So, I did a random scan of the web on habit-forming and habit-breaking, and the web is also all over the place. The source of the 21-day myth apparently comes from a 1960 study about how long it takes people to adjust to the loss of a limb. Hmmmm. I’m not sure I’d ever get adjusted to that.
A more recent study , posits that it takes 66 days. A big, interesting blog devoted entirely to this topic, Zen Habits, unscientifically suggests going for 30 days as a way to give yourself a good start.
Since it’s fun, I searched “trusting” and got everything from self-help books, to legal financial documents to fixing brakes (trust being a key concept there, I would imagine).
Next I tried “trusting in life” and got more self-help books and lots of other people’s attempt on how to do what I am doing. One in particular, gratefulness.org, had this beauty, which moves trust, essentially a concept, straight into action: “Deep trust in life is not a feeling but a stance that you deliberately take.”
I know all these timelines are gimmicky, including my little endeavor here. Being over 50, before now I’ve also searched, studied, participated and found solutions for dealing with essential inner anxiety. The thing I’m seeing is that even with daily practices, like meditation, readings, support groups, over time, I lose whatever bedrock I’d found. Or life changes, or I evolve, or something inside needs something more. The pithy quote I found last year that carried me for a while isn’t carrying me today. My brain and soul look for new avenues, just like I need to eat several hours after being full.
That depresses me in one way, because I feel so handicapped at times by anxiety. Let’s just take a big swig of “Fear-B-Gone!”.
But I’m having a great time doing this blog, and 21 days of this intense focus is luxury enough. I also see that the content of my anxiety is different that it was last year or 10 years ago. Perhaps that’s why it keeps coming back. Pre-teens, middle-age, health issues, money, work — all of these have a different sheen than they did a while back. I’m in training here to adapt my foundation as life changes.
This post is part of a series of posts on trust, based on the 21-Day Salutes originated by blogger Colleen Wainwright. The intention is to write daily to help shift a habit. Originally, she had been told that it takes 21 days of new behavior to change a habit. She has since found out that it is apparently takes much longer. Oh well….