This article is part of the Life & Better Living topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
Article By Jacqueline Wales
Do you catch yourself telling the same old stories about why you can't do something? There's not enough money, not enough relationship, my health isn't good, I'm too old, too fat, too tired. I used to dream about a future that was better, but that was then, and this is reality. I can't have it. I'm not capable, I'm not worthy, I'm not good enough, I'm not qualified, I'm not creative, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not. Is that the yadda yadda of your life?
If so, you're not alone. 99.9% of us have that conversation almost daily.
You want to know how to eliminate the pain of bad choices that has been plaguing your life, or you want to know how to make better choices.
Oh, before I forget... There's no such thing as being Fearless.
There are only the decisions we all make to show up to it.
You see life is all about choices.
I'll give you an example from my own life. I've been married for 27 years and counting but it hasn't always been easy. Several years ago I was ready to divorce my husband. I blamed him for all kinds of things, and I blamed him for creating the life we were living. It was all his fault.
Until then, I'd always been good at blaming other people, blaming circumstances and blaming the past for the present predicament. I was ready to walk out on the marriage because I blamed him for creating the limitations in our life. We were constantly fighting about money, about where to live, and how to live. I wanted one thing, he wanted another. And then one day, in the midst of a huge fight, he said something quite profound that I had not heard before.
He said "You made the choice to be with me!"
For some reason, that phrase slammed home. For the first time in my life (and I was about 38 at the time) I truly understood that we all make choices about where we want to be in life. I had made my choice to be with him and whatever unhappiness I was experiencing, it was my choice.
Choices are what dominate whether we have a good life, a bad life or an okay life. We make decisions that seem right for the moment, and frequently, there is an element of regret around the choices. We wish we had thought about it more, had taken more time to consider all the aspects, and had known what we know now.
Did you ever hear the song No Regrets by Edith Piaf. She was known as 'Sparrow; because she was 4 feet something, a national icon in France she captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world with her voice. Her life was a tragedy of bad marriages, bad decisions and eventually alcoholism and morphine addiction that killed her. She made the wrong choices. Did she have regrets? You bet she did. So did Judy Garland and Billie Holiday. The world stage is strewn with people who made bad choices that affected their lives. And there's a simple reason for that.
You see we build stories in our minds to lend credibility to our position. When you believe you're no good, then you'll literally create the life around that. All of these women above inherently believed they were flawed. A teacher in school tells you you're useless so many times you believe it, and years later, when you've forgotten the teacher, there's a little part of your unconscious that says you will never amount to much. So you go out of your way to create situations that allow you to continue living that story.
We are all full of stories. Stories from our past, stories we tell ourselves, stories that other people tell us, and the stories are the things that pull us down because we believe them.
I'll be you can give me an example of negative stories you heard about yourself in the past that you believe to be true.
So how do you change the stories? Well, it's easy. You start changing the stories by telling yourself that they are stories. We all believe in a happy ending, don't we? Right!
Stories are language pictures. When we change the language we change the picture. Can you 'see' how that would be? Change the language and you change the picture. The way we think about ourselves is critical to becoming a Fearless Woman. We make choices based on how we perceive ourselves. It took me a long time to figure this out, but when I did, it was so simple.
If I tell myself I'm a Magnificent Woman, I become one. But I have to tell myself a few hundred times before the brain starts to get that the message has changed.
I don't need other people to confirm it. I say it enough times and I begin to believe my own story. We place too much emphasis on what other people think. We are concerned about how others perceive us, but here's the stupid part of this. We can't see ourselves clearly at all. We've created too many stories around who we are and what we're capable of, and what we give to the world, to be able to see it clearly.
Start observing how you think about yourself. When you catch yourself thinking something in the negative, write it down. For the next week, I want you every day to write down each time you catch yourself with a negative thought. You'll be amazed at how often in a day that happens.
We need to start becoming more conscious so we can choose the life we want wisely. We will still be run by the unconscious, but here's the kicker, the more conscious you can become, the better life gets. We really can re-program our brains to filter out the negative, the rubbish, and put in the good stuff. It's a lot like having a cupboard full of old food stuffs. The expiration date was months or years ago, and it's taking up a lot of space. Our old stories are like that. They expired a long time ago. We need to throw them out and make room for new stuff to enter.
When we choose our stories we choose our life.
So, I'm here to challenge you. You've gone through at least 50 years of living and you've built up a solid library of stories that run your life. You can make all the excuses in the world for why you're not doing, what you could be doing, what you don't do, what you can't do, and what you'd like to do if only.... But I'm here to tell you..
There are No More Excuses.. We all make choices. If the choice you made is the wrong one, then change it again. None of us have to be locked into the place of Now And Forever. If that were true, then life would certainly not be worth living. I for one do not want to be the lassie fae Leith whose mother was urged to put me into the factory beside her so that I could learn to put labels on whisky bottles. If I'd done that I wouldn't be here today, would I.
We have all made choices that were the wrong ones. We've hurt ourselves, we've hurt others, and we've limited the expression of our true selves for many, many reasons. But we're reached an age where we should know that the choices we have are much more than we've allowed ourselves to experience. I want you to know that you have a choice to recreate, to redo, to explore, have an adventure, move beyond the suffocating and limiting places that you feel locked into. We all have choices. Many of them are unconscious, but many of them are based on the reality of the moment. And if you don't like the reality, then change it.
When people say to me 'But it's ALWAYS been that way' I tell them there is no such thing as ALWAYS. There is only Until Today.
Until today I have done it this way, but from this moment, I can choose to do it differently. You can choose to do things differently. It's your life. We give so much of our lives away to others, and the result is we usually feel used up. Women in particular suffer from this syndrome. I'm not saying that we can't be of service to others. That's a whole other issue. What I'm saying is we can't afford not to take care of ourselves. It is counter-productive to living a good life.
We all want to live a good life, don't we? I haven't heard a single person tell me they didn't want a good life. We all want better relationships with our significant others, a better job, more money, more free time, more vacations, a better body etc. It's hard wired into us.
So what stops us from getting there. Our stories. The things we tell ourselves and allow other people to tell us.
Try this exercise. It will scare the living daylights out of you to begin with , but do it anyway. Say out loud in front of dozens of strangers that you're a Magnificent Woman.
Okay, so you can't do that, then I want you to paste that phrase where you can see it every day. Use it as a screensaver. Remind yourself of that simple phrase and start to believe it is true. It's true because you told yourself it was. You're creating a new story. You're changing the language of how you speak to yourself and you're making choices that are good for you. Don't let other people decide who you are. Decide for yourself.
You're a Fearless woman in midlife. What's in the past is gone, what's here today is the beginning of the rest of your life. It's a cliché , I know, but it's a very true saying. You have the rest of your life to create the life you want. We can expect to live another thirty to forty plus years beyond this point. Do we really want to continue making excuses for why we are not living the life we want?
You can create the life you want. The power is in your decisions. And if you can't decide for yourself, get some help. We all try to white knuckle our way through life when all we have to do is look around you and reach out to the people who want to help.
Getting support is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. I wouldn't be here today if I didn't have a long list of people who had mentored me, supported me, nurtured me and encouraged me to be bold and live life on my own terms.
I'm not saying it's easy. But what I will tell you is this. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, better than feeling like you get out of bed in the morning and you're excited about what the day holds, knowing you are doing exactly what you want for yourself.
There are NO MORE EXCUSES.....