Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Why isn’t my Life Getting Better?

by Sandy Penny, Oct. 2013blue bird of happiness
There are three aspects of self that can prevent us from creating the life we truly want. Resistance, criticism and defensiveness.
How do these three ways of being negate the positive expression of our true selves?
1. Resistance. Resistance activates without our conscious choice. Some of it is personality driven. Some people automatically go into resistance to something new as a protective mechanism. Others just don’t like the idea that we didn’t come up with the suggestion ourselves. Resistance grows out of safety issues. If we feel safe in our current situation, even if it is not optimal, it is “the devil we know.” It seems easier to deal with what we know than to engage the unknown. Resistance is fear driven.
Sometimes, resistance comes from not wanting to be told what to do by others. It may be a pattern that originated with an overbearing or incompetent parent or authority figure. However it began, it may be standing in the way of your new and good. And, last but not least, resistance is a habit, and habits can be changed, with intention and practice.
2. Criticism. Criticism may be of ourselves or others. You come up with a cool new idea, and immediately, something inside you starts criticizing it. “That won’t work. If it was a good idea, someone would already have done it. Who do you think you are to think you can do something no one else is doing? Who is Joe Blow to make suggestions to me on what to do with my life? Where is the money going to come from? I don’t have time for this nonsense. That guy is trying to tell me what to do, and his life is not that great.” Geez, just thinking up those words wore me out.  I almost stopped writing this article. But, onward.
One of the tools I’ve found to stop the stream of criticism is to immediately say to myself or the person suggesting something, “Well, that’s an interesting idea.” It doesn’t commit you to anything, but it leaves you open to exploring further. “What an innovative way to look at the issue.” “How good could it be if this worked?” Proactive thinking is not passive positivity. it is not la la land. It is being open-minded enough to consider new possibilities. And to recognize that sometimes other people bring us ideas that we could not receive without outside input because we are entrenched in the status quo. 
3. Defensiveness. Defensiveness comes when we feel we are being attacked or threatened. We may not actually be attacked or threatened, but we feel that way. So, we start defending our actions, defending our circumstances, defending our lack. And, by defending it, we are giving it more power and further cementing it into our lives.
Defensiveness usually stems from critical parents who assumed the worst about our actions. We may have constantly had to justify ourselves to avoid punishment. After years of developing this strategy, it’s easy to use it to avoid change, even change that we would like in our lives.
All these patterns are fear-driven, and we cannot create a positive life from a fear-based mentality. So, our first order of business is to move into a more loving place with ourselves, others and the world at large.
I always suggest starting where you are and moving yourself gently into a new reality. If you are resistant to change, ask yourself how the resistance serves you. Then ask yourself if that is a valid use of your energy. Then ask yourself what life would be like if you stopped resisting whatever you are resisting. Then ask yourself if you would like that life without the resistance. Then ask yourself how you can best embrace your new and good. Then ask yourself to support you in creating that new reality by providing ideas, steps and means to get there.
If you automatically go into critical mode, ask yourself if you like being criticized that way. Then thank yourself for protecting you, and ask that you be protected in new and different ways as you make changes that will benefit the whole you.
It's important to get all the seemingly negative aspects of yourself on board with a new and better reality, because the truth is that everything you’ve been doing was serving a purpose for intended good in your life. By enlisting those parts of yourself in the new venture, you can avoid the self-sabotage that old patterns create when they are not honored as a part of your wholeness.
With the defensive aspects of self, you will usually find hurt little children in your makeup. These children want to feel safe, so you have to find ways to reflect safety back to them.  You have to help them feel like it’s not their fault if something goes wrong. They are afraid of being blamed, and afraid of being less than, afraid that they won’t succeed, and if they do it will just mean more responsibilities that you can’t live up to. It is your job to affirm that you are capable of doing everything that will create a better life. Also, it is easier to enlist children in helping you than to try and command them to do something. That will only kick in resistance.
I use a three-prong affirmation process to counteract defensiveness.
1. You claim what you want in the now. Example: “I have a wonderful new job.”
2. Gratitude. “I am so thankful for my amazing new job.”
3. Love. “I love my new job, and I do it well.”
Each time negative self-talk starts in response to an idea, use the affirmation/confirmatioheart in the cloudsn process to interrupt the pattern.
This is a time when change is happening at a fast pace. This is a time to accept your  “response-ability.”
You have the ability to positively respond to life’s changes. You are awesome, wonderful and uniquely capable of doing what you came to this planet to do. You’re one of a kind, and you deserve to fulfill all your heart’s and soul’s desires.
That’s the heart’s honest truth.

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