Dare To Choose Better
You might think that when I chose to create this quote and graphic that I was thinking of judging and forgiving others. It is very true that when you seek to understand others, that judgment goes by the wayside and patience comes in for the struggles that they are having. However, when I was thinking about what to write about this morning, it was in connection to self judgment.
“Self awareness is not self judgment. It is looking, and seeing, and discovering who you really are. So check your judgment at the door.” – Trans4mind
You set goals, dreams, ideas of how your day is going to go. You are plan your life out. You will grow up, graduate college, get a job, marry and have a family, climb the corporate ladder, live in a nice home with the white picket fence, and live happy ever after. And then it happens. Self sabotage enters into the picture and you do it wrong. You destroy what you’ve built. You crush someone else. Self judgment burns you like a fire that is raging out of control.
Negative self talk enters your head:
- How could you be so stupid?
- Can’t you do anything right?
- You are the worst!
- You’re not good enough!
- You are a fake and a phony!
- Everyone hates you!
“What upsets people is not things themselves, but their judgments about these things.” – Epictetus
You are not perfect. Nobody is. So you will make mistakes. Some of those mistakes will be disasters. Some of life’s disasters happen from things not in your control. Your mom dies from cancer; your nephew is murdered; your grandson is hit and killed by a delivery truck. Life just happens.
You can’t go back and change what happened. But you can in any moment create a new beginning. Starting over. Let it go. Done is done. Stop carrying the emotional baggage of your past. Take responsibility for your actions. Rectify whatever can be shifted into a better place. Then free it from your mind.
As part of your self awareness journey, you have to discover the courage to ask the difficult questions, both of yourself and others. You need to learn to communicate clearly. It is one of the hardest lessons.
Sometimes you are so scared of what the other one might say, that you don’t ask the question that you know in your soul needs to be asked. Or, you lie to yourself that you can make something happen that you know is not really in anyone’s best interest.
Self awareness takes a lot of courage. It is the only way to avoid the misunderstandings, drama and sadness that happens when we ignore the signs and continue walking down the wrong road.
“We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are, or the way they should be. And our attitudes and behaviors grow out of those assumptions.” – Stephen Covey
It might be time to start examining all of your assumptions. Get curious as to what you things in life you think that you understand. Years ago there was an aquaintance in the church I attended. Someone had seen her having dinner in a restaurant with a strange man. When they left the restaurant they were holding hands and the man kissed her goodbye. That person went around telling everyone that she had a boyfriend. The gossip took off like a wildfire. What really happened was that her brother was traveling and stopped off to see her for dinner on his way to another location for business. The person who saw her made an assumption and they thought what they saw was the right interpretation of facts. It wasn’t.
How many assumptions about yourself, others, and life itself do you have that could have another interpretation?
I love the writing of Joseph Campbell. He talks about the cave you fear to enter. There was a demonstration of this in the original group of Star Wars movies. When Luke is being taught by Yoda and he enters into the cave. He asks Yoda what he will find inside and Yoda tells him, only what you take in with you. Per Joseph Campbell, “The cave you fear to enter has the treasure you seek.” You need to find your own cave. Own the fear(s) you have and enter it. Like Luke you will learn something powerful about yourself.
“Own the fear, find the cave, and write a new ending for yourself, for the people who you’re meant to serve and support, and for your own culture. Choose courage over comfort. Choose whole hearts over armor. And choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid. At the same exact time.” – Brene Brown
So set your intention to keep moving forward.
Create the space and intention to remove the armor that keeps you feeling like you’re stuck. You’re not really stuck. You just need to check the thinking that created the circumstances you find yourself in.
- Life is messy.
- Life is complicated.
- There will always be something that you’re afraid to face.
- Life has painful moments – show up anyways.
- Life can be awkward – live it anyways.