My approach to meeting the conflict of the voices in your head is not new or revolutionary. But because it is not complicated, it is much easier to put into practice consistently, and that is what actually creates the change you desire. Here are several key points of the process:
Slow down enough to become aware of and track your emotions and thoughts. Many of our reactions to day to day events are so automatic we aren’t really aware to the process we go through. We just find ourselves IN an uncomfortable emotion before we know what happened.
Your self-talk has a huge impact on how you feel about yourself, and most of the time you may not be aware of what you are saying to yourself. Slowing down, using your body as an anchor, and learning your own body cues, gives you the ability to catch what is happening more quickly, and therefore the ability to make a new choice instead of feeling stuck in an old reaction.
Get clear on your intentions so you know what you want to focus on instead of what you have been focusing on. It can be very revealing to find out you have been unintentionally focusing on what you don’t want rather than what you do want. Even though this step may seem basic and simple, becoming aware of what is happening on the deeper levels takes time and dedication. Clarity about what you DO want, without being too general or too specific is also important.
With support, keep practicing your new focus. We live in a facst paced culture and are used to getting results NOW. Being able to repeatedly make new choices over a period of time, before seeing the results you are eager for, is a sign of maturity, courage and strength. But it is completely unrealistic to expect you can sustain new choices alone. You need support and encouragement, and help noticing those little changes that are easy to miss but give you energy to keep going.
Celebrate the results you DO experience. Celebration often falls by the wayside as we focus on what hasn’t changed and all those changes we still want to see – yesterday! Yet it makes a huge difference in how you feel when you take the time to slow down and notice there IS some progress. Acknowledgment and celebration are extremely important to support deep, lasting change – and to realize you already have more of what you want than you thought you did.
Simplicity. All of these steps are basic and simple, almost to the point that they are easy to dismiss because we already know them, right? Yet how many of us truly show up day by day, continually making the same choices to consciously instill new habits in our way of thinking and being? We repeated the perceptions that caused us pain for years to get them deeply ingrained. Now it’s time to consciously choose our perceptions and re-condition ourselves with thoughts and ideas that truly support us.
I know I am where I am in my life because I kept showing up, day after day, no matter how discouraged I got. During some of my hardest times, I kept saying to myself, “the one thing I know for sure is how to keep showing up!” And showing up has gradually brought me uncountable gifts!
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