At this moment, you likely feel nothing like who you want to be. Your life isn’t going the way you want it to and how it should be and could be going. There’s a part of you that could reverse it, get you to who and where you want, but she can’t come alive and take over. Why?
Are you stuck, clutching a long list of who you aren’t, nothing on who you are, watching an image of the woman you should be floating by in front of you, just out of reach. You know vaguely what you want, definitely the feelings you want to be feeling, yet every day you replay that long, awful list. Disheartening and demoralising to watch yourself buckling every day.
This isn’t an absence of logic; you know enough of what you want and how to get it, but can’t. As days turn into months, you drift further from what you want and yearn to even return back there.
On the surface, this appears to be a problem with motivation, will-power, or a lack of good reason to change. But I’m not convinced. You are likely deeply motivated, but in destructive ways: to keep yourself from what you want. Motivation can be problematic.
Like self-belief people think it’s inherently positive but you can have loads of poor belief and motivation. Painful, hard-core resistance. There’s no giving in, that is too doable. Maybe you need the hard, horrible work of representing yourself as who you’re not.
Getting the life you want isn’t about being brave. Indeed, staying in a situation where you’re not appreciated, where you don’t want to be, takes far more courage. So why do you stay if it’s so much more work with no good outcomes? It makes more sense to pursue and create goodness, doesn’t it?
You’ve probably already realised that it’s not that simple. To dismiss the conflict as an issue of I want or I don’t want misses the point. Ask yourself why you stay and you’ll discover how fruitless an attempt it is to strike the core of the problem.
Your Life Is Not The Problem
Many women conclude it’s their lives. Sure it plays a part but if you list it out, it’s unlikely to be much. For example, can you say that a woman with three children in your city cannot be happy? Of course not. Odds are you’re quite lucky.
This is not a situation of hating your life. Look at it objectively and there’s probably all the money, support, resources, and opportunities to realise your expectations for life. You have what you need to survive; women from wealthy countries always do.
Your failure to thrive is the direct result of a major break between who you are and who you’re being. The sick, restless friction will prevail while you focus on her (who you’re being) and her life.
Here’s the small part your life can play and then I’ll talk about the break in yourself and what to do.
No woman subscribes to looking old, unattractive, undesirable, boring, whatever you choose. But maybe your life predicts such outcomes. For example, you’re overweight, if you group with like people, buy the food, and you wear the guilt of your children missing out because you indulged you literally don’t have much as to see, look at, and focus on. Food is your viewpoint.
Doing the things you shouldn’t — fill up your daily limit of what you can tolerate. They steal your time and energy so you have nothing left for choosing to be who you want, i.e. doing what you should, time with the kids, exercise.
Food steals your attention, returns you hate and exhausts your capacity — every day you vow to not overdo it and improve, but that elusive day to change everything never comes. Passive attempts don’t work. That’s why your life only plays a small role. You must start with the foundation of you, who you’re going to be, and how you’re going to be her.
The problem is never your life, circumstances, or other people. The offset to feeling stuck, wanting to escape, or hating how you live isn’t creating happiness, it’s developing wholeness, and they’re not the same thing. You must be clear about who you are and repair with her.
Lay The Groundwork
You hold three identities. A lost or traded-in you, who you imagine yourself to be — the real, ideal you acting as bait, and the you right now.
Each one is interested in her own survival. The forgotten you isn’t concerned with who you are now, or even who she could be. Your current self is your most shameful experience, absorbing the blame, disappointments, and mistakes. Deal with each self separately.
To become the person you want to be you must build a foundation of trust and prepare for her. Commit to the right behaviours and follow through with them. This remaps your brain and establishes proof in your ability, for both you (that’s the conviction I talk about) and her (your real self).
You’re used to sabotaging yourself. Failed diets, promiscuity, day drinking classic examples. Vows rarely last more than a few hours before you break because you lack strength, haven’t done the groundwork.
Yet you expect immediate results. You’re desperate, impatient, and floating on the hope that your future will somehow itself work out.
But who you’re being has to stop. It sounds easy enough, but only a small part of you hates her. Like with any relationship, there’s loyalty, familiarity, appreciation, and deep fondness. As long as she remains, you can’t live freely. It’s hard because you’re the one ending her, but it’s a must because you can’t be two people without collapsing into complete ruin.
There’s a method to start the process and ease the pain:
Repair — Make amends with the person you rejected. Commit to bringing her back, validate her feelings and presence, and repair, repair, repair.
Remap — Get to know your mind. It’s complex, willful, strong, and it requires your control. Without gaining a firm grasp on your mental map, you’re bare and vulnerable; what you think you’re not will eat away at you. Reign those bad ideas in and unlock your life. Opportunity and success won’t float past you need to be aggressive, skillful, and strong.
Trust — Don’t trust yourself (or anyone, ever) to do the right thing. You know you can easily stray. You don’t have the strength of a strong core self. Start small but follow through and if you might let her down it’s better to say or promise nothing at all. Make small commitments to your real self and say them aloud to yourself in the mirror. You can reward yourself afterward to positively reinforce the behaviour but you shouldn’t have to. Take full responsibility for yourself.
Trade-off — Make a fair, honest, and timely trade with yourself. Let your false self go, and accept the ensuing grief, sadness, and fear. I know she is your only friend, and was loyal and committed. Know it won’t be a sharp, clean end. You’ll miss her and your appreciation runs deep. Part of her will always be there but your intention, commitment, and thoughts are clear.
Only one of you can live.
— Why you keep yourself from who you are has mostly to do with a lack of trust, on both sides, and I’ll take that up in a future post.