We’re taught from a very early age that change is something to be feared.
In fact, over time this message has been reinforced so strongly that we now fear change more than we fear death.
As we grow up we’re conditioned by the people and places around us. We’re shaped and moulded into a version of ourselves that we believe is acceptable and we step obediently into the drive to success – just like everyone else.
We grow up, and leave school and we continue to make sure we have the ‘right’ qualifications, buy the ‘right’ car’, have the ‘right’ friends, have the ‘right’ career’, buy the ‘right house (in the ‘right’ suburb) and create the perfect life.
More shaping, moulding and conditioning.
In an effort to keep up – and hopefully get ahead – we push ourselves beyond our boundaries. We place ourselves under the weight of heavy expectations and we carry the burden of ‘success’ in every decision we make. We ignore the voice in our head that tells us we need to slow down, take some time and care for ourselves …. after all, that’s for people who are less busy than we are – we simply don’t have time.
We punish ourselves until we meet every expectation and demand that is placed on us … until we reach that point where we’re running on empty and we have nothing left to give. And then we find a way to give more.
We take a deep breath and just keep going – everything will be all right if we just keep going. We’re stressed and exhausted but that’s normal, right? Aren’t they the key components of being successful?
The blinkers on our eyes keep us looking straight ahead. They keep us from understanding that we’re actually living a life that someone else has programmed us to live.
While ever we continue to live our lives this way, we are guaranteeing ourselves a one-way all expenses ignored ticket to a traumatic event of our own.
After all, we believe that traumatic events – such as a breakdown or cancer – are things that only happen to other people … until they don’t.
The human body is an amazing construct that is designed to provide us with warning signals when it needs us to take notice of something that’s not quite right. When we put on the blinkers and shut down the warning voice, we push ourselves harder than we were ever designed to go.
We have a remarkable ability to see the effects of stress and exhaustion in those around us – whilst completely ignoring the fact that we are suffering from the very same symptoms. We have boundless empathy for our friends, family and colleagues – but rarely do we allow ourselves a bit of self-compassion.
We give everyone around us our permission to take a break and give themselves a bit of self-care … but we’ve been programmed to believe that offering the same care to ourselves is just selfish.
So how do we step up and give ourselves permission to make some changes … and still get ahead?
Perhaps one of the best-kept secrets of our lifetime is that introducing change is quite simple. Once you understand that breaking something down into small, simple and manageable steps means that change will never be difficult again, you’ll easily and willingly step away from the life someone else has given you and start living the life that was meant to be yours.
Life will become much easier and will be more likely to be full of the things that you love, and you’ll be less likely to become stuck in the things that drain your energy.
We need to acknowledge that being stressed and exhausted is NOT normal. Bluntly, being stressed and exhausted is slowing killing us.
Everything in life comes down to our choices. In every moment and with every decision, we can choose the path we take. The reality is that making change in simple, small steps is so much easier to handle than trying to climb back up after a total breakdown.
It is only when we choose to stop waiting for permission to change, that our lives can be lived very differently.
About Your Guest Blogger: Bronwen Sciortino is a Simplicity Expert and the author of ‘Keep It Super Simple – Tips from a Recovering Perfectionist’. Join the conversation by subscribing to the tribe at www.sheiqlife.com