Written by MJ Ryan, SheEO Development Guide
Art by Asja Boroš
Recently I was talking to the Mindset Learning Track groups at SheEO about how to change anything in yourself. It really only takes three things:
- Desire: I really want to do this, it’s not just a passing whim or a “should”
- Intention: I am going to do this
- Persistence: I’m going back to it no matter how many times I mess up
Because of the way our brains are structured, we have deeply grooved automatic habits of doing what we are already doing: being negative or pessimistic, snacking unconsciously, not exercising, beating ourselves up, losing our patience, being rigid….Whatever it is that we want to change. So it takes LOTS of practice to grow new pathways and make them automatic. Plus the old pathways are still there–you’re building a parallel road so to speak. Under stress, difficulty and challenge, we tend to lose our way and find ourselves on the old road. And boy is that true for most of us right now!
That’s ok. Really. You and I will mess up, no matter how much we want or intend to change. That’s what it means to be an imperfect human being, which we all are no matter how much we’ve worked on ourselves. We blow it and when we do, our tendency is to beat ourselve up or give up. Neither is helpful.
Really, all we have to do is begin again. Today. Right now. With compassion toward ourselves for being imperfect, we begin again. No matter how many times, how many decades. Maybe the only thing we are actually changing is that we’re becoming kinder to ourselves in our imperfectness. And maybe that’s the whole point. Begin again. If we don’t, nothing changes. And if we do, we open ourselves to the possibilty of growing beyond our limitations, becoming wiser, braver and yes, kinder. But never perfect. That’s why we need the grace of beginning again and again and again.