In coaching, we have a phrase that goes something like this: “Did you just hero such-in-such?” Or “Did you just hero yourself or that situation?”
Heroing is the act of saving something or someone from something. Often, heroing is the act of providing relief, saving yourself or someone from discomfort.
We hero ourselves quite often throughout the day. For instance, I notice that I’ll do a hard task for 10-15 minutes and then I reward myself with checking my phone (gotta get that dopamine hit from some random notification)--I create relief to what was perhaps a stressful situation or a situation of intense thought. Not all that bad, but a hero move nonetheless.
Or, after a hard day’s work that has some element of stress to it, I may hero myself with a beer or a glass of wine. You know, just to take the edge off the day. A hero move.
Another hero move may be vegging out in front of the TV for a couple of hours so I don’t have to think about that awful phone call I need to make….I put it off. I give myself some relief.
Hero moves relieve pressure, but pressure is our friend. Pressure helps us deal with what needs to be dealt with. If we relieve the pressure then we don’t need to deal with the issue at hand. We simply delay the issue, sometimes so successfully heroing the situation that we never deal with it!
At the end of the day, the month, the year or *gasp* a decade, I could have set out with the best of intentions, but I could easily look back, see little or no change, and understand how I heroed myself through an entire period.
For example, I have noticed a pattern that it takes me two years to accomplish a goal. In year one, I set the goal with the intention to attain it. This year, I set the goal of living my Perfect Day once a week. Living a Perfect Day on a routine basis is not easy! It can actually create a little discomfort in one’s life. And guess what? I heroed myself out of that goal consistently. I found things to do, reasons why I couldn’t create time and space for myself and appointments that went on the calendar to keep me from living that perfect day. Spppfffffffff! Like a fresh can of tennis balls opening, I can hear the pressure being released now even as I write this! I’m too busy, I’m so important, other people need me that I can’t possibly take that much time for myself on a routine basis! Hero, Hero, Hero! I’m now heading into year two of this goal, and I’m going to leverage pressure to change.
If you want to change, stop relieving the pressure. Ghandi is attributed with the quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Likewise, you must be the change you wish to see in yourself. Be aware of how you hero yourself to keep you from changing, and choose to not hero yourself so you can change.