High fives for clicking on a post with a title like this. You’ve taken the first step in resisting the temptation of living your life like a baby bird with undeveloped wings flapping around and no ability to feed yourself.
Anyway, this is what wants to be said through Ariel Kiley this morning: you ALWAYS have the option of transforming. You ALWAYS have the option to change. You are NOT A COMPLETE VICTIM of your life circumstances. If you want to change, you can. If you don’t want to change, you will not.
For every complaint you have, there are infinite possible solutions, but you must take action instead of wallowing in the comforting stink of your own complacency.
If you haven’t read my post The Life Changing Magic of Admitting You Suck, you might want to before reading this. It will help you tap into the empowering possibilities that come with acknowledging where you’ve disappointed yourself. And for those who enjoy a little good-humored self-deprecation to kick your arse into action, it’ll be right up your ally.
I am writing this post because I have recently been in conversation with several people who have had major breakdown/bust-up discussions (fights) with their partners. All of them are at crossroads, wanting to handle things in a mature, upright fashion and unsure whether the relationship will move forward, or is headed towards complete dissolution.
The essence of these conversations was the same… something is not working in the partnership, it is a pattern that has been not working for months… even years. It has been talked about before. The couple has tried to stick it out, but it’s not getting better. It’s getting worse. Now what?
I think the unfortunate (and strangely, easier) thing that can happen at a junction like this is that the couple decides they are just plain incompatible. I love you but we don’t see eye to eye. We just don’t get along… we may as well go our separate ways. They act like it is out of their control, divi up their cell-phone chargers, and part ways.
Yes, sometimes a situation (relationship, work, home, etc.) simply doesn’t work, it’s not going to get better, and leaving is the only option for the evolution of your soul. That is very real and I am a huge fan of cutting cords and burning bridges where appropriate. Especially if you are being seriously repressed or shut-down/cut-down in said situation.
But sometimes you truly want it to work, and just don’t know how. This is where the transition from whining to taking action comes in. Anytime you hear yourself utter the words I can’t… Stop and consider the possibility that it’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t.
If you don’t know me, and know that I’m a great lover of all people (seriously – I even appreciate Donald. I think he’s reflecting really important things about us that we need to confront and consciously deal with in order to evolve as a country. If Hillary had won I might be sitting on my laurels, not doing much, not writing impassioned blog posts about stopping being whiners)… anyway, if you don’t know me, this might sound harsh.
Perhaps that means it’s touched something inside you? Deep transformation is never fun at the beginning. There’s a reason we avoid our most fundamental issues. Me included. But I know that some of you will read this and say dammit she’s right, I CAN take control of my choices. I CAN take action to change. And I WANT TO. Those are the people this message is for.
So the first part of the equation here, is bringing the fact of your choice onto the table. Admit that you have chosen (consciously or unconsciously) a set of behaviors that are not creating optimal results in your life. Do it now. You might even write down those behaviors (or lack of behaviors).
Now write down a list of 20 POSSIBLE ACTIONS you can take to overcome the patterning you have been stuck in. Make sure you do 20. They don’t all have to be good options. By doing 20 you will burn through some sucky ones and get to some gold (thx to James Altucher for the list of 20 idea – it works!).
Your actions should involve changing your physiology (getting the new behavior in your body), consulting experts (getting some outside wisdom & perspective), connecting to like-minded communities for support (like a chameleon, you will soak up their vibes), and changing regular dysfunctional habits (interrupt your neurological programming).
Choose which action you are going to take and actually DO IT. If you fully do your chosen action and it doesn’t work, pick the next strongest one on the list and DO IT. Keep going down your list, fully, whole-heartedly doing the potentially problem-solving, life-changing actions until you get the results (and answers) you need.
If you find yourself regressing into whiny helpless behavior, pause and give yourself a gigantic high-five for noticing your urge to become a passive victim. Own it. Then get up and get back to your list.
By first taking ownership of your decision to act or not act, you will be able to discern your genuine values (it’s possible you don’t want to stay in the relationship, and that’s totally legit, just own it). Then by taking action, you are consciously finding out if there is a way through. Either way, you’ll be filled with empowerment, and maybe even freedom.
If you like, let me know how it goes.
[I would like to acknowledge that there are humans in this world who are in situations where they have little to no personal agency. They are profoundly oppressed by circumstances and systems. They are in constant threat of death, exile, or public shaming akin to death/exile. Sadly, the ability to take action is a privilege that only some of us have. Let us not take this privilege lightly. Let’s burn through all our personal shit so we can step outside the stench of our complacency and live in service of a more functional world… is that too much to ask?]