following, this will be force enough to keep me on the right track and encourage me to stay motivated for the next 329 days, and who knows – by the end of this, I may never shop ever again!!! <Now, that WOULD be a miracle!>