The New Normal - how to embrace new situations


When I tell people the name of my company, they usually like it and then they ask "what does it mean?". As it says on my website, Chitta is all the mindstuff that we accumulate over the course of our lives. They are patterns that can become hardwired in our brains, that pertain to physical aspects as well as emotional and psychological behaviours that can take a long time to change.

The easiest way people can relate to this concept, would be the exposure to a new situation, a new job, a new relationship, public speaking, networking, or impending motherhood. All these situations initially make us uneasy, maybe a little nervous and in some cases panicked.

I used to be and sometimes still am, that person. Speaking up in meetings had me flushed and nervous for the whole day leading up to it. I would try and tap my foot, squeeze my knee, breathe and anticipate when it was my turn and somehow it didn't get easier.

When I developed the concept for Chitta Wellness, my big petpeeve was the promises that we are often given these days, that one particular thing will make that anxiety vanquish, poof, it will be gone. But that's not true, in fact, it's impossible. Confident people aren't born, they are made. How do we even know that that person is truly feeling confident? It takes changing perceived adverse situations into a routine - a no biggie kind of situation - to break the pattern and be easy while doing it.

While my company slowly grew, I grew with it. Now when I say to someone "breathe", I mean it, I hope I can convey it and I try and say it during workouts when I can sense the person's biggest aversion, unease and the time when they want to quit on me.

I have found that positive encouragement and distraction are far more effective than a stony expression, strict counting down or god forbid, yelling. "I want the word 'plank' to not evoke fear in me anymore" someone said to me today. Well guess what, I want that too for you, and it has happened for many. Clients who used to wheeze and struggle, don't second-guess or bemoan the number of repetitions I tell them to do in an exercise that only 2 months earlier they couldn't even get into.

That's routine. That's the new normal. That's the new you.

Here are three pieces of advice how to create the new normal in any situation that you would like to change:

  1. Ease into it slowly and take it one step at a time. Don't expect crazy results from yourself. Baby steps.
  2. Expect setbacks and accept them as part of the journey. Beating yourself up about it will most likely make you regress.
  3. Celebrate breakthroughs, even when they are small and particularly when you have overcome your problem. And then set your eyes on your next goal. Life would be boring if we didn't challenge ourselves a little bit here and there.

I've been able to get many of my anxiety provoking situations under control but there are still situations that make me extremely nervous. I now apply some strategies that have helped me previously to tackle new challenges and remind myself to breathe through them.

I would love to hear your story. Good luck!