Showing posts with label success. Show all posts
Showing posts with label success. Show all posts

Monday, February 10, 2020

13. Getting Comfortable with Uncomfortable - "Living in Light" Series

Most of us want to make positive changes for the better. But here's some honest, cold, hard truth, change is hard. If you want to change your thoughts, get ready for some constant painstaking examination and awareness of every single thought. If you want to change your body, get ready for some physical rebellion! If you want to change your life, get ready to be pushed out of your comfort zone altogether...

The truth is: change is uncomfortable

So knowing this, how do we get "comfortable" with uncomfortable?

Let's start with how strong your desire is to change. Some things may sound good "in theory" in your mind. We can say, "It would be nice if..." or "Maybe someday I will..." but the power to change comes from your choice, and how deeply rooted this desire is, will ultimately determine how long you can stay "uncomfortable".

Two things are involved, our acceptance of how things are and our awareness of needing to change how things are.

Unfortunately, a lot of the time, we can placate and rationalize our acceptance to death with, "Oh it's not so bad" or "This is just the way I am" or even, "That's life". We will do everything we can to stay in our comfort zone no matter what. That's when awareness needs to step in!

Only when we have awareness of needed change, is when we can accept that how things are right now are not how you want things to truly, really, deeply, be. 

Ask yourself, "How badly do I want this?" "Am I willing to go through hell to get it?" or does the "If it happens it happens," mentality kick in?

For your changes to really succeed, your desire for these changes better be deeply rooted, well thought out, and relentlessly pursued no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Now I'm not suggesting that you have an all or none mentality, a leap off a cliff idea, a throw yourself into a baptism by fire situation, in fact, it's just the opposite. You can read a previous post called "The Power of Baby Steps" here on how small, incremental changes lead to big results.

What I am suggesting is that before you choose to make changes in your life, you should be mentally prepared for those changes and remember that the mind, the body, even just life itself, will resist change to no end, simply to remain comfortable.

So once you've decided to quit drinking, lose 50 pounds, move half-way across the country or whatever your needed changes are, how do we get comfortable with uncomfortable? (All these things I've done and let's just say, it wasn't/isn't so comfy!)

Let's delve into quitting drinking alcohol. This is a tough one in our society. Your friends and family may drink. You may go to restaurants that serve alcohol. Every holiday or special event seems to breed intoxication. This is when your deeply held desire to stop drinking better be really, really deep. You will be tempted, put in really uncomfortable positions by saying something like "No thanks, I'll just have water." You may even make others feel uncomfortable because your not drinking can feel like you're judging them for drinking. (Let that go.)

This is when our choice to be comfortable with uncomfortable must kick in: We must rise up, above our emotions and feelings, and use wisdom to tell ourselves, "I deeply want to stop drinking and stay sober, and even though this is hard, I know it will be worth it for what I want in my life, no matter what."

I love that quote from A League of Their Own, I'm paraphrasing, "They didn't say it would be easy, but they did say it would be worth it."

With the change you're thinking of doing, ask yourself, will it be worth it?

And here's a secret, positive changes are always worth it.

Let's look at weight-loss. Eating less is hard. It hurts. It's painful. The body especially hates change. It wants to stay exactly how it is and will resist whatever you try to change about it. There are times when you feel so starving. It can literally feel like you're dying, no lie! I really do believe in the power of baby steps when it comes to physical change, but regardless of how little the steps you take are, weight loss can be so uncomfortable. Or when you start working out, you get blisters, muscle soreness, sometimes fatigue, even added hunger! It's so frustrating!

But then all of sudden, you start feeling/seeing some benefits, and then you start believing... it is soooooo worth it.

I love when Joyce Meyer preaches on rising above your feelings, start making right decisions, then your feelings will catch up with your decisions. It's so true. If we always did what we felt like, we'd never make any progress. Feelings are so fickle and can lead us nowhere. But once we set our minds right, our feelings will have no choice but to succumb to our wisdom, and that's how we become wiser, stronger, and more in control of our thoughts, bodies, and lives.

What about moving halfway across the country? At first, our minds resist. "But I like where I live now," or "It's not what I really want right here, but it's okay," or "It sounds like too much work."

Sometimes even thinking new thoughts are extremely uncomfortable. We're creatures of habit. We're used to what we're used to. Fear can kick in telling all sorts of things like, the grass isn't always greener, what if I don't fit in, or how can I make it work financially.

Again, ask yourself how strong your desire is to move there. Is it deeply rooted? Do you really want to be closer to your family and friends? Do you really want that new job? Do you really want that fresh start?

Make the right decisions for yourself, and your feelings will catch up with your decisions.

"What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and that that person is uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens--skip like a lamb, if you like!--for even if they don't like it, I do... and all heaven applauds." - Luke 6:23 (MSG)

If anyone truly knows what is uncomfortable is, it's Jesus. Walking in truth, in our truth, can be very uncomfortable. We know what good changes we need to make. Yes, you do. Yes, you do know! And with Christ as our strength, all things are possible. In our most difficult times of change, let's rely on His righteousness, perseverance, and glory to carry us through. For He knows, it is really worth it, and the rewards will be heavenly! Let's rejoice in our good "uncomfort", for it means that we are truly changing for the better. And when we walk in our truth, we can truly live in light, and light will never, ever, fail us.

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for free notifications on each new post!


Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 22, 2019

8. The Power of Baby Steps - "Living in Light" Series

Most people want to make positive changes in their lives, but the truth is, change is hard. Most of the times it's uncomfortable and it makes us step out of our comfort zone. I've learned that the body hates change and that the mind resists change. We have our work cut out for us...

So what can we do to make change easier? Take it little by little. Small changes that are sustainable and repeatable. The secret is consistency. Consistency is the only way to achieve true success. The building blocks to get to the top of your mountain, whatever that mountain may be.

Some have a tendency to have an all or none attitude. (I know I used to be one.) We can work ourselves up, trying to convince ourselves we can do anything and we can do it now. We can feel so empowered, that we want to go full-bore. Then we can go full-bore off a cliff. I've thrown myself off that edge so many times, hoping to grow wings on the way down, but guess what? Never happened.

Recovering from falls, the disappointments, the self-loathing of our grand plans not going through, gets harder and harder. We can become more and more discouraged, leading us further away from our goals than we originally were.

So first, we have to change our mindset. If we acknowledge the fact that full-bore can sound exciting and tempting, but in most cases, it simply doesn't work in the long run. You don't want something that's just going to work for a day, a week, a month. You want these positive changes to take root in your life, your whole life, so you can compound your progress and live to your fullest potential.

The secret is making small changes that you can do again and again without taking yourself so far out of your comfort zone that you'll quit. Set some more easily attainable goals.

It's the little things that add up to big results.

One example that I'll use that most of us can relate to is "dieting". If your body is used to consuming 3,000 calories a day and being mostly sedentary, chances are abruptly changing to a 1,500 calorie diet and working out 6 days a week will be a big shock. You'll be hungry, if not starving, and probably exhausted by doing a lot with so little than your body's used to. There's probably no denying that the latter diet is healthier, but is it sustainable? Are you going to stick with it, no matter what, no matter how bad you feel and tired you get? Chances are you're not.

However, let's say you only cut out 300 calories a day and start doing some walking for 30 minutes twice a week? Do it for a month straight. Is this more sustainable and easily repeatable? You know the answer. If we use this mindset for all the positive changes we want to make in our life, we will have a higher rate of success. And once you see yourself making progress it's more likely that you'll want to continue and advance that progress.

Smaller changes are easier to make than big ones. 

With this method, there is tremendous importance on patience. I'm not a naturally patient person. I have to work to be patient. When I make a change, I want the benefits instantly. But I've learned it doesn't really work that way. When I have a hard time being patient, I remind myself of all the ways I think and feel when I'm not patient. I'll ask myself, "Do you want to feel anxious, frustrated, angry? Or do you want to feel at peace with your choices and decisions? Is slower progress, but progress nonetheless, going to be better than no progress at all?"

This is the power of baby steps. Setting small goals that are easily attainable and sustainable. Stick with your new goals until they become your new comfort zone, then make new goals. Go slowly and be gentle with yourself. I've made major changes to my life using this method and I know it can work for you! Consistency is key! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

And what does this have to do with living in light? Most of us want to have a life full of joy, peace, and progress. This takes time, energy and effort. So if we can make positive changes that are sustainable and consistent, we are more likely to have and keep a life of fulfillment, contentment, and overall well-being. Living in light is about living life to the fullest and doing our best, not more than our best. All we can do is keep striving for light so the darkness doesn't stand a chance!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

How to be an Olympian

As I've been watching the Sochi games this Olympic year, I've been seeing and hearing a lot of stories about the athletes and their physical trials and tribulations. Their many injuries and surgeries they have had to endure for their sport. The speed skater who had horrifically cut his quad down to the bone from a fall. The slope-style snow boarder who fractured his rib on a rail. The skier who lost her legs because of a deadly disease where surprisingly, out of nowhere, almost took her life.

What occurred to me is their immense fearlessness, the force that drives them so much, that it's not a matter of how many surgeries they need before they get better. How much it hurts to snow board with a broken rib. Or even, who needs legs to ski down a mountain at ridiculous speeds. It's how fast can they get back to doing what they love to do. When they can strap on their gear and head down that slope. It's no matter what, they want to, with all their hearts, compete in this Olympics. No matter how much pain. No matter how much they have weakened.  

