These days, I have gotten much smarter about life’s “Gut Checks.“ Instead of letting life check me I check myself. I take the proactive approach. Of course we are all going to deal with bad things in life but its how we react to them that shows our progress. There are people that are smart and are constantly making personality adjustments to be better, and then people who are not tell others “That’s just the way I am”. I am not going to lie I was a “That’s just the way I am” person for the better part of my life. I didn’t apologize for who I was and I pushed my personality on other’s expecting them to just accept. I am thankful that I changed. I could be BETTER, have better relationships and sustain a positive outlook on life. I want to share some of the areas of my life that I was deliberate about changing. I have grown tremendously, and that’s not to say that I still don’t have my moments (we all do) but, if we are more cognizant of changing everyday we will!
Anger: I was always ready for an argument. Don’t cut me off in traffic, don’t say my name, don’t get disrespectful, don’t do something I don’t like! That was me. Its funny looking back on it because I was always READY to engage in conflict. The change occurred when I went through the process to discover my purpose in life. I was reading tons of books, listening to tapes and constantly focused on the bigger picture of life. All the things that used to make me go off seemed so small and insignificant. Slowly but surely my angry moments seemed to happen less and less.
Complaining: I was complaining about the food, complaining about the weather, complaining about my job, complaining about being busy and the list goes on. We all do it. Complaining was so ingrained in me that when I initially tried to change, I complained about it. Well I am not perfect but I have made major strides. The way I was able to cut back on complaining was having an attitude of gratitude. I love this quote by Joyce Meyer, “If you complain you remain. If you praise you will be raised.“ In my thoughts I am always giving thanks, thinking about the things I am grateful for every morning. I try to carry this mindset throughout the day. It helps, because when things happen that I feel the urge to complain about I say to myself “Hey things could be much worse, and at least I have (fill in the blank).”
Gossiping: I don’t think I was ever the Gossip Queen, but I certainly did not turn away when someone had some juicy piece of information about someone I knew. I am still guilty on occasion, but I am much more aware of my actions. Now when I gossip I just feel wrong, and I ask myself “What type of conversations are other’s having about me like this?” or even better “who the heck am I to talk about her when I was dealing with the same situation last year.” Its really crazy when you start to put things in perspective, you will start to gossip less and reflect more.
Peace: I was a confirmed “worry wart.” My mother told me from a very early age that I would worry all the time. In addition to worrying I was always finding myself in little stressful situations that made me want to pull my hair out. Well after a few gut checks and a few early gray hairs I said enough is enough. To be honest what truly helped me achieve peace was periodically juice fasting. I had little energy to worry, I just wanted to be still. I used the extra time I had not eating to read books on enlightenment and being calm. I then began to understand all I can do in life is my best and after that its out of my control. With that mindset all paths lead to peace.
Self Control: I eat what I want, I do what I want, I go where I please, I buy what I want and I do whatever with whomever. That was me! And don’t try to tell me about myself unless you want your head bitten off. Well, times changed and I learned. The only thing lack of self control got me was drunk, fat, broke and heartbroken. Now if that was not enough of a reality check, then I don’t know what is. But really when you put things in perceptive the best things in life come with self control: degrees, weight loss, promotions, savings and long lasting relationships. Just think about the end result focus on it day and night and it gets easier every day.
Patience: Well I would be lying if I said that I had this one completely figured out. But in the spirit of celebrating progress I will share my growth. I happen to be a very type A personality: I am a leader, extremely driven and focused. However, the down side is I need everything NOW. I don’t understand others who move slowly, I don’t understand why things take so long and if I don’t get it now or within the foreseeable future I am bound to blow my lid. Well this type of mindset disrupts my peace. I had to learn how to wait and not COMPLAIN about the wait. The way I have become more patient is by understanding the act of being impatient is pointless. Being impatient only stresses you out and doesn’t bring about the happening any quicker. So instead of having 10 impatient moments a week I am now down to 2 or 3.
I do believe that we can change. However, change is deliberate. We have to make the effort every day in all areas of our personality to be better. Its like being on a personality diet, but the results are worth it!