Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of people in my life are amid some pretty major life changes. Big things like triple digit weight-loss goals, career changes, trying to find the right anti-depressant, trying to wean off anti-depressants, ending a long-term relationship.
There is a common factor in all of these things that I believe very few of us recognize; a serious lack of love for ourselves, and belief that we are not worthy. Not a simple topic.
One friend’s current goal is to stop focusing on what she believes to be her own shortcomings. I don’t get to see or talk to her very often, but she shared this particular goal recently, rather publicly. I was inspired by the her ability to find within herself the courage to let friends know–to admit something pretty huge about her own thoughts, and reach out for support in making a change. I found myself wondering if anyone would have the courage to reach back; to offer any kind of meaningful support.
And so I write…
The not-so-simple fact is that it is easiest to believe the negative things about ourselves. If 5 people tell you that you’re doing something really well, and 1 person tells you that what you’re doing is worthless, most of us will focus heavily on the 1 negative while giving little or no credit to the 5 positives. A simple example of a very complicated part of human nature; self-deprecation.
I believe that the courage to make real change in our lives is born of the willingness to embrace our fears; of fully acknowledging that we have fears and that makes us human. There are countless thousands of self-help books written on just about every human weakness. Precious few actually attempt to teach the reader where to look to find the real answer to the real problem. So many of us go through the motions without truly understanding how we’ve arrived where we now find ourselves. Hence, true change proves frustratingly illusive. We find ourselves stuck in the cycle of feeling like failures, wallowing in the very self-deprecation that caused the problem we’re trying to change.
I don’t pretend to have a short answer to my own problems, or anyone else’s. I have spent the last year or so taking a pretty hard look at my life. There are some things in which I take a great deal of pride. There are some things I want desperately to change; things I’ve tried in the past to change, yet they are still here. Why have I tried and failed? Did I really try?
And so I have begun to explore how real change in my life is going to happen. I solemnly believe that by embracing my fear I take away its power over my life. I’m doing it right now, this very second. Please say it with me; “I am worthy of a better life. My fears do not own me.”