That’s all I’ve ever really done.
Dwelling on my inabilities, how much time I’ve wasted, what I could have done with my life had I known this or that…
All the opportunities that came my way that I never took because of my incessant laziness and lack of focus.
Looking at my colleagues, seeing how far they have gone and looking at myself, doing the same things I have been doing for the past 10 years.
These debilitating thoughts have always locked me away in a prison of my regrets, failures, guilt and shame…
But today, a thought came to me that I have never asked myself before.
Do I have to listen to my brain?
Do I honestly have to believe that critical chatter that consumes me, sometimes sending me into physical paralysis, unable to get out of my bed for hours on end?
Do I have to allow a mind that has never experienced my future to dictate to me that I am incapable of thriving in it?
It’s taken me 27 years to ask myself these questions.
What exactly happens when you slowly start to question your old beliefs, challenging that old story of who you believe you have always been?
Resistance of epic proportions, that’s what!
Your mind doubles down on the negative self-talk, providing well documented, vivid examples backed up by evidence of your colossal screw ups, non-starters, traumatic childhood experiences, missed opportunities and burnt bridges.
You quickly take your new thoughts and throw them back in a shelf you created somewhere in the shadows of your mind, never to be seen again.
It takes courage to overcome yourself, which by the way, you have.
If you recognize that you have once questioned your actions and behaviors that you know are detrimental to the person you want to become, then you have exactly what you need to change: the ability to doubt your doubt.
You have the ability to keep chipping away at this false story that you have secured your self-identity with.
But you have to start doing less and less of what you have always been doing that perpetuates this same actions and behavior on a daily basis.
You must prioritize now more than ever what exactly is important to you!
Start asking yourself new questions like
What exactly do I want out of this life?
Why is it so important to me?
Who do I have to become in order to make this a reality?
Create a plan on how you are going to make the things and people you really care about the most important entities in your life,
Make the decision to focus, as much as possible, on creating a life where these things are your highest priority.
This will mean
making new sacrifices,
looking at yourself and life from a different point of view,
slowly taking ownership away from your ego that has been the controller of your thoughts, words and deeds,
Being okay with moving away from what has always been familiar and comfortable
Having new conversations (with yourself and others) that challenge you
Seeking to understand rather than to be understood
Constantly standing up for the new version of you that you are consciously expanding into
Slowly drain the energy, time and effort you give to the things that no longer matter to you by focusing on what really does.
In other words, overcoming yourself means totally redesigning and architecting your life.
It is not going to be easy, and like I said, there will be a lot of resistance…
But if it really matters to you, then you will do the work!