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Why do we do what we do?

4 . 28 . 2018

Why do we do what we do? Why do we keep searching for this, that, or the other? Is it the pursuit of happiness? Is it the search for self-realization? The search for status? The search for acceptance?

From my personal experience it is safe to say, all of us are searching for all of those and more at one point or another in our lives. The internal questions of ‘who am I?’, ‘where do I belong?’, ‘Where do I want to go?’…. They are there, consciously and sub-consciously. We are searching. Moving from one group of people to another, switching jobs and professions because they just ‘don’t feel right’ or don’t make us happy. We settle because there are the bills and a certain lifestyle we have come accustomed to. We settle because of family and cultural traditions. We settle because it is what we know and we made it our ‘comfort zone’.

How many stay in their comfort zone and are afraid to leave it? Do we even dare to peek? So many are paralyzed by fear of change and the unknown, they settle. Have you settled? Have you settled but actually want more out of life? What’s holding you back? If you are like most, there is a good chance it is the negative self-talk. Those negative conversations we hold solely in our heads.

We are conditioned from the beginning of our lives to expect the worst. We are bombarded 24/7 with negative news and nay-sayers. It has become our way of life. But is it an actual ‘comfort’ zone? Aren’t we really uncomfortable and less than happy in that ‘comfort’ zone? Why do we choose to stay there? Why do we give those negative, scary voices in our heads so much power? Is it because they are familiar? Is it because we have adapted to them and learned to maneuver within their perimeters? It is because we are creatures of habit. It is because we feel safe when things are familiar.

Picture a situation you either had in the past or one you know is going to happen, i.e. asking your boss for a raise, negotiating a deal, starting a new business, job interviews, etc. How do or did you mentally prepare for that encounter? Chances are you came up with all the negative that could happen and go wrong, right? Remember how it made you feel? Was it a good and happy feeling or more sad and scary?

Are you telling yourself at a raffle “it’s ok, I never win anything anyway” as you enter your ticket? Of course when you don’t win, your negative self-talk has been confirmed. So the question is… if you KNOW you are not going to win anyway, whey enter? Why spend the money?

Does your self-talk before you enter sound something like this: “Well, I’m going to enter because I would love to win the price and could really use it. I just might win BUT it’ll never happen anyway because I never win anything ever.”

Every so often you enter and you WIN! What is your self-talk then? Does it sound something like this? “WOW, I can’t believe I won because I never win anything.” Or “Well, I got lucky this time but it’s probably not going to happen again”.

You are not alone! We all have done it or are still doing it. It used to be me. Just like the vast majority of people, I did what was expected. Worked for sake of working. Fortunately, after many years in that uncomfortable comfort zone, I stuck my toe out and ‘tested’ the waters. Where I was, was no longer working for me. It not only kept me miserable, it made me more miserable. What did I have to lose? Would it kill me? NO. Would it do bodily harm to me? NO. So, what was I afraid of?

The unknown. The uncertainty. The possible failure.

The voices in our head present us with every conceivable scenario why it won’t work. Why the endeavor will fail. They tell us all about what COULD go wrong. Do you know it takes the same amount of effort to play the worst case scenarios as it does to imagine the best? The problem is our conditioning. When we go on ‘auto pilot’ we tend to use the pathways we are most familiar with. Sadly, due to our conditioning, it is the negative route.

What if we focused on the positive and the good outcome? Do you think it would make a difference? The answer is YES! Why is that? Because what we think about, we bring about! Whatever we give our focus and attention to, we attract. Let me give you an example… Remember when you were looking for a new car? It may have taken you a minute to decide on the make, model and color. One of the factors could have been you wanted a vehicle not everybody has. You finally decided on the ONE because there were not many like it on the roads. Right? You are so happy and drive off the lot. As you drive and look around you notice something strange… How come all of a sudden there are so many cars of the same make, model and color on the road? Where the heck did they all of a sudden come from?

You see, what you think about, you bring about. Your focus has shifted!

It is time to re-condition and focus more on the outcomes you want verses the ones you don’t want. Your mindset makes all the difference! Luckily, there are tips, tricks, exercises, and people (like me) available to assist with the shift.