Live your best life …
How often have you heard people say, “ I wish I could change my situation but I just don’t know what to do.” They shrug their shoulders, heave a heavy sigh and accept the inevitability of the status quo. At this stage, the awareness of the positive effects of a change of mind does not register on their radar. I dare say that most of us have had some experiences in this area.
So, if changing our mind is a solution to our dilemma, what does it involve and why don’t we do it more readily?
Most of us have to be reminded that the decisions we make affect the quality of our lives, and beliefs arise from the decisions we make. For example: The decision to be successful would drive a strong belief in self and an attitude of persistence.
Becoming aware of the decision on which our belief is based, is the first step. We may not remember making a decision but a decision had to have been made in order to ‘hang’ a belief on it. Unearthing the decision may take some time and require some digging.
Secondly, we need to reassess or revise this decision; check the truth of what we are believing and either put the original decision on notice or begin dismantling the parts that no longer serve our welfare. Otherwise, our beliefs become our jailers! They have the power to limit what we do in life and curtail who we become.
Changing an outcome is as simple ( and as difficult) as changing our mind. When we think about it, it’s obvious but it’s rarely the first option to be considered especially when dealing with personal issues.
When changing our minds is difficult, there are a few things in play. Have you ever noticed how an unresolved situation keeps playing continuously in your head? Sometimes you may be partially conscious of it’s repetitive nature, other times, you may be actively looking for the stop button because the thoughts are driving you crazy. Eastern philosophy speaks of ‘monkey mind’, an incessantly chattering mind repeating thoughts over and over. When we stop and check the incessant thoughts looping through our minds, how often do we find that they are fear based or judgemental? This is a reliable indication that a belief of ours is being threatened. Some decisions have clusters of rejected qualities/behaviours/attitudes (qualities etc. that you do not like about yourself or do not recognise as aspect of yourself) that will surface and join the chatter in your head.
For example, a tense situation with a significant person in your life may have the following ‘friends’ muttering in the background:
Obligation: I have to do this. I have no other option.
Guilt: A’ good’ person would be okay with this. I have no right to be upset.
Deserve: This is all I deserve.
Resentment: I’m doing my duty but I don’t like it.
Rebellion:I’m being pushed around. What am I going to do about it?
Underneath all this stuff, is a decision. Find the decision and you are on the way to assessing the truth about your belief(s).
Facing the truth about our decisions may be challenging. For those of you who have had a brush with perfectionism ( one of my favourites) you may uncover the belief that making mistakes is just not an option. Tolerating your own mistakes is almost impossible and tolerating the mistakes of others is difficult. On investigation( doing the Truth) you realise that living up to the belief of ‘no mistakes’ is impossible. You may also realise the amount of self condemnation that accompanies this belief every time a mistake is made. At this point, put aside the temptation to make judgements about the reason for this belief in your life. The next step involves finding how perfectionism has helped you in your life. Among the ‘gifts’ of perfectionism you may find; attention to detail; efficiency; dependability; alertness; organisational ability; perseverance and a strong work ethic, all great qualities. By dropping the punishing position of ‘no mistakes’, a space is created for compassion; compassion for the imperfect nature of yourself and all other human beings.
You may even experience your body differently as a result of releasing the energy that it took to maintain perfection by keeping the ‘mistake maker’ out of sight. There may seem to be more space in your body and you will have more freedom to respond differently. The adage that- you can only give to others what you are prepared to give to yourself– proves to be true in this case. If you cannot treat yourself with compassion, the chances are that you will find it difficult to be compassionate to those close to you.
Getting to know yourself by exploring and reviewing past decisions is a worthwhile pursuit leading to more freedom in life. Remember, each decision, no matter how ill advised it seems now, was made for a valid reason but you have outgrown the need for it in its present form. The only way your consciousness has of suggesting that a change is needed is by presenting problems for you to solve.
It has been said that each upset is a ‘set up’ – set up to prompt us to examine a decision, attitude or behaviour. When we agree that a decision is true for us, then it has tremendous impact in our lives. So, when you are next upset, put aside some time to explore the terrain of that particular situation. Employ Curiosity, Sincerity, Truth and Appreciation to guide you through the hills and valleys of the terrain. Give judgement and criticism some time off. You will make amazing discoveries…..so what’s not to LOVE?????
Be kind to yourself