I knew I didn't have the ability to improve on my own had to shut my ego down in order to learn. So I got resourceful. I started reaching out to people who had the qualities that I was looking to have and started learning from them. As it turns out, I made some mistakes in who I chose, but even they became part of the learning experience.I woke up one day realizing how unhappy I was with my life, and as I thought about it, I realized I was living a life that had been designed by others--or at least what I thought others wanted of me. I cared more about what others thought than who I was. I needed approval. There came a time when I realized I was looking in the wrong place. That if I didn't fix what was going on inside of me, nothing from the outside would ever be enough.
The realization hit that my number one problem was my self talk. You know--the way you talk inside your head. You would never throw trash in your lawn, yet I was doing that in my mind. The first step was to realize I was doing it. Then I worked to interrupt the pattern, say the opposite and reframe. Pattern interrupt. Reframe. It took a lot of discipline to change the way I thought.
Once I began, the results were unexpected. I started getting more hugs. I was never a "touch person" but I became one. I also developed a lot more empathy as I realized I wasn't the only one with self-bashing thoughts inside my head. I began to help others interrupt their patterns and reframe. It's hard to stop listening to yourself. We've been trained over years. Through media. People in our lives. There can be generations of programming. I encourage people struggling with this to upgrade their associations, friends. Find people with positivity. People who have more of what you want.
In the past, I was never someone who was encouraging. (I didn't know how. I was never encouraged.) But that has changed. Once I started to encourage people, people started encouraging me back. I was dying for that.
Other people will never recognize this, but the biggest change is that I've gone from selfishness to selflessness. I discovered I have a very tender heart, but had built a large exoskeleton to protect it. I've worked to dismantle it. To maintain a thick skin, but a soft heart and to take apart the hardness.
I didn't like where I was in life and found a way to get the life that I wanted. But I had to start with me. If I can do it, others can do it too.
© Cathy Hutchison 2012