I’ve been trying to write this blog about change all morning. I have been stopping and starting a feeling like it wasn’t working. So I stopped for a minute and went to Pinterest for some inspiration (and not at all distraction) and came across this quote – the first step to change is to become aware of your own bullshit.
That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to articulate.
It’s amazing how often we try to make real change by force of will alone and then wonder why it doesn’t stick.
It doesn’t stick because we have all kinds of ingrained beliefs about who we are and how we need to behave in order to belong, to be loved and to be part of the tribe. These beliefs are usually passed onto us from our parents and other adults around us when we were young, older siblings, teachers, aunties and uncles, who got them from their elders and it goes down the generations.
It’s often little things that are said to us that get stuck. Getting told off for not eating all of our dinner maybe, or being told to stop crying and grow up – things that all of us have heard at some time or another and some of it we’ve taken to heart. You never know what’s going to stick as a belief and what isn’t. Until you start on the journey to finding out what they are for you, you never know. Most of us will go our entire life without getting to the bottom of each of them. We’re all a work in progress.
What I am not doing here is blaming anyone. If parents worried all the time about whether what they were about to say is going to “mess up” their children they would never get anything done. Remember that you have a load of beliefs that have built you into a kind, intelligent, wonderful person as well and these came from the same people.
But now that we are adults, it’s our own responsibility to check out the gunk that’s holding us back for ourselves and work with it, change it, or let it go. We own it. It’s our own bullshit. And as I quoted at the top of this article, the first step to change is becoming aware of it.
You’ll struggle to talk your way to a solution here – you’re unlikely to be conscious of the belief that’s keeping you stuck. If you were conscious of it, you’d have changed it already.
Once you find the piece of the puzzle, be grateful for that belief or that pattern of behaviour. It stuck with you because, at one time, it was the perfect solution to keep you safe. But the solution you came up with as a young child is no longer suitable for you as an adult, you can come up with far better solutions now if you give yourself the chance.