Change IS Hard

IMG_4093 Change, is hard. Especially when you are trying to change your life. Or in the words of Tony Robbins when you need to change “the story you are telling yourself.” I strive to be as transparent as I can in hopes that my experiences motivate others to make changes in there own life.

I struggle with anxiety, stress and fear of failure. I go through extreme highs and low lows. Recently I realized the struggles in my life are due to the things that I tell myself and that I believe about myself. My story! The story I am choosing to change starting today.

You see we tell ourselves things over and over in our own head to the point where it seems true and real. So real, that even when someone gives you a compliment you have a hard time accepting it. This is because the story you have been telling yourself is contradictory to what they are saying. To you they are just one person. One person can’t measure up to the hundreds of times you have told yourself the opposite.

As I watched Lifeclass with Oprah & Tony Robbins, I took notes. I wrote down 5 questions to ask myself to help me re-write my story:

  1. Who am I? Simple one word answers like Mom, Wife, Believer, Creative, Sister and Giver came to mind.
  2. Who have I told myself I am? Words like Failure, Disappointment, Depressed, Procrastinator, Fat, Old, Bad Mother and many more entered in my journal.
  3. Who else has called you these names? I thought hard and I couldn't think of 1 person other than myself.
  4. What have people actually called me to my face? Talented, Creative, Smart, Funny, Blessed, Humble, Beautiful, Kind, Helpful, Great Mom and the list kept going.
  5. What is the story you are telling yourself that is holding you back? I am talented in many different area's. A jack of all trades but a master of none. I have no ability to finish anything I start. I am a disappointment to my family every time I say I am going to do something and I don't see it through to the end. My wants can't matter because that is too selfish. There are other people (my kids) who need me. Their needs are more important than anything I could ever want for myself. I am a horrible mother and I made a lot of mistakes these 18 years raising my oldest daughter. I better get it right this time with my two baby girls. Giving up on my dream is okay because I never finish what I start anyway. This is who I am! Or so I believed.

After going through this exercise I asked myself “When was the first time I told myself these things?” For me the answer to that was an AHA moment as Oprah calls them. It was at the age of 16. A year prior I had accepted Christ gotten baptized and started teaching Sunday school. I was an A -B honor roll student. Fast forward a year I found out I was pregnant. It crushed me. I questioned my faith. I was disappointed in myself. I stepped down from teaching the kids at church. From that moment on I tried to do everything in my power to prove to people that I wasn’t a failure. I graduated high school with my class. From then on out everything I thought I wanted for myself no longer mattered. I stopped living for me and everything I did was for her. My baby girl.

I noticed some patterns in my life. Every time I didn't succeed in some way I would refocus all my energy on my kids and family and who "they needed” me to be. That became my excuse. Its okay you didn’t finish college, you have a newborn that needs your attention. Its okay you stopped pursuing your goals because you are a wife and mother and your family needs you. Its okay to stop dreaming because no one expects you to be more than who you are right now.

What I am learning now is that although my family needs me. I cannot be for them who I need to be if I am not whole and at peace with myself. My goals and vision for my life has to stop being a pull between “them or me” and more of a balance of “them and me”.

Look, it is NOT easy to change the state of your mind. It is not easy to change your life. Remember, if you are breathing and aware you need a change. It means you are alive and there is still an opportunity to change. Awareness is just the beginning. Now you and I have to remind ourselves daily of who we ACTUALLY are and not of who we TOLD ourselves we are.

I share these personal things about myself not so you can feel sorry for me. I share them first for myself. Once you say it out loud or put it out in the open it is much harder to ignore it and go back to living the life you used to. I share them second for you. For the person reading to help them figure out what their real story is.

I plan to come back with an update and a new story. The story you tell yourself daily is just like an affirmation. One that no one else can write for you. It truly is YOUR story of who you are, who you see yourself becoming. You can make that a negative affirmation or a positive one.

Please take some time and try and answer some of these questions for yourself. Whether you write them in a journal or share them on your blog. Or if you want to leave me a note in my comments. Let me know if you did it. Let me know if this was helpful to you. I want to pray with you and for you. I want to encourage you. I am still a work in progress but there is power in numbers and you are not alone in your journey. 

Until next time, Peace! Peace!