Every few months the cleaning bug seems to hit me, and I start a massive purging of the stuff I’ve managed to accumulate over the days and months.
During one of these deep cleaning sessions, I found a box of journals I’d kept. I began flipping through journals from several years ago, and realized even though time had passed I hadn’t really changed all that much.
I decided then and there I didn’t want to let more time to pass without growing. I didn’t want to just be going through the motions of pretending to do better. I had been reading all the best personal development books, but realized very little had really changed in my life.
There was a brief moment of failure that flashed through my mind as I realized I had spent months and even years reliving the same heartbreak or the same struggle. What a waste of precious time. I began to wonder if I could actually change?
I was doing the same things day after day, yet expecting different results (reminds me a little of my time as a chronic dieter too…), for the first time, I’d seen I was basically just pretending to ‘do the work’. You can’t read a book, go to a seminar, buy a course and expect to be different. You must dig in-deep, and do the work. This lesson applies to nearly every area of your life. It’s not enough to just show up. First you show up, then you do the work.
At one point or another, you’ve probably heard the saying “You can’t do the same thing and expect things to be different”, yet time and time again we find ourselves trying that same strategy.
Here’s the thing though, you won’t solve your problems with the same thinking and behavior that created those problems.
For me, during this deep cleaning sesh, I was forced to confront myself in a way I don’t think I ever had. A new sense of self-awareness emerged. Ultimately, it was that self awareness that was the key to sparking actual change in my life.
Look at the bigger picture
The first step I took was back. I had to get a bird’s eye view of what I had been doing, and how I had been going about ‘it’ (in this case it was personal development, but for you the ‘it’ might be weight loss, might be creating boundaries around your time, etc). What was working about it, what wasn’t?
Instead of the outside in approach–simply utilizing strategies or reading more books, I needed to take an inside out approach. I had to take a hard look at my behaviors (despite what I might had been telling myself) and my values.
Subconsciously there was a disconnect between what I was truly believing and what I was doing. The way I was acting wasn’t supporting the things I said I wanted.
It’s like telling yourself this time will be different, but taking the same approach.
You can’t just change the method, you have to also change yourself–the way you think, what you believe, and then what you do.
Let’s be real though, behaviors and thoughts are hard to change. There are times we find ourselves slipping back into that old way of thinking or doing things. We have to be vigilant to guard our minds the old patterns.
Instead of looking at this as something with a finish line, take the posture of practice. Show up daily looking for ways you can practice following through, showing up, and growing.
Once I found the disconnect, I was able to create connection between what I said and what I did. Creating alignment between what I said I wanted and what I was doing to actually create the change I wanted to see allowed me to live with integrity. Which ultimately led to more confidence and self-respect.
I wish you could grasp what it’s felt like to go from being unaware and pretending to self aware and actually doing. That alone was a huge boost to my confidence. I mean, you can experience it for yourself too. By becoming more self aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions you are able to decide whether or not you’re acting in line with the woman you want to be or not.
Action is what creates results. We don’t get results from pretending. We get results from actually digging in and doing the hard work, and calling your own bluff.
PS. Ready to do things differently, but not quite sure where to start? I got you. Start doing life The Strong[HER] Way by doing life a little differently. Get strategies, tools, and find community by signing up below.