“No one can change your life for you. It has to be an inside job. Always has been. Always will be.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being a ‘self-help’ junkie. I should know – I’ve been one. We read every book. We subscribe to every newsletter. We attend every workshop. We have tried (and often trained in) every therapy. At seminar lunch breaks, you often find us proudly listing all the famous people whose courses they have taken. Yet it still doesn’t seem to be working.
It’s as though we are driven to be on a relentless search for that final magic bullet – the technique that will fix us. The one that will make things ok.
But we’re never going to find it.
Because firstly, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with us, so there’s nothing to fix. We are just running some old habits and beliefs that don’t sit comfotably any more. And secondly, we are expecting the authors, seminar leaders and therapists to somehow do the change work for us.
“I felt great for a few days, but then things went back to normal.”
Books, seminars, courses and therapeutic interventions can all help, when we want to make shifts. They can even spark a deep transformation and a release of old patterns. But the real work happens when we put down the book or get home after the course or therapy. That’s when the effort needs to start.
No one can wave a magic wand to take away the fact that creating change in your life requires two elements:
- Choice – a decision (which may need to be remade every five minutes, at first!).
- Action – a choice without action will only ever lead to feeling frustrated by the status quo.
When we let go of the need to ‘fix’ ourselves and stop seeing ourselves as somehow ‘broken’, it opens the door to treating ourselves more compassionately and those old habits of beating ourselves up can effortlessly melt away.
This opens up the possibilities for making choices about how to think, feel and behave, without judging ourselves, which makes action easier.
No matter what we learn from others, be they experts or a stranger in the street, insight or knowledge without action won’t create the future we desire.
That action doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does need dedication. In the ancient spiritual language of Sanskrit this dedication is called ‘abhyasa’. I often think of this as ‘doing what needs to be done, even when you’re not in the mood’.
If something about a book, course or therapy has inspired you, it’s your deepest wisdom’s message that bringing that inspiration into your daily life will yield positive results.
Inspiration can give you the idea. Motivation can get you started. But it’s boring old action, habit and routine that will actually create and sustain the change.
So if you come across inspiration, it really helps to ask yourself how you could help yourself to nurture this new habit and create that change.
Changing your life doesn’t need to take years or cost a fortune. With each and every breath we can choose to shift our experience. It’s wonderful that there are others out there, offering guiding lights, to help us find shortcuts. But no one can do it for us.
Wishing you a day full of sunshine and laughter.
P.S. Like Daily Sunshine? Please share it with your friends. Daily Sunshine