Getting advice is helpful, but acting on it…meh, not so much…
This post comes to you from our newest contributor, Kate Mack.
The most frustrating thing is wanting to change, trying to change, willing to change…and pfph. Nothing. As a fully formed adult, it’s blatantly apparent with each passing year that change is hard. But the good news is…it’s completely and realistically possible. So how?
I’ve never been the type of girl to linger around the self-help section of the book store. It always felt like that was reserved for sad, lonely people at the end of their ropes. Numbly walking through the aisles, scanning the book titles with dead eyes. But recently someone put a book in my hands called The Tools and told me, “read it.”
Here’s what I learned…
Don’t just think — visualize.
Getting advice is helpful, but acting on it…meh, not so much. Like I said, change is hard, and without some sort of tangible plan of action, feels just out of reach. “Change your attitude!” people may tell you, but an attitude can’t control behavior. It’s limited to the thoughts in your head. As the book says, “To control behavior, you need a specific procedure to use at a specific time to combat a specific problem.”
Here are some ways to do that…
We all have a comfort zone: it makes us feel safe, we know what to expect from it, there is no anxiety in this all-familiar place. Maybe you retreat into your comfort zone when you have an opportunity to take on a higher-stakes position at work (and you decline because of fear of failure); or your comfort zone means huddling in a circle of people you know (rather than awkwardly engaging in a conversation with someone new). “Your comfort zone isn’t a physical place, it’s a way of life that allows you to avoid anything painful.” If you stay there, it keeps your life small.
*See the pain in front of you as a cloud. Scream silently “BRING IT ON!” Feel an intense desire to move into the cloud.
*Scream silently “I LOVE PAIN!” as you move through the cloud and feel one with the pain
*You’ll feel the cloud push you out and close behind you. Say to yourself “PAIN SETS ME FREE!”
Do this repeatedly until the pain turns into energy. And now, instead of avoiding pain, you feel ready to face it. Once you break through that wall, you’ll get to the other side where the possibilities are endless!
Think about a time when someone hurt your feelings. Maybe you had a fight with your boyfriend and he did something just to spite you. Maybe your boss or your client did something that was completely unfair and frustrating at work. Or maybe there’s someone in your social circle who just rubs you the wrong way, and you find yourself consumed with anger every time they’re around. The person who has “wronged” you becomes your obsession and you can’t get them out of your head. You might be justified in your feelings but it doesn’t matter. You’re damaging yourself by not getting over it.
Life will not always be fair. And as long as you hold onto feelings of wrongdoing, you’re giving power over to someone else. When faced with this situation, follow these steps:
*Feel your heart expand to take in all the infinite love around you, like you’re surrounded by warm liquid. Now feel your heart contract back to normal size with all that love inside your chest.
*Send the love from your chest to the other person. Hold nothing back.
*Don’t just watch, feel it enter the other person and notice a sense of oneness with them. Then relax, and feel all the energy you gave away return to you.
By doing this, you’ll eventually feel less intimidated, more accepting of others, and in control of your emotions.
+ How do you fight your inner roadblocks? Let us know your ways to self-love below!
For more inspiration and techniques, read “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels.