“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullsh*t.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
We all do it.
We say want one thing, then do the complete opposite to get it.
Or we blame all of our problems on another person, knowing full well that we’re the problem.
We repeat the same stories in our lives over and over again, wondering why we never manifest something different, yet we aren’t willing to try anything new to get it.
Until someone calls us out on our part in all of this. They’re bold enough to remind us how we contribute to the unhealthy relationships we’re in, the things we’re not doing to lose the weight or the half-truths we’re telling ourselves and anyone else who will listen to our excuses for why we can’t hold down a steady job or get ourselves out of debt.
I think most of us know, deep down, that we are partially to blame for the predicaments we find ourselves in. But it takes an incredibly brave person to own this. Most of us have played the avoidance game with ourselves for so long that it’s become the norm. And sometimes we’re unconscious of our own behavior.
I’m this person. The one calling everyone out on their bullsh*t all the time.
I know I can be tough. But I’m equally tough on myself. I can bullsh*t with the best of them, but I’m quickly learning how to call myself out when I see it happening.
All of us have at least one thing we’re sick and tired of in our lives that we continue to blame on someone or something else.
Maybe we say we’re going to save money and get out of debt, but there’s always an excuse why we haven’t done it.
Maybe we drink too much after promising ourselves we’ll stop, then wake up the next morning with someone we hardly know, yet again, after another drunk, meaningless sexual encounter.
Maybe we promise ourselves that we’re going to stop over-eating and finally lose weight, but we don’t make any effort to exercise or change our diet.
Or maybe there’s a person we keep allowing back into our lives, expecting them to show up differently, yet each time they act exactly the same way. This leaves us feeling disappointed, angry and depressed all over again.
If we’re really honest with ourselves, it is not outside circumstances or other people creating the things we complain about. Truthfully, we’re not willing to take a hard look at ourselves and see the root cause of the problem.
And the root cause is normally us.
There’s an art to really getting honest and authentic in our self-examination.
It requires facing some brutal truths about ourselves and making a commitment to do things differently, so we can have a new outcome.
Let’s start with me.
I’m a perfectionist. I have extremely high expectations of myself. Unreasonable expectations, if I’m brutally honest. So I could never live up to my own expectations, and neither could anybody else.
I lived in a world where people disappointed me time and time again. In fact, I chose romantic partners who could never bring to the table what I wanted.
Here is where the big pile of bullsh*t resides—I don’t even know what I want.
I say I want one thing, but I’m wildly attracted to the opposite and fall in love with it. I am passionately connected and wildly crazy about the opposite of what I say I want.
And when what I want shows up, I’m like, “Meh, nah. Not interested. He’s just not for me.”
How many of us do this? We say we want one thing, pursue it hard and then when we get it, we toss it aside and say to ourselves, “Yeah, I’m not so sure anymore.”
And then we take zero responsibility for anyone we may have hurt along the way.
There are ways to change this behavior.
When I find myself triggered, upset, frustrated or in my head about making poor choices, I ask myself these 3 questions:
1. Why did I choose this? We choose every experience we have, whether it’s conscious or not, and there is something we get from it, even when it hurts us. Having awareness is everything when it comes to breaking a pattern.
2. Who will I hurt by making this choice? Maybe it’s ourselves, maybe it’s somebody else. So, before we act, we need to dive deep into the reason why we’re about to do something and consider how it will likely turn out for ourselves and other people.
If we’re fairly certain we’re going to hurt another person with our actions, we should man up or woman up and make a different choice. Don’t plow forward and convince yourself that other people will be okay with your selfish or irresponsible choices. Own your part.
3. What can I do differently the next time I’m facing this situation in order to have a different experience? For example, if someone is triggering or taking advantage of us, at work or in our personal lives, we can honor ourselves by setting and defending our boundaries rather than giving in and likely becoming resentful.
We will start to identify sooner when we’re making excuses to do something we know doesn’t serve us, whether it’s overspending, binging, allowing someone back into our lives who continues to hurt us or crossing the sexual line with a person we have no intention of seeing again.
If we can stop ourselves earlier in the decision making process, we can start manifesting something different: something we actually want.
So, let’s start calling ourselves out, owning our sh*t and shoveling it out of our lives for good.
Author: Dina Stada
Image: Flickr/Holly Lay
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock