“God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know… it’s me.”
As much as we’d love to change someone else, the only person we have power over to actually change is our-self.
Yes, we may have tried to change someone else by influencing them, by coercing, or even by attempting to force someone, but sadly the only thing which ends up often changing is their perception of us.
When we try to get someone else to change, often the only thing to budge is their anger and resentment towards us, to cause it to grow and to magnify.
Seems incredulous that someone would become angry or resentful when we may have the best intentions for them? That they wouldn’t feel appreciative of our efforts, even if we’re 100% right and they’re wrong?
I’ve been on both the giving and the receiving end.
I’ve had people try to change me into who they thought I should be, and that didn’t work out well. Some people I resisted, and that created arguments and stress for both of us. Other people were more aggressive in their approach and ended up breaking me down, which took me years to heal from.
I’ve also tried to change a couple of people which didn’t work out well either. One person was my first husband who was an alcoholic and a drug addict. The more I tried to get him to stop, the more he resisted. When he was confronted at work to go into a rehab program or to lose his job, he complied.
He listened to other people on his recovery journey, for which I was grateful, but it was a huge reality check to learn that all my best intended efforts were backfiring. I learned that I really shouldn’t be trying to change anyone!
The only person I could change was me, and I struggled to change.
For everyone who is trying to change something about themselves and feels it’s pretty much mission impossible, please be patient with yourself!
It’s going to take time to change from using the existing Neural Pathways which may be as wide as a 6 lane expressway and as deep, to slowly develop new Neural Pathways.
It took a lot of repeated efforts to create that Neural Pathway expressway, which became your quick and automatic go-to for the actions you now wish to change.
It the beginning that old expressway will beckon, calling loudly for you to return and to use it.
By choosing new thoughts and actions you’re building new Neural Pathways for new habits you want to create.
It’s going to take a lot of repeated actions to build up your new go-to habits.
As you use the old expressway less and less, they will gradually fade away from less and less use.
So, yes, it’s possible to overcome even very difficult habits, but it takes a lot of patience and perseverance of your part to do it.
Think about some habits which you could change this year: changing the negative self talk into positive, learning to like yourself, teaching yourself to eat healthier, picking up a hobby instead of spending hours playing on the phone, practicing not jumping to angry conclusions and feeling more peaceful… oh the possibilities!
Start slowly, start small, but do start! Then keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. If you need to keep starting again and again, as many times as you need to! Keep going!
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