It’s not so hard to change your life. One of the things I am aware of in my twisty little brain, is my ability to be so hard on myself. As they say, we are our own worst critic… or something like that.
Over the years of self-discovery and working to build my self-confidence I have learned a lot about people and behavior, what makes us tick, and why we do the things we do. And the greatest thing I have learned is we are not broken or messed up or unfixable- the truth is, we are people who have spent a long time practicing certain behaviors until those things became habits. And some of our habits aren’t so great.
The challenging thing about habits is, it takes a long time to build them, and it takes a long time to break them. I think that is why many people are reluctant to change; because it takes concerted effort, energy, and time. No instant gratification in the change game, you have to be in for the long haul and have an appreciation for the journey.
The great news is, it truly is just a matter of practice. When I wanted to be a better listener, I had to practice, over and over again, keeping my mouth shut when I wanted to throw in my two cents or interrupt someone because I thought what I had to say was so important. The more I practiced listening the better I got at it.
Another one of my greatest challenges was my temper. I used to be very irritable, impatient, and intolerant. I was dismissive and condescending and couldn’t be bothered by anything. At some point, I realized that I did not like being that person. I did not respect that type of person, and when someone spoke to me like that I did not appreciate it. So I started practicing being different. When I wanted to yell at someone, I would take a breath and pause. Sometimes I would think about the person I wanted to become and I would think about how that person would handle the situation, then I would proceed accordingly.
I had a good vision of who I wanted to be. And I had to practice, a lot, to become that person. And what a blessing that we get to choose who we want to be and we get to choose, everyday, to work on being that person. Practice makes perfect.