How to actually change… really change. Wow, now that’s a concept. I mean, come on, a lot of us talk about how bad we want to change. Right? I know I do. There is always room for improvement, so I’m always striving to improve, to be better, to be happier, healthier, and just more generally awesome. Nothing wrong with that.
But then there’s the big change. The one we really want. The one that will finally let us accept ourselves, be ourselves, and feel good about it. The one that will alter the very fiber of our personal reality from the inside out. The one that will fill that hole inside of us, that void, that emptiness… the one that will make us feel… fulfilled. Yummy.
You Don’t Know It All
So first of all, know that you don’t know it all. It’s ok, I don’t either. We’re in this together.
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” — John Wooden
There is great freedom in accepting that we haven’t figured things out yet. Few things can hold one back longer than the belief that this is all there is, nothing changes from here, no new information comes this way anymore. That’s a load of pigeon crap. Life changes everyday, you learn every day, you grow every day, and there’s nothing you can do about it. The question is, who are you growing into? What are you learning? Who are you becoming?
Unless you make a conscious decision to become the best version of yourself — which necessarily integrates the real version of yourself — you will not reach the image of a happy life you imagine. You have to be willing to accept that you don’t know jack. Sure, you’ve learned all kinds of things, and they’ve served you, but they are yesterday’s lessons. We’re interested in today’s lessons. And today’s lessons require an emptying of the mind, a renewing, a flowering of new consciousness. Whatever you know, let it sit where it is, and open up a new chair for the words you’re reading right now. Give these ideas a chance. Give this article a new place in your mind, in your soul. Let it take up residence as something totally new. Give these words permission to change your life.
Discard Limiting Beliefs
I used to think I was a terrible singer. As a matter of fact, people even told me so when I was younger. I would hum and sing constantly (I couldn’t help it, I had the music in me, and thank God for that) and people would say “Justin, dude, you can’t sing. Sorry.” That kind of sucked, but hey, I didn’t ever expect that I could sing anyway, so it didn’t hurt too bad. It was kind of… expected. Funny how limiting beliefs make room for insult without the pain. I mean, we know we suck anyway, so when someone tells us so, no big deal, we already knew that. That’s nice and comfy.
Unfortunately, comfort is the enemy of growth. We spend most of our lives trying to avoid the things that hurt us instead of reaching for the things that ignite us. We’re too scared we’ll get hurt. Remember this next line. You aren’t afraid of things, you’re afraid of feelings. The fears you have — what people might say or do, circumstances that may occur — those things in themselves aren’t what hurt you. It’s the feelings they evoke. That’s what you’re scared of.
The good news is, awareness transcends all decay. You can begin to watch your feelings, and the beliefs that tell you to stay away from them. Look, they’re just feelings. They can’t really hurt you. Not forever. I know life stings sometimes, but I promise you, every ounce of pain comes with a pound of blessings. Inside every moment is hidden a treasure. Learn to live in awareness of the treasures, not in hiding from the pain. Stop running from, start running toward. Toward your dreams, your destiny, your Self. You can do this. You are important. You are an amazing human being. Your very existence is proof of this. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t supposed to be.
So remember how I mentioned that I believed I couldn’t sing? And that people even attested to that belief (’cause people naturally believe you are who you believe you are)? Well, as it turns out, I can sing. Pretty well, actually! As a matter of fact, I began writing music and making recordings, and since I didn’t know anyone who could sing the melodies and the words I was writing, I had to do it, so I did. I made my first few recordings with a free software called GarageBand, and I shared them with a few friends. The response was one that altered the rest of my life. I was told that my voice sounded like Paul McCartney’s; that I sang with such emotion and warmth; that my music was so fresh and unique; that I should do this for the rest of my life. And that’s a very vague summary of the many, many encouraging words that I received, which impacted me deeply.
One very interesting thing about this is that I was told what I was already beginning to believe. Are you grasping what I’m trying to convey to you right now? My beliefs controlled my reality. Does that sound a little too new age-ish for you? I don’t really care. There’s nothing new about it, and it’s not some distant truth in a faraway land that only a select few are privy to receive. You have always seen the evidence of this truth, but you haven’t noticed it yet. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to believe me. Screw it. I’m just the guy behind the words on your screen right now, trying to reach you through them, but leaving it entirely up to you. It is and always will be your decision to either keep going the way you’re going, or change course. I can’t do this for you, I can only show you the way that’s worked for me, and hope that you’ll give it a shot.
That’s all I’m asking… just give this a shot. That goes for any of this. Any of the words you will hear from me are only intended to be signposts to lead you to your own greater truth. To see the deepest level of meaning within your soul; to apply the wisdom of your heart to everyday decisions; to grab your bags and take a trip down this road with me, knowing it leads to your road; otherwise the trip would be useless and futile. This is all about you. It’s never not been about you. Again, try to see behind the words I’m saying.
