No – one will change the way they think, act and live, if they don’t feel the need to. Even if they appear to be their own worst enemy, even when others are telling them that they SHOULD change, even when life keeps on delivering the same old s**t, if they aren’t ready to change, they won’t.
I know of two people who were told, by doctors, that unless they gave up the drink and the cigarettes they would die, sooner than they needed to. Even the threat of death wasn’t enough to convince them that change might be worth the effort. And sadly, the doctors were right.
For most of us, change is not a matter of life or premature death. But life itself can flatline, and we can end up living in a kind of luke – warm mist, more influenced by selected memories of the past, than by the possibilities of the here – and – now, and the future.
And I say ‘selected’ memories of the past, because we do not remember everything in context, and neither are all of our memories, good or bad, absolutely accurate. We remember the shape and form of the circumstances that had a lot of emotion behind them, be it positive or negative, and we can re – visit them so often that the brain believes we are STILL experiencing them, and continues to respond as if we ARE. We don’t remember stuff from the past that affected us strongly, in a detached and neutral kind of way……oh no, we remember, and we respond, with definite emotion, and we ‘feel’ the experience within our body! Of course, no – one could expect us to be completely unaffected by our past……we don’t just forget everything we’ve experienced, continuously moving on to the next thing, and the next, and the next, like robots. And there IS stuff we don’t consciously remember, but even that is filed away within our subconscious mind, sometimes continuing to influence us, and so nothing is ever completely ‘gone’.
But is it possible that it doesn’t have to be this way? Sadly, every person I have come across who has been living a muted, emotionally low – energy life, with a tendency towards defensiveness, and who consistently feels anxious, is (consciously or unconsciously) re – visiting the parts of their past that caused them pain, more often than they are feeling the possibilities of the present time and the future. And those who dismissively say “Oh, I’ve dealt with all of THAT!”, whilst clearly continuing to struggle emotionally, to put up a defensive wall against every perceived intrusion, are still being affected by whatever THAT is……or at least their memory of it. None of this is wrong, or bad……it isn’t a crime! But IS a shame. It is sad that we can be prevented from stepping into the next episode of our life, by the constant re – runs we have already seen a thousand times.
There is another problem. We aren’t always honest. We develop a way of talking, we create an image that we project into the outer world, we build a facade…….and we ‘forget’ about the reality of our inner world (the place where our personal reality can always be found……the sanctuary of our actual, deep – seated beliefs), and we think we’ve sorted it, that the world believes our fabrication. In fact, WE can come to believe it, too, at a superficial level. The problem is, there are ripples below the surface, and our inner world doesn’t just shut up and put up……..it causes disturbance and keeps looking for new ways to escape. And THAT leads to a lot of emotional confusion, to highs and lows, to contradictions in our own thinking and in our choices, and to the belief that we need to defend ourselves. It isn’t a great place to be, and no – one genuinely feels good there. Yet it is absolutely possible to BE in that place, whilst claiming to be “happy enough with my life!”…..because we don’t believe we CAN change, or we don’t know HOW to change!
So, what if we decide that we DO want to change, that staying put is no longer a bearable, acceptable option? What if we understand that we can’t wait for the world to change, that if we want to feel better, we have to begin with our own inner world? What if we accept that, even though the circumstances of our life may have been unfair, unjust, hard and uncompromising, we still have the power to not allow them to dictate how we approach every new day of our life? What if we actually commit to change, rather than merely paying lip service, whilst allowing our attitude and actions to remain the same? WHAT IF?
Then we start here!
1) We have to pinpoint exactly what we want to change. It doesn’t matter right now whether or not we we can see HOW change can come about, we only need to identify what the change needs to be. This can be overwhelming, it can be uncomfortable, and we can be tempted to edit or justify or defend. DON’T give in to your ego, which will be trying to keep you ‘safe’ (ego doesn’t like change)……keep going! Write down everything that comes to you, so that you have it in black and white, preventing you from becoming muddled, and forgetting some of it.
2) Prioritise. List the changes to be made in order of importance. We can only do one thing well enough at a time, and change is hard enough without biting off more than we can chew!
3) Focus on the three changes that top the list, and talk to yourself about them. Why are they important? How do they need to change, and what do they need to change into? How will your life be different, if those changes are implemented?
4) Don’t let dull thinking, an under – used imagination, a lazy mind, stop you in your tracks! Push through the “I don’t knows”, the frustration and the resistance……come up with SOMETHING, and don’t stop until you do!
5) Take the first thing on the list, and take one action, no matter how small. And then take another. And then another.
