No matter how hard we try, ignoring internal angst does not go away until we take a look at why the inner turmoil is there. Most often it relates back to how authentic we are being to ourselves.
One of the interesting things we do as human beings is sit in our discomfort for a long time, trying to make it fit our lives so that we are not required to tweak it, look at it, address it. It always amazes me when I recognize this repetitive behaviour in myself and it begs the question, “Why the heck do you let this happen?” It happened again this week.
A point of growth I recognize however, is that the repeated behaviour happens much less often, I rebound quicker and the mental beating I give myself has pretty much changed. It’s become, “Okay, so what are you going to do about it now? Just remember how far you’ve come,” instead of, “You did it again. It’s not going to change, you stupid woman.” What steps have I taken to relieve this angst and activity that seems to pop up at the oddest times?
1. Excuses no more: I removed the excuses that go along with the angst. It takes effort, but when I realized I’d allowed myself to succumb to a ‘poor me’ way of thinking, the discomfort only grew. I wasn’t happy with myself because I knew this wasn’t the way I wanted my inner life to translate into my outer world.
2. Focused re-framing of the brain: I conscientiously switched out negative in-putters like listening to the news and instead read or listen to positive and challenging material.
3. Accountability to change: I invited those I trust to provide honest insight, to help me look at things in a different way than I’ve considered in the past.
4. Practice, practice, practice: I literally write things on my mirror and in my daily calendar (set with reminders), to repeatedly state my intentions, whether mentally or out loud. This is key to the change I’m noticing in my thinking. It may be some other trigger for you, but this is definitely transforming my thought patterns.
5. Wait patiently: Step by step, line by line, little by little, change happens. My previous inner turmoil went something like this: “I’m never going to get this right so there’s no point in trying. It’s part of who I am. Every time I try, I fail anyway so I might as well give up.” Do you have those conversations with yourself too? Sucks, doesn’t it?!
6. Get up again: The determination not to stay there, not get to the end of my days living in turmoil, has propelled me to just keep going. Fail. Get up again. Fail. Start over. Fail. Ohhh I see a glimmer of change. Hope. Fail. One step at a time. Success. Another step….
7. Celebrate: When there’s something to celebrate, I make a big deal out of it even if it’s just in my head! The more celebration about what’s right, the less tendencies I have toward negative inner conversations that reinforce the discomfort.
One simple sentence that may be useful is, “Choices make memories, so make ’em worth remembering!” Every choice towards change is a choice towards less angst and more peace. What choices are you making? How is your authenticity meter measuring up?