Monday, 21 October 2013

Make a Change and Have it Stick

Worry Wart. Control Freak.  Neither of those titles make me feel beautiful. Its not who I would choose to be if I had a choice (You can exhale now. That was my old way of thinking, I have moved WAY beyond that. I know that I have a choice and that I was choosing to be that girl, I just wasn't doing it deliberately).

There were so many long and over whelming years where I felt that "worry wart" or "control freak" was who I was destined to be. When I truly felt out of control in my depression I began controlling all that I felt I could control. My hair was spiked and never out of place ( it changed colours a few times too),  I had my nails done my apartment was clean at all times. Later, my way of working around my feelings of overwhelm was to develop those traits into something awesome and name them as a strength. I became the ultimate planner and a multi-tasker extraordinaire.  I thought that that kind of re-naming and re-framing would make it all better. And it did. Kinda sortta. For a little while.

I have been identifying with those titles with a sort of super hero strength for as long as I can remember now. I have even used those identities in job interviews to sell myself as the exact perfect hardworking and dedicated candidate to take on any task delegated to me. In each job, as well as in my personal life, it became a sort of exhausting mantra to think that no matter how full my plate was I must be the one to take on the extra projects because I could do the best job.  Hmmmm sounds confident. But really - that was me undervaluing myself and being really afraid to be under valued by anyone else. I didn't feel like I would be thought of as enough unless I was your go-to person with all of the exact answers to everything.

I managed in a busy restaurant for almost 10 years and I was good at my job. I am smart and I have common sense and after a while, when the same scenarios would replay, I did in fact have many of the answers at my finger tips. But I still came in early and stayed late. I was the manager who had my schedules posted, my files up to date, and my orders placed but I ALSO took care of uniforms, new hires, guest complaints, daily financials that weren't adding up and staff payroll. I went to the bank for change, I bought flowers for the lobby, I planned the extra curricular and team building events, I made a big deal over you on your birthday and I did it for the entire restaurant staff.  Oh, and I put together one heck of a staff party twice a year. And as exhausted as I was, I didn't actually want anyone's help.

Stepping out of my worry wart, control freak shoes has been a real challenge. Giving up that part of me took some real and conscious efforts but once I realised that those titles were not actually rooted in strength but in fear, making a change seemed the only option for me. The more I dug into my Law of Attraction studies the more I realised the cyclical nature of this beast too. The more I felt I needed to worry or to control, the more the Universe would give me to worry about or control and so on and so on. I could be running on this hamster wheel for the rest of my life if I didn't jump off while I still had the energy to do so.

If you have read this far and are still with me I would guess that you know exactly (or something really really similar to) the experiences and feelings that I am describing and may be inclined to know how I did it/ am doing it (it's always going to be an on-going point of growth for me)

So here is what works for me when I want to make a change,

  • First Find clarity about what I want. - Worry wart and control freak titles were not it. I knew that. So I used those as starting places to decide what it was that I did want. Knowing what you don't want can be helpful in narrowing things down to what you DO want. Then you focus there.
  • Second Re-frame my language. -  I began with "Up until now I have been a bit of a control freak in my life, and now I am in the process of realigning my priorities to create the experience I really want".
  • Third  Allow myself to feel the pleasures I expect to find in those new experiences without any strings and do it ASAP. - I wanted to feel more peace and more confident FOR REAL. I knew I was in charge of making it happen. I started allowing myself to feel that way even for just a few minutes at a time as often as possible (tougher to do than to say but that is a whole other thought to be shared on an other day in an other post)
  • Next  Continue to write my story. -  I try really hard to remember to show gratitude for the bumpy road that has brought to me this place where I am now and that makes it easy to get excited about where I might be headed. I write my story now from the point of view of the heroine, an empowering point of view that reminds me that every good story has events that must be moved through and overcome before the quiet girl transforms into the powerhouse she is.

Not one of those steps works without the others. And not one of them is a one time event. They work together like a recipe for the peaceful mind I have found and have brought to the surface my understanding and true knowing of my own value. Whew. It was buried deep but finding it has been better for me than any other hidden treasure I could have unearthed.

Best news of all, that same personal understanding of our real value and love is each of us. Some of us have buried it a little deeper than others, under our many hurts, limiting beliefs and protective habits, but its there. And when we are able to stop working so hard at pushing down the pieces of us that we don't like we will be able to release the good parts of ourselves that are being hidden underneath. To not have to work so hard at staying on that hamster wheel seemed like a distant dream not so many moons ago but boy o boy does being able to relax a little feel even more beautiful than I thought.

Your turn. Are there titles or identities or habits that you have let go of, are in the process of letting go of, or dream of letting go??  What is working for you and/or where are you getting stuck??  If we each use and share our own experiences and work together we can all find our way back to that value filled place of love and peace. Because seeing as many people as absolutely possible be in that value driven and loving place is my dream of us all, I invite you to openly share your thoughts and experiences here in the comments below, over on the Facebook page or email me directly with your question.  I promise to answer each and every note that I receive.