For example, it might be that you want to feel less negative. So, commit to hearing the most consistent conversation you have with yourself, and change it. If you find yourself going over the fact that your mother always favours your sister, or that your father left when you were a child, or your ex lied and cheated, or that you aren’t being appreciated at work, shift your mind away from the subject, onto something more productive. And if you have to do it a hundred times a day, so be it. What you will be doing is re – programming your brain to create some new neural connections, allowing your mind to respond differently. This works, I promise you. It is a tool I have used many times, and I have healed myself of some pretty painful thought processes, which in turn led me to feel better physically. And the knock – on effect was that my attitude changed, the energy field from which I operated became more ‘attractive’, drawing more positive situations and results into my life. It’s a start, and a very important one.
6) Don’t get caught up in the wrongs and the rights. Somethings just are, or they can’t be changed, or they belong to the past and so now are dead air. Don’t waste time fighting battles you cannot possibly win, or enter into only out of anger. If there is an actual injustice you NEED to address, that makes sense to address, then approach it in an empowered way. Be honest about your motivation, and your intentions! No good pretending that you are tackling something for the greater good, when your actual motivation is revenge or bitterness! You will just tear holes in your own energy field that may never fully heal.
7) Come from a place of ENERGY! I have been surprised and baffled by the huge number of people I come across who are intelligent, and functioning, but who operate from an energy field with all the deliciousness of luke – warm, watery custard! I am asked about future relationships by people who are absolutely not aligned with the energy of a warm, communicative, mutually supportive partnership. Their mindset, beliefs and actions are not running in line with what they say they want. I am asked about potential job opportunities by those who have no idea what it is they are aiming at achieving, and who are investing no time or energy in working it out, and who are more focused on ‘security’, and keeping within their comfort zone. Others ask me “When will I be happy”, or “When will my finances improve?”, or “Will I stay her, go there, do this, or that……?” Give the Great Creative Force Of Life something juicy and solid to work with! I CAN help people to find their footing, and have done so, many times, but I have often had to battle through a a barricade of ‘yes buts’, ‘reasons’ and defences, before reaching the place from which the effective work can be done. And sometimes I don’t manage to reach that place……even God would probably struggle…..and have held up my hands in defeat (and relief!). As I said at the beginning, no – one has to change if they don’t want to. Change has its own form of energy, and real change will not come about without being aligned with that energy!
8) Create your own buzz of energy! I am not talking about being falsely positive, or manic, I am talking about interest, enthusiasm, and connection. Disinterest, detachment and apathy are killers of the kind of energy that is positively and productively attractive. It is possible to have problems in life (most of us are never completely problem free, at any given moment), yet still able to feel pleasure and curiosity. But if our head is in the same old place, thinking the same old stuff, creating the same old feelings, we will be operating from the same old low – energy bunker. And we will only resonate with those who already exist there, leading us to feed off one another. Doesn’t sound like a place anyone would willingly want to frequent, does it?
9) Accept that change is all about creating new habits, and be determined, consistent and patient. When you are struggling, imagine the place you intend to be, the way you intend to feel, the reward you are working for…..the reason you are changing! Slipping up is fine……giving up and sliding backwards is not!
10) You may have some pretty big problems to face, such as a genuinely unhealthy relationship, no money, and no immediate support. You can STILL begin the process of change, even if you can’t fix everything immediately. You may not be sure as to whether or not you want to stay in the relationship, and so need more time to figure it out. Start with yourself, step by step, day by day. Find ways of responding, rather than reacting. It may be that your partner is also struggling, and ultimately responds positively to the changes within you. It may be that your partner fights against you, as you change and the relationship cannot be healed (of course, if the relationship is violent, none of this applies…..get out of there as soon as you can!). Start somewhere, and keep going, even if at first it feels pointless. I promise you again, this works. I was once sinking so fast, in a dreadful relationship, with problems piling up above my head, the only way seemed to be down. But we either sink or swim, and in my case I did the crawl through some very dark, muddy water……and although it took time, I did start to find myself in slightly warmer, clearer streams, which eventually fed out into a river, and then into an ocean. And yes, there were a few sharks along the way, but I built upon every little change I made, and found me a nice piece of dry land! Start where you are at, and take one genuine step after another, for as long as it takes.
11) Seek out those who are have something of worth to share with you……..those who can prove that change IS possible. Look for inspiration, motivation, encouragement, education and enlightenment, and absorb it. Use it as a buffer against your old, restrictive beliefs, and against those who will never leave the swamp, even if a hundred helping hands were offered. Don’t just read twee, spiritual and motivational quotes, whilst carrying on with in the same old way……you might as well not bother. Make it real, your quest for change, and fight apathy and and helplessness with every ounce of your being! There is an endless supply of free, inspirational, motivational and encouraging information out there, so don’t become bogged down by a routine that is not allowing any form of growth……seek and ye shall find!
My own life has required a huge amount of change….my work is about change, about becoming more fulfilled, more personally empowered…..more free! Don’t just passively look for answers……use insights and guidance to enhance your thinking, your decision – making, and your ability to shape and form your own destiny!#positivechange