Real transformation requires real honesty. If you want to move forward – get real with yourself.” – Bryant McGill
I LOVE Italian food and the first thing my ex-boyfriend made for me was bruschetta. He showed up at my door with a beautiful blue, yellow and white ceramic bowl that held the tomato/garlic mixture, along with a baguette for toasting.
The bruschetta was delicious! I joked with him that I was keeping the bowl because it was amazing. It was the perfect combination of a mixing bowl and serving bowl all in one. However, I gave in and let him take it home.
Several months later he was moving, and due to the fact that he was just moving around the corner, some of his things got placed in boxes without being wrapped up, including said bowl.
As I was helping him unpack the kitchen, I opened up a box and there it was, the bowl…broken into several pieces.
I was so bummed. I honestly am not sure why I liked this bowl so much; I think it was the cheerful colors and the fact that the first thing he ever made for me was in the bowl (I’m sentimental like that). Into the trash it went…life goes on.
Transformation is a journey without a final destination
When you are experiencing a divorce, serious break up or other challenging unexpected event in your life, sometimes your heart can feel like that broken bowl, getting thrown into the trash in a million pieces.
So how do you start to put your pieces back together again and transform yourself after the experience?
What does that mean anyway, “Transforming yourself”?
The way I view this is the re-birth (per say) of the “new you” that gets to take all of that experience, all of the good and bad, all of the memories, all of the lessons and realize how much you learned and grew and evolved.
While you are transforming yourself it’s a time for self-reflection and a time to put yourself first because as I’ve said many times, the most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself.
Transformation can begin by shifting our negative thoughts to be more positive and focused on what we can control.
But before you can get there to start shifting your mindset to be more positive and forward focused, you have to look at the obstacles in your way.
WHAT ARE THE OBSTACLES STANDING IN THE
WAY OF YOUR TRANSFORMATION?
- Lack of self-belief: If you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t. You have to change the way you talk to yourself, change the way you look at yourself and change the way you think of yourself. If you don’t believe you can do it, it won’t happen. Even if you have doubts, SAY IT, once you start hearing yourself say it, over and over, it’s easier to start believing in yourself.
- Comparison: STOP IT! I have said this time and time again, stop comparing yourself. Stop comparing your life story, stop comparing your journey, stop comparing your body. Your body is different than someone else’s, your divorce is different than someone else’s, your life is different than EVERYONE else’s because it’s YOUR life! Stop comparing it to others, just stop!
- Accepting you can’t change the past: You can’t go back and change the past. You lost your job, it happened, you can’t change it and you will have to find a new source of income. He broke up with you, he did, you can’t change the fact that he no longer wants to be with you. Once you learn to accept that it’s happened, you can then choose to move forward and start the next chapter.
- You are scared to fail: Walking into the unknow is scary! Why put in the work to transform yourself if you are just going to fail? But who cares if you fail?! Failure is not a bad F word! You are going to learn from the experiences, learn what to tweak and modify and then you use that knowledge to keep going.
- Patience: If you expect transformation to happen overnight, you are going to be disappointed. Change takes time. You see results after you put in the work. Sometimes results take weeks, months or years. Sustainable change comes from putting in the work each day, consistency. Getting over a divorce or serious breakup takes time, but more than just sitting waiting for the time to pass, it takes time + work. (Disclaimer, I’m probably the most patiently impatient person I know and this one has been a challenge for me, but take it from me…it’s the truth)!
AND NOW…THE MINDSET SHIFT BEGINS
Now is the time to start shifting those negative thoughts to be more positive, or you will be stuck in non-transformation mode for a long time. Here is a simple example of how mindset shifting can work.
Look at this phrase:
I Can’t Do It
Look at that same phrase changed slightly:
I didn’t change what the phrase meant except changing can’t to can not. But did you notice how you felt reading the second phrase? It’s not quite as negative and almost appears that with the NOT sitting alone, you could just wipe it away. I didn’t tell you to wipe it away, but it was most likely a thought you had when you read it in the second form.
This is a simple beginning technique in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to start viewing negative thoughts in a more positive light. It’s not as easy as looking at some words and “poof”, negative thoughts have been shifted, it does take consistent work to have the shift become natural.
Techniques can teach the brain new ways of responding to negative thoughts. It doesn’t stop the thought, it reduces the intensity and feelings associated with that thought so it loses power.
There are several other simple techniques you can do to start the process of shifting your mindset to be more positive when you are being overrun with negative thoughts. Practicing being in the present moment when your mind starts to wonder with negative thoughts.
One simple technique is to count when you are breathing in, 1-2-3-4, hold the breath and count, 1-2, now exhale and count, 1-2-3-4. For 10 seconds you were in the present moment, focused on your breath and counting…you did it! Baby steps are giant steps!
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TRANSFORMATION CAN BE MESSY
The Christmas after my ex-boyfriend’s move, I opened up my Christmas gift and I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was a heart made out of the once broken bowl. He fished the bowl out of the trash when I wasn’t looking and hung onto it for several months so he could transform something that meant so much to me into something new and amazing, which I loved even more!
That my friend is how you do it. You fish all of your broken pieces out of that trash and you create the new, amazing and beautiful YOU!
Start slow, go through the process and don’t try to rush it. Time heals, IF you put in the work and move along with it!
You can be broken and put back together. You aren’t going to look like the original, but why would you want to?!
Just like everyone has been saying, this is the “new normal” after COVID. After the shit you just went through or are going through, who wants to go back to the “old” you…this is the new [your name here] ever evolving and changing. Remember transformation is ongoing.
This will be an even more sophisticated or silly, educated, well equipped and informed version of you, ready to kick ass!
I know that you are already amazing, but the transformation you are making right now, is going to be epic!
Remember, You Got This!
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