If we feel like we have sleepwalked for a long time without noticing the limits that have been imposed on us or those that we have imposed on ourselves, and now we can see them being obstacles, we need to understand them and make meaningful changes and sustainable to our life to not to fall back into their faults...
- The sleeper must awaken -
In this ever-changing society, our minds are our greatest asset, yet we seem to use it less and less. We have access to more resources, but we are more blocked/crippled than those who came before us. We must keep an open mind and be prepared to go to war with ourselves or even to reshape our identity.
The activities we pursue are responses to our strengths, and it is fun to do what we are good at. But not many people like to work on their weaknesses. So let's take notice of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and make them strengths, as they will surface with every stressful event/environment.
- Changing is not easy -
In the late 70’s, wanting to understand the mechanics of change in a person's mind, psychologists James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente developed the Transtheoretical Model of Change. It emerges that we go through five stages to succeed in modifying a behaviour, a habit or a situation :
These principles amount to a series of subtle preparatory adjustments, giving access to a goal (whatever it is : exercise more, eat healthier, change jobs, move out, get out of a problematic relationship, stop drinking , stop smoking) or allowing to find oneself and/or (re)find inner calm.
Pre-contemplation is often paralleled with« denial » : we try to rationalize the problem (Often by convincing ourselves that it's not so bad/ not so grave, if we do/say this or that since the others do it too…). If unfortunately someone puts their finger on it and signals it to us, we have a tendency (consciously or not) to shut ourselves off, get angry or turn away from the truth, making our target more and more inaccessible.
By realizing that we expect more from life, we open the way for contemplation. This is quite ambivalent, because at this point, we recognize the problem and are willing to talk about it and/or act, but we seem not to find the way to do it. If there is too much emphasis, we may stagnate or regress. Whereas if we are not pushed enough, we may never move forward. In order to decide on the next steps, we will need to ask ourselves the right questions and/or have a click of understanding, before something happens internally and/or externally. It is often during this stage that we seek help from those around us or from a therapist.
Be careful, because our family and/or our friends, who observe us, have often formed a very precise image of us. It then happens to them to determine what we are capable of and how we should focus our energy. It doesn't start from a bad intention, but it puts limits on us. And as soon as we try to get out of those bounds, we receive advice that is either unsolicited or unspecified. Stifling our aspirations out of fear, of deceiving us, hurting us or disappointing them... This is why changing our state of mind requires a particular inner strength, because we must understand how to act, outside these limits, this wrong image.
We do not have eternity ahead of us, just as we will never make up for the years swallowed up by the past. And whenever we feel lonely, empty, sad, or anxious, our problem becomes some kind of dope or emotional tranquilizer, and thus an excuse for inaction. But whatever happens, we have to keep in mind that with every profit there is a loss. Clearly, when we say that it is difficult to turn the page, despite our urge to move on, we are actually talking about the loss of the future that we were hoping to achieve through the road already taken. Once we understand this, it’s up to us to mourn this imagined future, it’s part of our preparation phase that allows us to found a new future or find a new path to what we really want.
It is not impossible to experience the period of preparation and action simultaneously. But beware of passing impulses. Here again, it is possible to opt for a therapist, in order to allow us to have the right weapons in hand and learn to recognize our internal signals.
- The revolution doesn’t wait -
A lot of people think that once they love/accept themselves (finally), all other aspects of their life will fall into place with a wave of a magic wand. However, despite our tears, our frustrations, our overweight, our over-indebtedness, our broken heart, our lack of sleep… change only happens when we fight for it.
We live a life defined by limits that have been transmitted to us (family, schools and society) or that we imagine, because it is more comfortable, but they numb us. These limits that we create and accept become the only window through which we perceive life and our capacities.
And when our true feelings spring up despite these shackles, and drives us to run after our dreams, we are inspired to break those chains. And when we embark on this hard work, doubt, fear and pain await us at the corner.
But this should not block us… So, let's start from what we are and what we have, work and commit ourselves to the path of our ambitions. The more we advance, the more we can accomplish and act. Let's stay fair, open, and build what we need and what we want.
Let’s be ready, because life is a big game of the mind and there is only one finish line. The only person we play against is ourselves. And sometimes, even being prepared, storms appear and multiply. Chaos happens without warning and when it does, there is nothing we can do to stop it. It’s up to us to recalibrate, adjust our focus and take the right detour while staying focused on our goals. It's not about letting failure break us.
To exist, we have to struggle every day of our lives, and it makes no sense to hide our light under an invisibility cloak. It is not a crime to show what we have accomplished (although it may offend others or make them jealous). So let's be proud and let people think whatever they want, it doesn't matter. The beauty of this journey lies in the efforts we provide towards our goals and to enjoy this journey to the full.
What do you think?