Tag Archives: change

Banishing Negative Self-Talk

13 Oct

When I think about my plans to leave Spokane and the best way to use my time here until then, I keep catching myself assuming that it will be difficult, that I’ll never achieve everything I’m trying to do, that I’m going to struggle and still barely get through.

This is ridiculous.  This is a clear remnant of the poverty mentality that is at the root of my core story.  There is no reason I will need to struggle and suffer.  There is no reason I can’t make enough money to meet my perfectly reasonable goals.  There is no reason to assume I will not progress.  I seem to believe that because I haven’t had these things in past, that means I can never have them.  Ever.

Managing these rather toxic thoughts ties in with this week’s goal of self-compassion.  I’m following three simple steps to rewrite this particular aspect of my core story.

  1. Recognize: Recognize the poverty mentality when it occurs and remember that I do not need to think that way.
  2. Compassion: Show myself some compassion; I’ve spent my whole life with these assumption, so change will not be immediate.
  3. Rewrite: Reframe the self-defeating thought into something more helpful.  “My next move will give me the opportunity to meet some amazing people.”

I’m hoping that with some practice the positive, helpful thoughts will come more naturally than the negative, defeatist ones.

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How do you handle unnecessarily pessimistic self-talk?  Do you have a system, or do you take each thought as it comes?

The Catalyst for Change

7 Oct

Three years ago I arrived in Truckee, California.  Several days earlier I’d left Michigan, where I’d lived my entire life, and drove out there via the scenic route.  At that time, all I knew was that I needed a change.  I didn’t know what I needed and I certainly didn’t know how I was going to do it, but moving across the country seemed like a good first step.

It was.  Sure, moving across the country in a reliable car, without having to borrow money, or at least having a job waiting would have been a better first step, but I was able to make progress without getting caught up in perfection.

Moving did not solve my problems, but it did show me which problems were caused by my circumstances and which problems were caused by me.  Moving did change my circumstances and it showed me that I can do big, life-changing things pretty much any time I want to, if I just take that first leap.

I made my first step toward change because I was incredibly unhappy and didn’t know how to help myself; all I could do was something drastic.  Is it like that for everyone?  Is change usually brought on by duress?  What happens when things get better — do you keep trying to change or do you become satisfied?

I guess the short version of what I’m asking is what’s your catalyst for change?

5 Lessons I Don’t Want to Learn

15 Sep

Sorry, no credit or debit cards accepted.My trip to Michigan was depressing.  It usually is.  I was able to see almost all of my friends and family though, and it was great to spend some time with them, to be a part of their lives.  I miss that so much.

However, so many of those people I love are struggling in one way or another.  Most people are struggling financially — jobs are hard to come by and good jobs are all but nonexistent.  At the same time, the restaurant where my mom works, which my best friend’s family owns, is struggling to find decent employees.  I only saw one person who seemed truly happy and excited about her life.

I’m working to rewrite my core story and my trip home reminded me how I came by the beliefs I’m trying to change.  Here are some of the things I saw while I was there:

  • Financial insecurity is normal.  Real prosperity is an unrealistic goal.
  • Work is something we all have to suffer through; no one enjoys their job, but we have to have money.
  • There is always too much to do, so something must be sacrificed.  Usually it will be the sacrifice of a dream or a goal to reality.
  • You can’t count on anyone to help you.  Even if someone wants to help, they’re probably struggling too so how can they offer you anything?
  • It’s always best to be cautious.  Things could turn for the worst at any moment, so be prepared.

Everything there is treated as a zero-sum game.  People who are successful are regarded with resentment and suspicion — obviously they couldn’t have achieved that success without taking something from someone else.  People are reluctant to help others unless they can see a direct pay off.  Fear is always, always present and drives most decisions.  Everyone suffers from a poverty mentality and that is the part of my core story that I am trying to change.

Prosperity, not poverty.

Faith, not fear.

Abundance, not absence.

I can do this.

