I have spoken about how much my life has changed this year. I have let go of lots of things that no longer serve me and started inviting in love from every person, place or thing that is willing to send it my way. Most recently I am in the process of letting go of my tendency to focus on what's "wrong". This stems from a drive for perfection, a drive for perfection that I didn't even know was a thing until three weeks ago. But over these past three weeks I have seen this perfectionism road-block pop up EVERYWHERE!!
When I first learned that there was an underlying strive for perfection in my actions, I resisted the idea. I am the person that aims to simply get things done, usually at the last minute and usually with regrets on waiting til the last minute. It was in this resistance that I remembered my yoga teacher telling me that perfectionism can actually cause paralysis. It can cause resistance, often showing as procrastination. Why get started or even try if it's not going to compare to the others? If it can't live up to my silly (self-imposed) expectations? This perfection paralysis was something I totally recognized, again EVERYWHERE!!!!!
This hidden drive for things to be perfect often caused me to focus on the things that were wrong in a situation. For three days after this revelation, I began to see it. I was focusing on what was wrong, what could go wrong, what I had done wrong in the past and where there was potential for more things to go wrong. On that third day I had a complete emotional breakdown. I had been witnessing these thoughts and doing my best to flip my inner self-talk-script but after 72 hours of this I was exhausted. I was tired of noticing the flaws, I was tired of that feeling of overwhelm and anxiety it brought me when it was in focus. Very similarly to the feeling I had when I decided to quit drinking, I decide to let go of this way of thinking.
This is not an easy task. I am still constantly reverting my thoughts to the love that exists in the present moment. I am telling myself "Jennifer, return to love", over and over and over again. I am repeating mantras of hope and trust, morning, noon and night. I am reading books, listening to podcasts, interacting on social media and listening to songs that support this healthy mindset. I am talking with those that are open to deep emotional conversations (when these unicorns appear) and I am writing my thoughts and using my voice to continue to reinforce the thoughts and feelings that I want to be my new normal.
Reprogramming our thoughts is a long battle but it can totally be done. I know this because at one point (and for many years) I thought there would never be a day in which I would choose to never drink again. Has this happened to you? This experience has allowed me to see that our thoughts are programmed by our past, our community, our leaders, our friends, and our experiences. And just as they have been programmed, they can be reprogrammed. First step will always be to check in with those thoughts as you cannot change what you do not notice.
I tell you all of this so that you understand that creating change takes effort, but if you start with your self talk and pump yourself up instead of adding to the mess that drags you down, this effort lessens and you are able to tackle the next thing standing in your way. Its like peeling an onion. You will shed one bad belief, thought or habit and move on to the next thing that is holding you back until you are the healthiest version of you.
You are worth the effort and discomfort that this process will likely bring. The trade off has been well worth it for me. The time (days, months, maybe years) spent struggling to think healthy thoughts is way better than unknowingly living from a place of fear, constantly self sabotaging my greatness. I am awake to my nonsense and moving towards creating more freedom, and it feels so good. Come with me.