Did you do the 5 steps from last week’s post? Have you identified the 3-5 changes you’d love to make in 2015? Did you rank them in order of difficulty? Did you make sure each one is the “right size” for taking on with a reasonable expectation of success?
If not, you may want to take a few minutes to review the first three steps before you read this article, and come up with the 3-5 changes you really feel a commitment to taking on this year.
[Hint: Don’t worry about doing it “too fast” because, just as you’re always advised to “go with your first answer” in a multiple-choice quiz, your brain will most likely give you exactly what you need to see right off the bat!]
Ok, great. Today I’m going to give you a little “prep talk” before you actually take on thinking about how to make the desired changes. It involves a combination of appreciation, forgiveness and visualization that will put you in the right mindset. It makes possible a different sort of self-awareness. that I hope you will remember any time you feel stuck and unable to move forward with your desired changes.
Prepping for Change – Becoming Clear
Part of you believes you need to change the things on your list so you can make the following statement honestly and with deep commitment:
“I’m glad I’m me, and I completely love, admire and respect myself!”
Do you notice how you feel like you’re not quite able to embrace this message at this moment in time? Most people have some version of “When I have this or fix that, then I‘ll be ready!“ getting in the way of loving themselves without reservation. The problem is, if you use that logic – which has been running constantly in the background in the past – it will never be the right moment in your life to feel good about who you are.
Write down the thoughts or beliefs about yourself that are behind the items on your “things to change” list. What does your inner voice tell you about those imperfections or flaws? Whether it’s waiting until you lose weight, get a promotion, find the right person for a relationship, stop a bad habit, or win an award, STOP! BREATHE! FOCUS!
What if who you are, just the way you are now, is exactly right? Not that you can’t go ahead and make changes that you think will make your life even better, mind you – the two are not mutually exclusive (unbeknownst to all your self-criticizing thoughts up till now!).
Take a slow deep breath, and just allow yourself to become aware of the thoughts and feelings that go through you as you try on allowing yourself to be exactly right, right now. Notice any resistance you may have, and let it go. Accept that you may not know “why it’s ok” to embrace your imperfections with love, but decide you’re going to just do it anyway, just for the sake of giving yourself that unconditional emotional hug.
Give yourself credit for this: if you had not been who you are all this time, and gone through whatever you’ve been through, you would not be reading this right now. Something brought you to this place in this moment, on the cusp of making new, exciting, positive changes in your life. Had things (and you) been any different, you wouldn’t be here, learning how to do this so that you could truly become the person you want to be. That alone is worth embracing, relishing and celebrating!
Love Who You Are, and Who You Are Becoming
So not only is it true that “who you are is enough,” it’s also true that you always have been. You don’t have to wait for that next promotion, or losing weight, or the right relationship to celebrate who you are; you can do it NOW!
Being enough means you recognize your own qualities without judgments or criticisms, both the ones you really like and the ones you don’t. You let go of the need for explanations or excuses – you own who you are, in total. Again, this doesn’t mean that you don’t care, or that it doesn’t matter, if you have habits that are hurtful or harmful, it just means that you embrace the parts of you that feel less lovable, and allow them to exist for now, because the only way to effect a change within ourselves is to work with reality. The more you love those parts of you the way they are, the more you can further mold and shape them instead of wasting energy fighting against them.
My “trick” for reminding yourself to keep this new mindset is simple: imagine you have two children ten years apart in age. You love the older child for who they’ve become, after watching their journey of growing and changing, loving them all along the way. You also love the younger child, seeing his or her potential while having compassion for the mistakes and misbehaviors at the age they are now. You know they’ll grow and mature into something even more wonderful.
It’s like that – you are both children, equally deserving of your love, wrapped into one.
In the course of the next 28 days as you create your new habits, I want you to focus on loving both versions of yourself, and knowing you really are enough, in every moment.