I have been contemplating for the last several months to get a surgery done. Where a nerve stimulator would be placed on my spinal cord to intercept the chronic pain I have in my left ribcage from a diaphragmatic hernia repair that took place in 2009 that almost took my life. The nerve stimulator implant is not the riskiest procedure out there, but it's definitely not the least risky either. When the doctor starts talking about chances of paralysis, or even just severe muscle spasms, fear does cloud my thoughts and makes me not want to do it. Having undergone three surgeries in my early lifetime, I know I'm a slow healer and the pain that comes with each surgery, and these are facts that are sometimes almost unbearable to think of and impossible to ignore. With my body, it always seems to be Murphey's law. Nothing goes as well as it was supposed to.

But in some light that has shed on me as I hear the stories of these injured Olympians, I have started to realize, that it is not the pain, the suffering, the loss of limbs, the fear of never being healed, it is the passion to perform that overrides all of those worries. That the risk, is so very much worth the potential reward. That if they did not try to become healed, they could never feel complete. And if they did not compete in this physical game of life, they could not win.

It would be an absolute miracle if the stimulator could take away my pain that I've been living with for almost five years. And who's to say that it's not a possibility? I could be staring down at that snowy slope, more than ready to take on a mountain of gargantuan obstacles. I could be poised upon the ice, ready to race with my competitors. I could be flying through the brisk air, broken rib healed, just thinking about how I will land.

How are we to be Olympians? Be fearless. Risk big. Keep your eye on the prize. Because who knows, there could be a podium in your future. A medal to adorn your neck. A familiar anthem played in your honor. Just take that first leap of faith. That fearless path that could take you to victory. That peace and the wholeness of knowing, who did all you could. That's how.

"You haven't failed, until you quit trying." - Anonymous

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Success in Small Steps: What Keeps the Writer Writing

   Success! How foreign it is to me, or at least in the way I sometimes define it. Success can be completing a novel, novella, screenplay and poetry anthology. And granted I've done all these things. But success to me, is always getting it sold, optioned or published - call me crazy. Because I am.
  
   But yesterday - the most success I've ever had with a screenplay happened. Out of nowhere! Straight down out of the boundless blue! An invisible magical line from New York connecting all the way to me in the middle of the country, via email out of all things -- this is how everything happens now. Wow.
   
   Can't help but feeling somewhat accomplished. It has taken the forever long seeming path to get here, but it finally happened. Always when you never expect it. Must remember that. 
   
   These little things keep me going. Keep me writing. Most people don't understand what it takes to be a writer. Yeah, you're your own boss...but you are your own boss! You control you and your dedication must be stellar. There's no one there to make you do it. Put thoughts in your head. Make your hands type, putting substance into the complete void of a blank page. Day in and day out, year after year. But then, one day, seven years later...a small step of success. Fingers crossed. Sign of the cross. And I'll try not to crucify my inner psyche before I even know the outcome. 

   This is the struggle. The constant upwards battle. But days like this make it all worth it.  Regardless the outcome, this is a step in the right direction. And one day...just one day...true success will knock on the door, and I'll know exactly what to say. 


"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
- Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Work!!!

A career. A job. A lifestyle. Money. No money. Success. Fulfillment.

If you are lucky enough to do what you want in this Life, kudos to you.

If you don't know yet or are still trying to figure that out, kudos to you too.

I've known that I wanted to be a screenwriter since I was 15. That was 11 years ago. Do I feel lucky to know that? Sure! Could I change my mind in the future? Nothing is impossible!

A lot of my friends are still in school. Still searching for that ideal, dream job. Some are considering going back to school, to change directions once again. I've discovered it takes a lot of strength and courage to change your mind about something. Especially about something BIG. It's incredible what the human mind is capable of. To want a job. Work so hard to get it. And then work it dry until something new comes along. It's sometimes taxing. Sometimes okay. Sometimes enjoyable.

One could say our jobs define us. One could say our jobs are just a little part of us. Some could say our jobs are what drives us. Most would say our jobs are a necessity, of course... The Art of Survival. Personally, I enjoy defining my job, redefining and fine tuning it, again and again. I feel so lucky to have a job that I love so much with so much freedom. What a rarity it is. I know this. I am forever grateful.

A career of being a great mom who raises amazing kids. Success. A job that makes you feel important. Success. A lifestyle you've always dreamed of. Success. Money. No money. Success. I pray that all can find fulfillment. With work, play, love and Life.

"You are not an indentured servant! It's not a whim for you, you prove it to him by your conviction and your passion! You show that to him, and if he still doesn't believe you - well, by then, you'll be out of school and can do anything you want."

- John Keating in Dead Poets Society.