“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”- George Bernard Shaw
— Mark Lowe (@MarkKLowe) December 20, 2016
You know that something isn’t quite right with how your life is going. It started as a whisper and now it is a roar. That voice keeps talking to you and telling you that what you are doing just isn’t working for you anymore. You are unfulfilled and empty. You are spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast. You’re stuck and you’re tired of it. It is time to Change The Code.
Change can seem hard when you know deep down that you are not being true to yourself. You have followed the path that someone else told you to follow. And now you feel stuck. Marketing messages are everywhere bombarding you with messages to spend money, or that you are not good enough.
It is also VERY easy to fall back into the same old routines that caused you to feel stuck in the first place. Your friends, family and maybe even your partner are not going to understand why you want to get unstuck. You have everyone and their dog telling you to “snap out of it.”
And then we also have addictions. Maybe it is sugar, or spending, or something more destructive. All addictions weaken the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of your brain responsible for planning and self-regulation. Addictions are insidious because they lower your ability to think rationally and to discipline yourself, thereby making it even harder to overcome the addiction.
What do you do? Give up? Throw your hands in the air and go back to doing what you have always done? Unfortunately the majority of people do just that. How can you overcome all of this and get unstuck?
The Reason You’re Stuck
Here is a pretend conversation. See if it sounds familiar.
Bob: I really don’t like my job.
Mark: Why not?
Bob: The environment sucks, I don’t feel like my work actually matters, and I don’t feel connected with my coworkers. I feel empty when I’m there… and often stressed.
Mark: Ok, so what would you rather create instead?
Bob: Create? Well… I guess I want more freedom. And it would be nice to hang out with cooler people more often. And do something that contributes.
Mark: That’s the same bullshit that everyone who’s stuck says. Vague, general nonsense.
Mark: More freedom, cooler people, and something that contributes? That’s like walking into a restaurant and saying to the server, I’ll have food. You won’t get served till you order something specific. You haven’t been served a solution yet, have you?
Bob: Well… no. But that’s because I can’t leave my job yet. I need the money.
Mark: For what?
Bob: To pay my bills. Rent and stuff.
Mark: So you can keep funding your lifestyle of stuckness?
Bob: Yeah, I guess so. But what else am I supposed to do?
Mark: That’s your question to answer. The world is waiting… and waiting… and waiting on your answer. Every day you’re giving your answer. Right now your answer is bullshit so nothing changes.
Maybe this sounds a bit harsh but does it sound familiar? How many times have you had this conversation with someone or with yourself? Nothing changes because you don’t actually tell your brain to change anything. Your brain is motivated by clear goals and desires. A specific desire leads to action. A vague desire leads to endless delay because your brain can’t figure out the action steps, just like the confused waiter who doesn’t know how to bring you food, even though the restaurant may be full of food. By keeping your options open, you receive nothing.
Be Specific in What You Want To Change
Think about something that you have been successful in changing. Maybe you changed careers, or lost 20 pounds, or whatever. I bet that you were specific about what you wanted to have happen and then your brain automatically created the action steps to enact the change process.
- write down what you want to change or have happen in your life. Be as specific as possible. Use the words, “I will…”
- use a pen and paper. The act of writing it down fires up the synapses of the brain.
- Put it somewhere where you will see it every day.
Does this all tie in with affirmations, and The Law of Attraction, and SMART goals and Neuro-Linguistic Programming? I think it does. How you talk to yourself has a profound effect on who you are and who you become.
Do you know who Scott Adams is? He’s the creator of the world famous Dilbert comics. While working at a job he disliked, he began writing 15x per day on a piece of paper, “I, Scott Adams, will become a syndicated cartoonist.” Soon he found himself getting up early and working on cartoons a few hours before work each day. Now Dilbert is syndicated in about 2000 media outlets worldwide. He was just a regular person who was stuck. But he created a very specific action plan. He came to believe it and look what happened.
‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’
— Mark Lowe (@MarkKLowe) December 19, 2016
Call B.S. On Your “Being Stuck” Excuses
Everything you tell yourself is just your perception of things. What if it is all bullshit? You have built up these stories and excuses in your head for so long that you actually believe them to be true. What if you are all wrong about it? So yes I know you are supposed to treat yourself with compassion but you also need to be realistic if you want to not be stuck anymore.
If you hear an excuse pop into your head, question it and call B.S. on your own excuses about stuck.
You are doing this.
You will change.
You might like: Getting Unstuck audiobook
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“Change The Code. Change Your Life.”