Step 9 | Break Beyond Roadblocks
Alo Johnston, LMFT
Licensed marriage and family therapist and writer in Los Angeles, specializing in working with the transgender, queer, and non-monogamous communities
Week three of Wondermind's Baggage Drop wraps up with Alo Johnston, LMFT leading us to reflect on the habits we stacked, and on the practical pivots we used to better align our goals with our values. We then hear some listener voicemails about their growth journeys, and how they show compassion for themselves.
Download the How to Break Through Roadblocks worksheet!
Learn more about Alo Johnston, LMFT
Check out Alo’s book Am I Trans Enough?
(BAGGAGE DROP THEME BEGINS)
ALO JOHNSTON, LMFT, HOST: Hi again! I’m Alo Johnston, and you’re listening to episode nine of Wondermind’s Baggage Drop. To everyone who’s been following along, it’s great to see you again! And for those just tuning in for the first time, it’s awesome you’re here.
You might get more out of circling back and listening to previous episodes, but you’re also totally welcome to begin where we are today.
Our first episode this week covered concrete steps to help habits stick. We talked about habit stacking, which is when we attach new good habits to existing ones, so everything gets done together, helping healthy changes feel easy.
Episode 8 took the content of episode 7 a step further. This was when we learned about another technique: habit reversal therapy. When you modify the behavior around the habit instead of replacing it with a new habit.Again, because I know you all have heard this from the other professionals who hosted Baggage Drop, compassion for yourself in this process is always key. But maybe the voicemails of others in your situation can help you understand that better than my insistence can:
[VOICE CLIP 1]: How do I show compassion? I tend to just be very OK with just relaxing and I feel like some of my friends punish themselves for watching TV, but that makes me feel relaxed. So a bath, literally cuddling with my dog on a couch, like that. That does it for me.
[VOICE CLIP 2]: I like to try and talk to myself as I would talk to my younger self. When you see your younger self in your mind, you don't want them to be going through any pain. And also just trying to ask myself what I need in the moment, even if I'm trying to push through really hard.
[VOICE CLIP 3]: Just being more positive in the way I talk to myself and being kind to myself on the days that you don't reach your goal, and then using that as a motivating factor rather than a negative.
[VOICE CLIP 4]: I just go to my happy place for a minute and then I get back to it.
[VOICE CLIP 5]: Just being around people who will help you and motivate you, and keep you going.
[VOICE CLIP 6]: Me personally, honestly, I kinda call my mother. My mother has always been my backbone. No matter what I do, she always supports me through thick and thin. It could literally be anything and my mom is going to support me on that, so I call my mom.
[VOICE CLIP 7]: I definitely treat myself to certain things, definitely movies. Sometimes I go out, have a few drinks, eat some junk food. Nothing too out of the normal, but definitely something that's I guess, picks up the dopamine levels a little bit.
[VOICE CLIP 8]: Meditation. I focused on meditation, mindfulness, breathing most of the time, and surrounding myself with friends that went through the same.
[VOICE CLIP 9]: I try to read some scripture every morning, and that just sets the tone for the day and adjusts my attitude to a good place, and helps me remember what's really important for me. And that's just my connection to a higher power.
[VOICE CLIP 10]: I would just like to remind myself that the universe has a bigger plan for me, and don't get bogged down in the minor details. Look at a big picture that where I want to be going and how I want to be getting there. And take a negative moment, turn it into a learning moment.
[VOICE CLIP 11] Sometimes when I'm really feeling down and dragged, I go back to the start your day with little successes, like I'll make my bed. That's the first thing. All right, that gets me rolling. And then plus, when I'm really down, I like to be outside. So, I guess in short, for me, just getting outside, getting fresh air, change your scenery a little bit. Even if it's something you always do, go out there and enjoy. Get a little sunshine and a little air.
(BAGGAGE DROP THEME BEGINS)
JOHNSTON: Wow. First of all, those were enlightening. Thank you all for sharing.
Now, just like every previous Friday, there’s no exercise with this episode. Keep up with the work you’ve already been doing. And if you want a bit more for the weekend, Wondermind has linked a worksheet on habits in the show notes. Check that out!
And that’s my week hosting Baggage Drop! You’ve all done an amazing job getting this far. Reward yourself for showing up and trying. Now I’m passing hosting to my colleague Dr. Nina Polyné. She’ll be hosting next week’s episodes that will pick up where we concluded today.
NINA POLYNÉ, PHD: Hi everyone, I’m excited to share some tips with you on motivation and maintaining healthy habits.
JOHNSTON: You’ll love Nina. She’s a bright light to help celebrate the last week of all your hard work. But before I go, if you wanted to hear more from me, you can find me at @thetranstherapist on Instagram and there’s a link to my new book in the show notes. This has been a great third week. You’re putting in the tough work now so the changes you incorporate into your life feel easy moving forward. Go into the weekend proud of yourself, and keep it up! Tune in Monday for the next installment of Baggage Drop.
Senior Producer: Marisa Bramwell
Senior Writer: Amy Thompson
Producer: Jennifer Bassett
Producer: Pia Glenn
Audio Engineer: Joel Edinberg
Music: Epidemic Sound
Wondermind does not provide medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Any information published on this website orby this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice or a substitute for the advice of a professional, and you should not rely on it. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health