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Get the Life You Want

I’m going to assume you want to change your life. Perhaps your spouse or significant other is neglecting you or actively irritating you.  Perhaps your mother is cruel and critical. Perhaps you don’t like the way you look. You don’t have any friends. Consider the area of your life that causes you pain.  Now write down any beliefs you have associated with that. For example, if your spouse is ignoring you, you may believe that you can’t clearly state what you want, because it would be demanding, or because if (s)he really loved you, (s)he would “just know”. I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not that belief is true (it’s not, just for the record), but I will tell you it’s not helping you get what you want. Next to the belief, write down what that belief is costing you. Is it costing you relationships, happiness, security, freedom, love? Now replace that belief with something more positive. You won’t believe it at first, and that’s okay. It will take some time for your mind to accept this new belief, especially if it is very different from the one you are trying to replace. You might try replacing the belief that you shouldn’t be demanding with “I choose to believe that I am a valuable person who deserves love and attention. I am brave enough to allow myself to be vulnerable” or anything that makes sense to you. Make it a very positive belief about yourself and your life. The truth is that you are worthy of love and respect – not because you are perfect – but because you are human.

Pick one belief at a time and concentrate on replacing it with your more positive belief. Get yourself a rubber band and keep it on your wrist.  Every time your thoughts bring up the old belief, gently flick the band to interrupt that belief and then replace it with your new belief. So, when you start to think “Nothing will ever change. I’ll never be good enough for Mother”, replace that with “Love is not about being good enough.  It’s a deliberate choice. And whether I feel it or not I choose to love myself right now. I choose to love myself with all my faults and failings, and to treat myself with kindness. If Mother can’t love me, it’s about her, not me.” And then act as if your new belief is the truth, even if you don’t think it is.  Fake it till you make it. When you make headway with replacing one belief, choose another on your list and start working on that one. “I’ll never be able to do ___”, becomes “I support myself as I try to___.  I am capable. I am open to trying different ways of doing something until I find one that works for me.”  Every so often, it pays to really take stock of what we believe. Our beliefs come to us just as other stuff does, and sometimes we need to weed through them and get rid of the ones that we don’t want anymore. It’s just like decluttering your closet, really. We can decide what to keep, what to get rid of, and what to replace, and pretty soon, just like our wardrobes, our lives start to work better.