It’s a tough question to ask yourself, and it requires you to be completely honest with yourself. That in itself is a tough order and we often fail at this point already. Let’s be fair: most of us are hiding things from ourselves through nicely a proportioned dose of self-delusion. Sometimes we simply don’t want to acknowledge things the way they are because we cannot face the consequences.
On the other hand, being hard on yourself and telling the story the way it is will often allow you to move forward because you suddenly start seeing things from another viewpoint and realise how silly or stupid we have really been. Any emotional response to this realisation is a good one, the stronger the better: this is exactly the kind of motivation you are looking for and that’s what you need to consider change and, more importantly, actually MAKE IT HAPPEN.
This theory holds true on many levels: we could be talking about stuff that you have chosen to ‘forget’ in the loft, a belief or your views on a particular person that turns out to be a negative influencer, a habit of doing things a certain way that really doesn’t make sense at all but that you insist on perpetuating because you always have done it this way.
Such revelations can be powerful motivators, and sometimes their effect goes far beyond the initial issue, starting an avalanche of changes that are all interlinked and suddenly appear to be logical results of the initial change.
That’s not to say that asking this particular question could not be painful to ask and think about. Often we bury things, thoughts and beliefs in what turns into a habit exactly to be rid of it. The thing is: burying something in a habit does not rid you of it! It’s actually the opposite: by encasing it in a habit, your subconscious is reminded of that buried bone of contention all the time, but you have given away the option to deal with it because your conscious mind has chosen to forget about it. You’ll hurt without even knowing why!
I’d say it’s preferable to be hit over the head with an issue and deal with it once and for all, rather than have it nagging at you all the time?
I do understand there are situations when the obvious road to solve issues is not possible to walk at the time, which makes it all the more important and necessary to keep questioning things whenever you can. If you do question something you take for granted, you’ll know when you are ready to make changes. If you wait too long before revisiting an issue, it may have turned into a habit, and that is much harder to break.
Think of this like a bandage on a bleeding wound: you don’t want to touch it too soon because it will interrupt the healing process. But if you leave it too long, your skin will have grown into the bandage and removing it will be all the more difficult. Mental wounds are not all the different after all: they create habits you want to address before they get incorporated too deeply.
Think about elements in your life where you have to admit to yourself that things are less than favourable and ask the question. Give it a go.
If you have missed the introductory post to this mini-series, read this:
The next two posts will each focus on yet another question you may find helpful to move forward with change…
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.