I had a conversation with one of my friends this weekend that honestly could have been a conversation with any one of my friends. And either one of us could be saying it because it’s something that happens a lot.
The conversation goes something like this: one of us will text the other one and go, “OMG. I’m so unhappy. Like, I hate everything right now. I feel so weird, miserable, disconnected, dissociated with everything, just terrible.”
And the other one will go, “yeah, I feel the same way. I know what you’re talking about. Absolutely.”
So then it’s like, okay, what are we going to do about it? How do we fix it? What’s the solution?
I’m like, hey, I have all these ideas. Hey, I was just reading this book. I have, like, five or six books sitting here on the couch next to me, and each one of them is like, THIS is THE THING. This is how you fix it. This is exactly what you need to do.
Okay, cool. New plan. This is the week. This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to get out of this feeling and we’re going to feel better. Are you psyched? I’m psyched!! I’m so ready to feel good again!
And then inevitably, Monday comes around and we don’t do anything. Nothing changes. We do the same thing that we’ve always done. And it’s like, I wish I could change. I really do. But the same habits that I’ve always had just feel so comfortable and I don’t want to feel uncomfortable, right? I just want to be comfortable, especially when I feel bad.
But there are some things that I really, really want to change in my life. I’ve made major changes to my life in the past. When I moved to Boston, that was a huge change. I grew up in the Midwest. I was living in the Midwest, but I bought a plane ticket and I moved. It took me six weeks to find an apartment, but I figured it out. And it was scary. And it felt weird sometimes. But, I mean, it really felt good, too. It was like, this combination of adventure and then also terror. I was addicted to the adventure part of it.
I’ve moved across the country several times. I actually moved to North Carolina a couple of times. I’ve also traveled to England by myself and stayed there for three months when I was 25. And for me, that was a huge thing because I had never been out of the United States before. I mean, there’s a lot of things that I’ve done.
So I have all this evidence in my life that I can make major changes, right? I’ve gotten jobs that felt like it was impossible to get that kind of a job. I started a podcast (The Quiet Ones Podcast). I have a podcast that has almost 150,000 downloads. When I started it almost two years ago I didn’t know if anybody would listen to it. I didn’t know what to talk about and I didn’t know what a download was.
But if I wouldn’t have been brave enough to say, “okay, I need to make a change. I have a story to share with the world. I want to help people,” then that never would have happened. We wouldn’t be here right now.
What’s the difference?
You look for evidence of what you believe to be true. And there’s plenty of evidence in my life that I’m capable of change. So what’s the difference? What’s the difference between all of the ways that I’ve been able to change and all of the ways that are things that I’ve wanted to change and can’t seem to change? What’s the magic sauce that pushes you over the edge?
In the past it has been misery and desperation and this overwhelming desire and sometimes necessity, like this whole feeling of “I just can’t stay in this situation any longer. There has to be something else.”
I’ve been learning a lot about energy lately. All of these things like misery and desperation and fear, are all negative energy emotions. They vibrate at lower frequencies so they bring your energy down.
The best way that you can make a change in your life is to change your energy first. You have to lift it up to a more positive energy, to a higher vibration. This is emotions like love, peace and joy. When you lift your energy up, it’s so much easier to change because you’re in a whole different place and you’re focused on different things.
Go from low to high
It’s easy to think, “OK I’m feeling shame and guilt so I’ll just jump up and go straight to love and joy. That will make the best use of my time and get me to change faster.” But here’s the thing: that nasty voice in your head starts popping up with lots of negativity. “You can’t do that! You’re not good at feeling happy. You suck!!” That’s your ego pulling you back down to what it feels is safety. It’s that comfortable place that keeps you from any pain or difficulty, but also from change. Your ego can be a really nasty thing that leaves you feeling completely stuck.
So, how do you get past your ego? Well, you have to recognize what’s going on. Notice when it’s pulling you down and actively choose something else. Instead of jumping from the lowest emotions to the highest ones, aim for the center instead. Aim for neutral. Aim for willingness. Just be open to change. Be willing to change.
Instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight this week!” and waiting for the backtalk from your ego, try a different approach. Say, “I’m open to losing weight this week.” Or say, “What if I lose weight this week?” Your ego doesn’t know how to handle that. There’s no backtalk with that.
One of my favorite people to listen to is Cathy Heller, her podcast is called Don’t Keep Your Day Job. She talks a lot about how a lot of times we’re really close to the mark. It’s just this tiny little shift that we need to make that makes all of the difference. And I really think there’s so much that we’re so close to the mark with. If we can just make this tiny, tiny, little shift, it’ll change everything.
I want to encourage you to make that tiny little shift this week. Instead of saying, “I can’t change,” say, “what if I can change?” I know that there are good things coming, and I want to share all these things with you, too, because I want you to have these big wins and small wins that turn into big things, too. What would happen in your life if you could change the things that you think about all of the time? What would happen if you could live the life that you dream about?