A couple of the things that I’ve always thought of as fun, cute little ‘quirks’ in my personality have really started to get on my nerves lately…and I’ve concluded that I need to make some changes. For example, I don’t know when it happened, but I have become very awkward in social situations, and I just don’t get it. I used to do fine around other people, but not anymore – I think I’m okay when it’s people that I know very well, but man oh man do I struggle when it’s folks that I don’t really know. I find it so hard to strike up random conversations with people, I feel irritated by others far too easily (apparently my tolerance for stupidity has REALLY changed, as I am willing to do just about anything possible to avoid conversations with the idiots that walk amongst us)…something has got to change and quick – and it has to be me.
The greatest mystery is how to facilitate that change, though…I am trying to think a positive thought and acknowledge that realizing that I have an issue is the first step. However, where to go next? I Googled this (because I Google everything), and came across this article – and I think it’s pretty great:
Do you have some personality trait, quirk or habit that you would like to change but have yet to succeed? Well I know the easiest and fastest way to change anything about yourself. That sounds way too good to be true, but I guess you’ll have to keep reading if you want to know for sure.
Step 1: Decide what you want to change
Examples include confidence-level, speech impediments, ability to converse with the opposite sex and other sources of insecurity.
Step 2: Lie to yourself
I know this sounds stupid at first, but hear me out. You need to tell yourself that you are exactly what you currently are not.
If you are very shy, then tell yourself that you are considered by most to be “the life of the party” and that you love addressing entire groups of people. You are a magician with words and have a special knack for social interaction that others admire. Yadayadayada.. you get the idea.
Step 3: Imagine the change in yourself
Create a minute-long movie in your head of yourself after the change has been made. Get as detailed as possible and remember to also feel the emotions of that moment while you imagine it.
It’s almost like you’re planting a false memory in your head. So just as with any other memory, you should be able to be somewhat transported back to that moment when you think about it. Just ignore that voice in your head that says this never happened. Logic isn’t important in this exercise!
Step 4: Become a method actor
You need to emulate the person you want to be as if you already are him/her. Keep telling yourself that you ARE that person and continue to act like him/her as often as possible. Play the character at the grocery store, at work or with friends.
Body language, diction and actions should all reflect how that changed version of you would act. But remember, you are actually being the person, not just acting like him/her. In your head, your thoughts should read “I am confident!”, not “I’m acting confident!”
A really effective option is to choose a character from a movie, TV show or someone you know well that has the trait you wish to attain. This way you have a visual example of how you should be acting instead of having to make it up. My go-to characters are James Bond and Tyler Durdin from Fight Club.
Step 5: Believe
All of the previous exercises are meant to get you believing that you are already that changed version of yourself. Heck you already act like this person on the daily anyways, so what’s to stop you from believing you are him/her?
If you’re still not buying that you ARE the changed version already, go back and practice steps 2-4 more until you do. I guarantee that this will heed faster and more satisfying results than anything else you read about.
But remember, it’s like Peter Pan: you have to believe.
Good stuff, eh? I like the idea of fakin’it ’til you’re makin’ it – I have applied that theory in my professional life more than once, and I’m perfectly okay with giving it a whirl for my personal life as well. On a somewhat related note, give this one a quick read – it’s about being happy at every age, and I LOVE it! 🙂
In a world where everything is quite literally at our fingertips, we can have almost anything we want instantaneously. However, the advent of modern technology and its many luxuries hasn’t made us any happier than we were in the past—it may even have created a disconnect between us. New research suggests that wealth doesn’t improve our happiness either. So if money and technology can’t lift our spirits, what can? According to a Psychology Today report, researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky from the University of California states, “40 percent of our capacity for happiness is within our power to change.” Jeannine Morris—founder of health, wellness, and lifestyle site JMEdit and studying health coach—agrees. She believes you can “train your brain to think happy.” Want to learn how? Scroll down for more of Morris’s simple secrets to happiness.
Change Your Thoughts
Have you ever thought about how you think? Did you know that how you speak to yourself plays a huge role in your mental and physical health? According to Morris, your thoughts control your feelings, and in order to become a happier person, you need to think happier thoughts. “While it seems simple, it actually takes a lot of practice because you need to retrain your brain,” she says. “A good example that I find a lot of people can relate to is the thought or idea of not being enough—not skinny enough, rich enough, smart enough, and the list goes on.” She adds, “When you begin to tell yourself—and realize—that you are enough, you can experience abundance.” Morris explains how to train your brain to think happy on her website.
Set Daily Intentions
What’s the first thing you do every day before you get up? We bet that most of you reach over for your phone and check it for work emails or scroll through social media. Well, if it’s happiness you seek, Morris has a different approach. “Each morning before I get out of bed, I meditate for 20 minutes and set an intention for the day,” she notes. “Sometimes it’s as simple as ‘Today is going to be a great day.’ Starting your morning off on a positive note, with an intention, will help guide you through the rest of your day in a similar positive manner.”
