Choose momentary discomfort over long-term resentment. — Brené Brown
So much of the time, we would rather stay small and imprisoned than face the uncertainty of becoming who we are meant to be. The resentment that comes with keeping our dreams under wraps may be a life sentence, but it’s also a known commodity. It’s within our comfort zone. In order to stay there, we have to slip into denial, numb out, and stuff down our real feelings and our true selves. What a high cost we pay for that so-called “comfort.”
I became aware that my denial had caused an underlying tension in almost everything I did, and tension is the opposite of freedom. In my career, people-pleasing and workaholism became escapes. I kept jumping through hoop after hoop in order to receive recognition and earn a gold star. But no amount of gold stars was ever enough to fill the emptiness of living an inauthentic life.
My hard work was also an attempt to be good and “do things right.” In my mind, being wrong meant I’d be punished—which, on a deep level, is what I expected most of the time. In her book, The Right Questions, Debbie Ford asks, “Am I looking for what is right, or am I looking for what is wrong?” I was always, always looking for what I was doing wrong.
Looking for what’s wrong tends to be the default way of viewing the world for most of us and has us look at our lives through the narrowest possible lens, zooming in on the negative. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy—if we look for what’s wrong, we will find it. It becomes an excuse we use to justify our moods and bad behavior and gives us a way to avoid taking responsibility for our lives.
Whereas, looking for what’s right allows a whole new reality to emerge. It opens our hearts and allows us to live in a state of gratitude for what we have. It’s a life-enhancing choice that promises peace, satisfaction and fulfillment.
This question has the power to shift a moment by refocusing the lens of our perceptions and takes practice. It can be as simple as looking at the world through “what’s right glasses” – vs. “what’s wrong glasses.”
Most of the time, we’re wearing our “what’s wrong glasses” and we’re held captive in an invisible prison of our own beliefs. In my marriage, for example, I believed that my husband held all the cards. That belief happened to be true, but only because I allowed it. My belief that I was never going to be good enough kept our unhealthy dynamic in place.
As long as I stayed and propped him up, I could hide from what I truly wanted and from all I was capable of becoming. Leaving my husband meant I would no longer have excuses for not fully inhabiting my life—a terrifying thought.
So, what beliefs are silently running your life and holding you back from bursting forth into freedom?
Are you ready to put on your “what’s right glasses” and let looking for what’s right become a self-fulfilling prophecy?