Yesterday afternoon I complained to a friend via e-mail about my morning’s work which included gathering financial information to give to a consultant who I’ve retained to consolidate my accounts. After I was done grousing about that, I bemoaned the tediousness of the edits of my most recent book draft.
This morning when I woke – can you guess – I was sick at myself for bad-mouthing my first world problems. If I had no money or no completed book draft, I wouldn’t have these ‘problems.’ “Poor me,” she said sarcastically! I felt embarrassed and ashamed.
Then I remembered: the more we know and are aware of, the better we do. Instead of wallowing in my embarrassment, I decided to learn from this and move on. But, but, but don’t I have to go back and beat myself up some more or at least apologize to my friend for complaining needlessly? Nope.
Start here, start now
I can take myself right where I am and move on and improve going forward. Making new habits begins by accepting right where you are, identifying how you want to change, and then going for it.
Don’t know about you, but if I waited until I was ‘in a better place’ to reach out for positive change, I’d never get there. I’d stay stuck in either continuing to complain or continuing to self-criticize to the point of standing still, not improving at all.
Okay, now that you’re right where you are (??!!), what next? There are lots of ways to get unstuck and shift your paradigm from one way of being (usually negative) to another (usually better and/or more positive) after you identify behavior that you’d like to change.
~Stop and get quiet. Identify what the problem is and how you got here. This doesn’t have to be a punishing ‘time out’ or a marathon mental grilling of your poor behavior. Just sit and think for a moment; maybe even write something down. Keep it simple!
~Let go of blaming and being hard on yourself. Blame is useless. It does nothing to improve any situation. We’re so good at blame, it seems a waste to not do it BUT resist that temptation!
~Treat yourself like a kindergartener. You’re learning something new that you’ve not been doing, and this learning takes time. Not everyone gets it the first try. Changing your behavior is a process, not an instantaneous event.
~Ask for help if you need it. Sometimes I’ll reach out to a friend to help me figure out better ways to behave differently. Usually, I’ll ask someone I admire who always acts better than I do in my problem situation. For instance, if I want to stop constantly interrupting, I’ll ask a friend, “I notice how you let the other person complete their entire thought before speaking. How do you do that?”
You can be happier
Remember you deserve patience, gentleness, and a better way to be in this world.
So, here you are, right now: you want to change, you recognize a situation that could improve, and you have several tools to get the ball rolling. What’s stopping you? Oh, wait, that’s a whole other blog!
What will you be doing the moment after this one? The one where you are right now?