Treat Yourself How You’d Treat Your Pet
We all love our pets, and a study has proven they make us happier and healthier, too. So just imagine how happy you’d be if you put yourself on the same pedestal you put your pet on. We dote on them with constant affection, only feed them the best produce, and spoil them with treats. Morris says we should mimic this behavior and treat ourselves the same way. “Your health and happiness is in your own hands,” she adds. “What are you eating? Are you making time for relationships, fitness, and pampering? Well, it’s time you did.”
Learn How to Emit Your Own Frequency
This tip can be summarized in one quote by inspirational speaker and best-selling author Barbara Marciniak: “Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” It might seem a little evangelical, but Jeannine says we (human beings) are composed of energy, just like everything around us, and “it’s important to understand that our energy (our soul) is living a human experience and can emit its own frequency.” She adds, “Too often, we pick up the negative energy of others and can easily become absorbed by it. You know the Kendrick Lamar song ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe?’ Well…”
Forgive, Forgive, Forgive
We’re all accustomed to the usual form of forgiveness, where you excuse someone for any wrongdoing against you. But what about when you need to forgive yourself for something? Morris strongly believes this simple act is the “ultimate secret to achieving peace and happiness.” She notes, “Whether you need to forgive yourself or someone else, it’s important to recognize that until you can forgive, you’ll never be fully liberated and able to live life to its fullest.”
Donate Your Time to Those in Need
We’re all familiar with clearing out our wardrobes and giving our old clothing and belongings to the local thrift store, but how often have you donated your time? We understand how precious this is, but if we want to experience true happiness, Morris urges us to give back. “It’s one of the most rewarding things we can do on this earth,” she says. “We’re conditioned to think of time as money, (and in many cases… yeah, pay up!), but you have more than 10,000 minutes in a week. Taking an hour out of your schedule to help those in need is a humbling and fulfilling experience.”
Unplug and Tune In
We’re all a little addicted to our social feeds, but too much scrolling can impede our happiness as we start to lament over the things we don’t have, or how our lives lack the glamour or fun compared to our favorite influencers. Morris begs you to quit comparing yourself and remember that Instagram is a just a well-edited version of what’s really happening at home. “Stop spending so much time on social media platforms. Unplug and go create a life of your own,” she says.
Practice Mindful Eating
Have you ever stopped to think about the food that’s on the end of your fork? Food is the best form of medicine—with the power to heal you from the inside out—and if we feel better, we’ll feel happier, too. “As Americans, most of us grew up not paying attention to the food we consume, and that needs to change in order for you to feel your best,” she says. “Each time you sit down to eat, look at your plate and make sure everything on it has nutritional value. Food fuels our body and keeps our systems running properly, so imagine what’s happening inside when we’re full of sugar?” Jeannine explains more about using food as medicine in her post “6 Steps to Healing Yourself.”
Learn How to Meditate
The powerful benefits of meditation, including health and happiness perks, are well known and proven, so if you haven’t tried it yet, maybe it’s time you did. “Meditation helps to relieve stress, allows the mind to explore deeper levels of thought, and clears any irrelevant thoughts, making you able to focus,” says Morris. “I practice transcendental meditation, which is 20 minutes of repeating a mantra twice a day, but even if you sit for five minutes repeating an intention, or focusing on your breath each morning, you’re helping yourself.”
Keep a Gratitude Journal
There’s been a lot of buzz around gratitude and its impact on happiness, but just what is it exactly? Angela Simson of The Gratitude Project says, “It makes everything you have, all you need.” Morris believes that recognizing and expressing gratitude are very powerful activities. “Without gratitude, you’ll take things for granted, so before bed, I try to think of three things I’m grateful for that day,” she says. “I’m old school, so I like to practice journaling in an actual notebook. I like to write them down, but you can also keep a running list in the ‘notes’ section of your iPhone.”
I’m so crazy about this list! I’ve been a huge fan of gratitude journals, but with my crazy busy work-life schedule, I don’t have the time anymore to sit down and properly journal every day. Sad trombone! However, I’ve started jotting down three things that I am grateful for each day in my agenda (as tech savvy as I am, I still use a paper agenda…and I am madly in love with my new one from Bando – LOVE it!!), and seeing those cute little entries is filling me with happiness. Yaaa! 🙂 I should have done this ages ago!!! Woohoo! 🙂
What do you do to make yourself happy? What things are important enough to you that you want to focus on changing? For me, this social awkwardness crap has got to go, as do a few other things (trying too hard with people who don’t give a shit about me, taking things that others say entirely too personally…I could go on). I’m going to really work on this, lean the hell in – I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