4 Places I Might Move

1 Sep


Earlier this week I wrote that I don’t belong in Spokane, so a friend asked me the logical question: where am I going to go next?  Good question.  My lease here goes through April, and it makes sense to stay somewhere where the cost of living is this cheap while I try to get my career out of the kitchen.  That being said, eight months is enough time to start bringing in some sort of reliable, misery-free income and it will be more than enough time in Spokane.

So where am I going to go when it’s time to get out of here?  I don’t know, but here’s the list thus far:

  1. Seattle.  The original plan was to go to school in Spokane for a year and then move to Seattle to finish school, but my school plans have been dramatically changed.  Seattle seems like an amazing city, and I’ve actually wanted to live there for several years, but I’m not sure April will be the right time.
  2. Tahoe.  Skiing is what I love and what makes me happiest, so I’m very tempted to go back to Tahoe.  I loved it there and I have friends there and there are even a couple of community colleges there.  However, Tahoe is very expensive and the housing market is crazy.  I think it’s the place I want to live my life, but not necessarily the place I want to build my life.
  3. The Bay Area.  Two of my closest friends are going to school here; I could join them there and get back on track with school without being too far away from Tahoe and my favorite ski area.  This option seems the most practical.
  4. Los Angeles.  I can’t imagine staying there long-term, but I do have a couple of friends there and I’d love to try experience living in a city like that.  It’s feels like the opposite of Spokane, and that might be what I need when I leave here.  I could live there until the ski season starts and then head to Tahoe for the winter.  After a summer in L. A. and a winter in Tahoe, I’ll probably be motivated to attempt school again and far more clear on what I want from my life.  This option feels shiniest.

Right now I’m feeling very overwhelmed by how far my life is from where I want it, but I do see numerous ways that I can have a good life.  I think I need to decide where I want to be, in body, career, and mind, next May and create a plan to get me there.  I’m approaching the problem from too many angles, and I need a more direct, targeted method.

Real Live Revolution: Career

1 Aug

It’s time to overhaul my career.  I’ve known that cooking was not my long-term plan for some time, so I moved to Spokane to help transition into something more suitable.  However, I intended to financially support myself via cooking until I acquired the qualifications I’m working toward.  That’s what I’m doing and I’m miserable.  So, instead of sucking it up, I’m going to spend August working on my career.  At the end of the month I’m going to have a job that I am genuinely interested in, a job that pays well, a job with a consistent schedule that will allow me to attend school.  Every day I’m going to do at least one action that will increase my ability to land the job I want.  I’m 27, and I am tired of working dead-end jobs that only allow me live paycheck to paycheck.  I’m going to change that in the next 31 days.*

Today is the first day of this project, and I started with profiles on LinkedIn and Brazen Careerist.  I applied for a job as a content creator for a sex positive community.  I actually have experience with online sex ed, both blogging and moderating forums, so it would be great to get back to that.  I’m also trying Freelancer.com so I can try a few things within my skill set, but outside my work experience.  I want a job that requires me to use my brain.

Tomorrow I’m going to meet with a counselor at school and work on getting that settled.  I’m also going to continue working on my LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, and Freelancer efforts, and I’m going to apply for two jobs.  As I went over my work history and thought about what I’m actually capable of, it became very clear that there is no reason for me to settle for something that only provides me with an unimpressive paycheck.

*Inspired by Matt Cheuvront’s 31 Thank Yous.

Resilient

15 Dec
Evolution is change 3
Image via Wikipedia

Reverb10: 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

What I want to remember about 2010?  I was resilient.  This year brought me many opportunities for growth*, most of which were unpleasant.  In spite of it all, I feel like I’m holding up rather well.  I’ve had a few moments of panic or despair, but they were moments, they did not define my year.  This year was defined by my ability to make the best of things and to recognize that I was what needed to change.

2010 was hard and I’m glad it’s almost over.  All the same, I like to think it laid the foundation for 2011 to be a year of growth, a year of building.

*I do appreciate that I needed to grow in these ways.  Change had to happen eventually, but change is not necessarily fun.  Actually I rather resent it.

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