Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Changing the way you see yourself

I had thought that I was only going to write one blog a week, but I think I'm going to put one out as often as they come to mind.  I hope you enjoy this one.  It was a big stepping stone in my life change.

Today, we are going to work specifically on what you think about yourself since this is a journey to YOUR happiness.  There are beliefs we have about ourselves that we use daily as reasoning for our behaviors, positive and negative.  Maybe its something you believe is genetic, or a trait passed down by your parents, but a belief is something that you tell yourself about who you are and why you act the way you do.  Beliefs are not written laws, and you are not bound to them, but you've made a mental decision to follow them based on your upbringing and what you've been taught over the years.

Get out a piece of paper and pen and lets get started.

I want you to think of all of the traits you have that you are proud of.  Write down each personality trait you have had since childhood that you think makes you a good person.  Only write statements that you truly feel represent who you really are.  Write them down as "I am (personality trait here)."  Really look at each statement and feel that sense of personal pride and happiness you get from knowing that is exactly who you are.  Be proud of these statements and that you know what it is in you that makes you AMAZING.

Now I want you to write down the personality traits you're not proud of.  Things that you wish you could change about yourself.  Write these down as "I am" statements also.  Do not try to get too deep with this, just pick a couple of traits you wish you could change, but are unsure of how to do so.  Things that you know are not healthy for your journey to happiness.  I'll give you an example of one of MY negative traits, and then explain how I was able to overcome and conquer it.

During my process I was introduced to a challenge called the Rocking Chair Activity.  I'm not going to go into full detail with it, because it isn't mine to share, but I am going to share how it made me think.  My biggest personality flaw has always been the belief that "I am lazy."  I've had that thought about myself since I was a little girl.  Maybe its something that was told to me over the years so many times that I believed it, or maybe it was an excuse for me to allow myself to continue that said behavior, even though I knew it was wrong, but it was a belief I have held onto for many years.  My coach, Carl Massy, had me sit down and really think about that belief that I've had.  To look back to the past 5 years, and the past 10 years, and see exactly how that belief has manifested into my daily life.  My house was a disaster, we ate fast food more often than I'd like to say aloud, and I spent the majority of every day on my butt on the couch.  I fully believed that I was lazy, therefore I allowed myself to continue the behavior daily, even with the knowledge that it was wrong.

Then Carl told me to look at how that behavior has molded my life today.  I looked around the room and could see exactly what believing I was lazy had done to my life.  I couldn't invite people into my home without embarrassment, I was severely overweight, and I couldn't walk more than 100 yards without being in physical pain.

Next he told me to imagine my life 5 years from now if I did not change that belief about myself.  That was a struggle for me.  To imagine how my life would be now multiplied by 5 years.  Then he said to look 10 years, 20 years, 30 years into the future.  What I saw in my imagination was enough to bring tears to my eyes.  I was not that person, I didn't want to be that person, and I was scared because I knew if I didn't change, that's exactly who I was going to be.

I don't think that I will ever forget how I felt in that moment.  The realization that the belief I held onto caused that much pain was mentally overwhelming.  It was either end up on an episode of Hoarders in 20 years or CHANGE.  That was the moment he told me to write down the exact opposite of that belief.  I wrote down on that paper "I am PRODUCTIVE" but I didn't feel it.  He asked me to say it aloud but I couldn't even do it without feeling as if I was lying to myself, but I said it, repeatedly.  My job from that day forward was to remind myself every single moment I was allowing myself to use that belief as an excuse that I was a productive person, and that I felt good about it.

Jumping forward to today, it is now 11 am and I've made a nutritious breakfast, cleaned my kitchen, did 3 loads of laundry, went to the grocery store, and got in my daily walk of 3 miles.  It makes me feel a sense of pride and happiness knowing that I am doing my absolute best.  I repeat to myself every time I want to go back to that previous belief of being lazy that I am PRODUCTIVE and I feel awesome about it and that being lazy makes me feel horrible.

This is what I want you to do with each of your negative beliefs.  I want you to look at each one and think to yourself how it has molded and shaped your life into what it is.  Then imagine how your life would look 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now if you continue to allow yourself to be that way.  Make a mental decision to change that belief into the complete opposite.  Now think of the exact opposite of that belief.  Write down your NEW belief and repeat it to yourself over and over.  When you start falling back into old habits, take a moment to remind yourself exactly who you are NOW and remember how that belief made you feel.

From this day forward you are not that old belief, you are the new one!  You are exactly who you WANT to be, you only have to remind yourself of that.  These will be your new affirmations in life.  Repeat them to yourself at least 10 times a day until you really feel that its who you are.

Best of luck and I hope that you find this helpful in each day of your life!
Lauren Vento

If you'd like to know more about Carl Massy, or the programs he has to offer, please visit his website.  I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't.
Carl Massy's website-