The problems in life that most people create for themselves, comes from the fact that they do not truly know themselves. They believe that the persona they have created for themselves, is truly who they are. It is unfortunate but true… The person we lie most to is ourselves. This is because most people spend little time getting to know themselves. People will go to 2, 4, 6, 8 years of college, certification programs, continuing education and other professional training, but few people spend even a month of their life getting to know themselves. This is why you will come hear people say (or maybe you have said this yourself), “How come I keep ending up in the same crummy situations”. It is usually because, wherever we are in our lives at this point in time, it is a product of our own previous decisions. If someone is making life decisions, and they don’t really know themselves, their decisions are based on a false premise.
CHANGE COMES FROM WITHIN
The truth of the matter is, no one can change or fix someone else, but we all have the power to make changes within ourselves. All personal growth begins from within. If it’s your spouse’s fault, your boss’s fault, the government’s fault or if you think you’ve just been dealt a bad hand in life, then you are powerless to fix it. If you own it then you have total power to fix it. The best and only way to help facilitate change in others is to fix ourselves and teach through example.
When I’m working with couples, almost every time, one or the other will say something to this affect; “I will change this, if he or she will change that”. My reply is always the same. “That isn’t the way it’s going to happen here. You are each going to own your individual parts in the problem and you’re going to fix your own stuff unilaterally. There will be no deals. By fixing your part in the problem, you will become a better you, and you will help your significant other to become a better partner through your loving example. You can’t fix each other. You must each have the desire and determination to fix yourselves”.
Ownership Provides Power For Positive Change. You can’t fix what isn’t yours. You have complete and total power, to fix what is yours. As counterintuitive as this it sounds, accepting, embracing and owning your flaws gives you tremendous power for positive change in your life. The impact that your positive change can have on others can be astounding. When you try to force change in someone else, you create resistance. When people see positive change that you have made within yourself, they often want the same for themselves. There is an added benefit… When you look at yourself in the mirror, you can truly love yourself, and be proud of the person you are.
I think that horror films are a great metaphor for life. Sound crazy? Think about this… In your typical horror film, you might find a group of young people in a cabin in the woods. They are partying and having a great time until the psycho monster killer starts brutally killing them off one at a time. Finally, when there are only one or two people left, the remaining people take a stand and decide… We’re not running any more. We’re going to face that SOB and kill it. They stand their ground, face their monster and defeat him. Each of us must face our emotional and psychological monsters in order to defeat them.
Power in your life doesn’t come from a façade of perfection. To the contrary, it comes from facing sometime unflattering truths about ourselves. The only way to defeat your monsters is to face them.
Safety, Risk and Wisdom
A person who has made few mistakes has likely taken few chances and rarely if ever stepped out of their comfort zone. That person may have a few safe, but unfortunately, mediocre experiences in life, and will gain little wisdom. Although wisdom does not come only from making mistakes, it does come directly from learning from one’s mistakes.