Have you ever found yourself thinking, "Nothing ever goes right for me?" or just feel like no matter what you do, you end up with the same results? Read on to find out how you may be the very reason it feels that way. Let me explain...
No matter what you’re trying to prove to yourself in any given moment, you will find evidence to support it. For example, Keri wants to leave her toxic relationship. But every time she builds up enough courage to leave, something happens to make her run back into her unhealthy relationship. The last time she broke up with her boyfriend, she attended a friend's wedding in hopes she would find a sign that this time was her chance to have a fresh start. All she could think about leading up to the wedding that day was, how nervous she was and how she was older now so surely no one would be interested. As she walked into the wedding venue, she watched cautiously with her arms crossed as the first guy that she saw looked away and started talking to the person next to him. Her head slowly dropped and the thoughts began to flood her. "See, I knew I wasn’t good enough" "No one will ever be interested in me."
She noticed her friend Jill two rows up gesturing for her to take a seat next to her and her friend. She spent the rest of the evening making little conversation and wishing for the night to end.
Where do the negative thoughts come from?
We all have filters in place that formed in childhood. These filters form through experiences and outside influence. They begin to shape how you see yourself, other people, and the world you live in. These are what your brain uses to survive. So our brain uses these filters to keep us "safe" in childhood. This is what we use to navigate other people's feelings or meet the expectations of those around us. They become our own beliefs whether they are true or not. We use them as our roadmap, except, we forgot to recalibrate the map when we moved on to other places. So although we have moved on to new destinations, we are still carrying around the same old roadmap to a town that has grown and changed.
Keri grew up in a home where, although she was not abused by most people's definition, she had a parent who was emotionally unavailable. She would constantly nit pick Keri about what she wore, how she styled her hair, and the things she liked. She know her parent loved her in their own way but she never heard them say "I'm proud of you" or compliment her on anything she accomplished. Because of this, she developed the "I am not good enough" filter. She took on the viewpoint that she will never be good enough, so when she met her boyfriend, the fact he would say "no one would date you if you left me" didn't really phase her much. Other than that hurtful statement, he treated her pretty well in the eyes of most people. So she found herself in an on again, off again relationship. As soon as she would get up the courage to leave, something would happen and she would end up back with him fighting the same battle, which is exactly what happened after her friend's wedding. She found herself feeling like he is right, no one will ever date her so she might as well go back to him, after all he was good to her in other ways... right?
How do we get stuck in this cycle?
Examine your past to see how it is effecting your presentBecause of the filters, or roadmap we have in place, we travel around with hidden expectations trying to prove the filters are "right."
To understand this better let me offer this scenario:
You travel often for work, to places you are unfamiliar, and although the GPS in your car may fail at times or make you take a wrong U-turn, you still find the destination at some point. At least if you get lost, you can always trust it to lead you back home to the familiar. The same is true of filters. They at one time were trustworthy to keep you safe but as you enter new areas that require a bit more technology, they fail and only try to lead you back home, to the familiar.
How can we make a change?
Until we examine our roadmaps closely, we feel like something is off and we get frustrated with the destinations we find ourselves, but we can't quite figure out where we went wrong. So we put it in auto drive and let the trusty old roadmap drive us to where we are most familiar and know how to navigate.
We go around in search of evidence that proves our thoughts are true. Switching your mindset helps you see that if it's possible for the negative to happen, it is equally as possible for the positive to happen.
Lets go back to the wedding, only let's take a look at the scene as an innocent spectator:
As Keri entered the venue she had a smile that only renewed confidence brings to your face. She smiled and waved at a few friends she hadn't seen in a while. As she continued down the aisle we see the guy her friend Beth had mentioned would be at the wedding and right before she glances his way someone behind him taps him and his shoulder, and just as Keri and him lock eyes he turns to his friend to see what he needed. He realizes it wasn't his friend it was the guy behind them letting him know he dropped something on the floor. He thanks the guy and turns around to see Keri just slide in to take her seat with a mutual friend of theirs, Jill. His look of disappointment was noticeable , as he hoped to get some kind of sign that she may be interested in him. After all, he had heard Keri finally broke up with her boyfriend. Each time he sees her at the reception, she has her head down or turns and walks away.
If Keri would have gone to the wedding after participating in Mindset Coaching or was able to challenge her thoughts, the outcome could have been very different. If Keri went into the same situation looking for proof that she is confident, beautiful and anything is possible, she would found the evidence to support that as well. This is not a game of fake it 'til you make it. It is important to know this is a process and takes time. It is most effective with a Mindset or Trauma Coach, but you can begin at home by using the following 3 steps:
First you need to become aware. It takes time with yourself, truly getting to know you at a deeper level and it helps if it’s an outside person with no objective or no skin in the game. That is where Imperfect Pathways can come in. We use the sessions to really truly understand who you are and how you’ve been surviving the world thus far. This helps identify the filters that you have in place and some of the things that you try to prove to yourself without even knowing it on a daily basis.
Next, acknowledge the filters you have in place. Once you realize what filters you have in place, you give awareness to the thoughts that are subconsciously driving your behavior, and the actions that you take, or do not take. Once you identify them, you can now call them out when they happen and move to the next step which is challenging those thoughts. Finally, challenge your automatic thoughts.
There’s multiple ways to challenging them. One way is to prove the opposite of what your filter or thought is that has created repetitive unwanted behavior. Once you’ve challenged the thoughts\filters, it will help to rewire your brain to begin to actually think intentionally about what you’re doing and the actions that you take. Once you do this, you are now retraining your brain to not automatically go to that built in thought that usually comes from childhood and surviving the world up to this point. You now are in a place to be more intentional, and begin reacting and acting in a way that you want to. Acting in a way that is more true to who you are instead of what the world has told you to be up to this point.
What if I do not see results?
This process takes diligence and time. To ensure effectiveness and efficiency, partnering with a coach helps speed this process up and ensures effectiveness, especially in the identifying and awareness stages. Once you’ve moved to the challenging stage, coaches can serve as an accountability partner, keeping you on track and helping you see some of the ways that the past or your automatic filters might try to show up now. Then they can help you navigate those and challenge those in different ways as they come up.
Taking time to do this work can completely change your life. If you found yourself stuck and you just seem to cycle through the same thing all the time and continue to get the same outcomes, this is definitely the process for you! If you’ve been trying to reach a goal of any kind and you find yourself with the same result or just aren't able to reach that accomplishment, this is definitely the process for you! Most of us operate on auto drive which was built off the past, the expectations of society, and our environment growing up. Therefore, if you continue to operate on auto drive, you are letting the past dictate your present and your future. Taking time to carve out intentional "you time" to dig deeper and understand who you truly are and who you truly wanna be as opposed to who you’ve been this far is the first step. Truly showing yourself that you are worth it and you deserve to live in the present and build a future that is no longer affected by the past is important.
The result of this process is a freedom that no one can understand until they’ve experienced it. No longer will you be a victim of the outside world. Instead, you’ll be able to live with intention and purpose and be who you truly want to be. You will have the results and outcomes that, up until this point, you’ve only dreamed about!
Get the Results You Want. Book your free consultation with Imperfect Pathways today to learn how you can begin to live intentionally with purpose, free from outside influence and no longer paying for the past. Imperfect Pathways is here for you.