Why it is so hard to change
The main reason it took me so long to change from negative to positive is because I refused to do the things suggested in the many books I read. I just didn't want to them. I was too cool to do affirmations. Too lazy to put any real thought into a gratitude practice. Too afraid of my own feelings to write down my goals and dreams and actually work toward them. It wasn't until I read "You are a badass" by Jen Sincero when she said; "yes, you will feel silly and uncomfortable doing this stuff at first but so what? Just try it and if you find it's not for you then go back to your crappy life." It seemed silly to not try after that challenge, huh? So I did. And everything changed.
But why do we hold on to our old beliefs so hard? Why does it feel so impossible to make real changes in our lives? Because our brain and ego are there in an attempt to protect us from the unknown. That's why. Even when we are unhappy in the life we need there is an expectation of what to come and our brain does everything it can to keep things status quo because that is usually what is best for our survival. But there is a big difference between living for survival and living fulfilled. Am I right? The goal is not to get safely to death. The goal is to live the best possible life we can possibly can. And I can tell you this. Once I finally got over myself and tried all the things that were suggested I do for a better, happier life everything changed. And I will never go back to that old crappy life. And I'm pretty sure you won't want to either.
I'm reading a book called "How to do the work" by Dr. Nicole LePera (the holistic psychologist). Follow her in Instagram. Really, go do it now! In the book she talks about how the brain and ego and how they are constantly working with the main goal of keeping us safe. She says; "The ego works to keep us living within familiar narratives because, though often painful, they are predictable. The predictable, as we know, feels safer than the uncertainty of the unknown." So in essence we are expecting different results by doing the same things over and over again. And we all know that is the definition of insanity. If we want a different life, we have to get over our fear and do different things.
She goes on to say; "Our ego is staunchly attached to its opinions and believe we ARE our opinions. The ego interprets any disagreement or criticism as a direct threat to our very existence." This right here is why it is so hard to let go of what we think about ourselves and break out of those habits and routines that aren't serving us. Not only is it difficult to break out of our old patterns...it's really brave! We are daring to believe we are can be better than we currently are and are willing to do what it takes, including our brain and ego screaming at us to stop, in order to live a better, more fulfilling life.
It's been said over and over again how hard change is. Now we can see that even our own brain is literally working against us to stop us from improving our lives out of fear of the unknown. Once you start breaking out of those old habits you will see how different and how wonderful life can truly be on a regular basis. Not just on holidays or special occasions. Every damn day.
Start with that gratitude practice. 3 to 5 things written down everyday that you are grateful for from the past 24 hours. Then, start those affirmations. Write them down and read them if it makes you feel more comfortable about it but do them. Write down your goals and dreams and map out a plan to get yourself there. Don't settle for a life less than you are capable of. Fear can feel very real and it has stopped you in the past. But not anymore. Because now we know it is just our ego trying to protect us. Now we can move forward with the knowledge that we can go through some minor discomfort in order to achieve a much greater life.
Follow Jen Sincero's words like I did. Just try. If you find you don't like it then go back to your crappy life. But it's worth a shot, right? If I hadn't tried, I certainly wouldn't be 'The Hopefulist" today. I would still be the Hopeless. Sad but true. I don't want to see that happen to you. And the whole point of my doing this is to prove to anyone that after 40 + years of pessimism I am happy every single day. Living my best life and looking forward to each day. Doesn't that sound great? That is what I want for you. So, let's get ready to do the work!
Your homework for this week is to get to that gratitude journal is you are not already doing it. Identify and write down the fears you have about changing the way you think about yourself. Start telling yourself that you can make all your dreams come true. And give yourself a high 5 in the mirror when you see one! You can do it. It's actually fun!
If you liked todays episode please leave me a review or share my post on social media. I will be most grateful and put you down in my gratitude journal.
Have a fantastic week. I'll be checking in with you on social media and there may even be a giveaway this week. Stay tuned. Now to on out there and be badass! I'm always here, cheering you on.