“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” –Anais Nin
Change your beliefs. About who you are, about what you can do, about where you can go, about how you can get there, and about whether or not you’ll make it. You will make it. As long as you decide to. And believe. Then you’ll take that plunge that leads to success, because you’ll have faith that it can and will friggin work! Why would you waste your time if you didn’t believe you could do this thing or that thing, right? What’s the point? Your beliefs govern your actions, and your actions govern your destiny. This is such a clear-cut, simple truth, that maybe it’s easy to overlook it, to keep reading and not really let it sink it. It’s the things we think we know and yet forgot to apply that really screw us up. Don’t be that guy.
“That which you wish for the most is only so far away as your belief in it.” –Justin Rogers
You got this. If you can’t learn to believe in yourself, then you can’t learn to move yourself. If you are constantly worried about taking the wrong next step because you always take the wrong steps, then you’ll never take a step at all, and that is the worst tragedy of all. You deserve to take a step, and another, and another, and even when you take the wrong ones, it’s okay, it’s alright, you’re a human being, it happens, but you’re worth the risk, you’re worth the effort and the sweat, and when you arrive at the end of it all, you’ll be grateful to yourself for charging forward, through even the hardest and most doubtful of times, and being grateful for who you are is a major step toward ultimate fulfillment. Like I said, you got this. One foot in the front of the other, let’s go.
Talk To Yourself Differently
The way you talk to yourself is so vitally important that it should have it’s own article. Maybe one day. Until then, let’s try to dig in deep enough to strike some gold and fill your inner life with riches.
How do you talk to yourself? Really? Let me ask you something… if you were to talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself, would they stick around? Think about it. You spend more time with yourself than anyone. I would think it’d be best to make that person as happy as possible. You deserve love. And it’s crucial that you give it to yourself. This is kind of hard when you say things like “Ugh, that sucked, why do you do that?” or “You screwed it up again!” or “You won’t finish it anyway, why start.” or “Hah, you know you won’t do that right.” etc. That’s just all kinds of messed up. It’s so unbelievably unhealthy and counterproductive that I couldn’t begin to express the importance of changing that process immediately.
You will be amazed at the difference in your life from just changing the way you talk to yourself. It’s a simple concept, but it isn’t easy. That’s okay. Being successful isn’t easy or everyone would do it. But it is so worth the struggle. Even the struggle feels good. Do you have any idea how amazing it feels to decide to start doing things differently and then DO IT? There is no high quite like the feeling of measuring up to your ideal of yourself. Once this feeling is captured, it is an unstoppable force. You begin to see that you can change everything about your life, because you do the things you tell yourself you’ll do. You encourage yourself, you love yourself, you help yourself, and you don’t berate or put yourself down, knowing this reverses the process.
I want you to try something for me: Every single time you go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you. You’re doing really well. You’re trying so hard and making an effort to actually change yourself. You are the best kind of person.” Take liberty with the words, but I hope you get the idea. Talk to yourself like a close friend or family member that needs your encouragement and attention. Because trust me, you need all the encouragement you can get; you’re on the path of the doer, the getter, the winner; you are reading these words and taking them in and you know what that tells me? You are a success story, and this is the onset of your story. This is the beginning of your powerful experience that will rock the world around you and shake off the dust from your past, preparing you for the lead role in one of the most magnificent adventures ever told. Is that something you want? You don’t have to answer that. I know that you want it, and I know you’re gonna get it eventually, because the fact that you’re spending the time to read these words and absorb all you can to further the development of your self is a testament to the fact that you are absolutely approaching the prelude to the incredible life you’ve always longed for. Yeah. So you have that to look forward to.
Pay attention to your thoughts. What lurks deep in your mind, hidden in the dark, must gain your attention and your understanding; it must be shown the light of your awareness. In other words, to become aware of your deepest thoughts, beliefs, and feelings is to shed light on them, and thus remove them from the darkness instantly. This is all that is required for absolute change to begin. Awareness. Pay attention. You don’t have to believe me. Try it for yourself. Pay attention. If you only took that one lesson away from this, it would be enough. Why? Because as I said before, awareness transcends all decay. What does that mean? Let me put it this way: When you notice how crappy you talk to yourself inside, constantly, all day, relentlessly, mercilessly, berating, judging, attacking, hurting your SELF — when you really notice how bad it is and how consistently it occurs — you will know then, deep inside, that this has to change. This has GOT TO STOP. And that is when you begin to talk to yourself differently.
So listen to me: Listen to yourself. Give thought to your thought. Then take it a step further, and give your mind the greatest gift you can give anything… your constant awareness. Awareness runs deeper than thought, and will always reach further.
I’m going to bring this article to a close for now. I believe we covered enough for part one. Let it sink in, ruminate and meditate on these concepts and on any other lessons you’ve acquired these past few days. Give the lessons room in your life to grow. Go back to them. Water the seeds. Ruminate and meditate, rinse and repeat. And lean in a little closer, shhh, don’t forget this: A really good book, read twice, is much more beneficial than a really new book, read once. In other words, if you find something that resonates with you, read it again. At least one more time. The more the better. Why? Because this thickens the cords of memory that hold the words in your brain, and the stronger they are in your brain, the more surely they will reach your heart. So if you recognized the truth in these words, I invite you to read again. And again! At least until I get Part 2 posted. 😉
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I’ll only send you new posts and words from my heart. No crap, I pinkie promise. Have an insanely lush and beautiful day.