I am continually amazed at how simple practices can make a difference to our state of mind. The only problem seems to be our willingness to sit down for a few minutes and practice.
It seems that even when we want to change our attitudes and outlook on life, we still resist the techniques that will help us. I have a client like this and I often wonder what he does not do what he pays me to teach him. It is our nature to like what is familiar to us- there is safety, consistency and comfort even if it is something that is hinders our ability to enjoy life and move forward.
When we are stuck, we need to become honest with ourselves. Even though we know that life is not how we like it, do we really want to commit to doing what is necessary to change? If the answer is no, then take the pressure off of yourself and when and if you are ready, then you will begin.
If you have even the slightest willingness the most effective way to set yourself up for success it to keep it simple. Years ago I watched a comedy called “What About Bob?” It was about a person who was trying to improve his life, but fear kept getting in his way. The theme of the movie was to take baby steps. For some reason, that stuck with me as a necessary ingredient for new behavior.
What do you think stops us from doing what we need to improve? Let me know in the comments below.
One area where many of us get ourselves into trouble is in our speech.
We react, give advice and simply talk without thinking. This creates hurt feelings and relationship discord. There are many techniques to help with this and this one is simple and quite effective.
Before speaking ask yourself these three questions:
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
Often the first two are on target, but that third one is a bit tricky to avoid. Many of our comments are well meaning in our minds. Think about how many times you have received unsolicited advice or opinions and how it felt.
Even the most innocent comment can be hurtful and unnecessary.
Taking a moment to pause and get centered before you speak will give you time to ask yourself if what you were about to say is appropriate. This change in behavior will have a positive impact on your relationships and your own inner peace.
Give this a try and let me know in the comments below how it went. Did you hold back on a comment? Did you notice when you made an unnecessary comment?
Most of the time when we get angry or hurt, it is because we take things personally. We get hooked and react, which not only takes us out of the moment but negatively impacts our physical well being.
Much of our reactions come from family members. We have history with them and when they do something that annoys or hurts us it is because we have made it about us. In reality, it is about them- their thoughts, judgments and behaviors.
I once heard someone talking about how her parents really push her buttons. Someone replied: Remember, they installed them!
One of the most difficult challenges in relationships is to let other be who they are, quirks and all without layering our objections and reactions onto their behavior.
The key is to realize it is really not about us at all, it is about how they see things. When we are able to see this clearly, we can come back to the here and now and go about our day with peace and ease.
In time, maybe those buttons can be uninstalled!
Let me know in the comments below how you react to family. Do you take their behavior personally? If so, can you make a shift to stay in the moment?