In my efforts to improve my life, I’m paying attention to my thoughts, feelings and actions. In doing so, I’m also paying attention to the things that build resilience in my thoughts, bolster my feelings and lead me to take actions that result in the creation of my dream life – my big happy life.
Recently, as I listened to the audiobook, “Take Control of your Life” by Mel Robbins, I heard these two phrases:
Who I was does not dictate who I am and who I am becoming.
All the change comes from me.
Who I was does not dictate who I am and who I am becoming
One of the biggest challenges with self-development is that you usually have to take actions you don’t yet feel ready for. You have a vision in your mind of ‘new you’ but the only one who can take the actions that will get you there is ‘old you’ – the flawed you, the one you’re trying to change.
For most of us, our memories and experiences form our view of who we are but this statement provides a useful reminder that “who I am and who I am becoming” is a choice. We have no choice about the past but we still have choices about today and those choices will determine what tomorrow looks like.
Orienting to the future instead of the past shapes thoughts in more productive ways, introduces hope and possibility and helps determine the most useful actions to take in order to create the lives we envisage.
All the change comes from me
When you decide you’re going to improve your life, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You have family, friends, colleagues and a whole host of other people who will either pull you along, push you back or simply stand by you.
I have often relied too heavily on others for my motivation or given up too easily in the face of opposition but “all change comes from me” provides a useful reminder about who is in charge of my life and my results.
Although I thought I had learned this lesson – and have taken significant steps to change my habits and improve myself – I also realise that I have shied away from changes that are more complicated and involve other people. For example, I’ve invested more time and effort in quitting drinking, writing this blog and recording my podcast than I have invested in my goal of becoming a better parent (arguably a far more important goal!)
Because the parenting goal is SO much more complicated! There isn’t a straight line between my efforts and my results. Things get messy and don’t always work out the way I intended, results are slower and things go wrong more easily.
When other people are involved – particularly kids! – things can feel completely out of control but that’s precisely the time to remind ourselves to take charge of our thoughts and feelings because that’s the only way to take charge of our actions.
We can’t give that responsibility to other people because, in doing so, we let them take charge or our results as well.
That’s precisely the time to think: If I want things to change, I have to make changes. All change comes from me.