'Tis the season for returns and exchanges, of long lines, and gift receipts. It's where you get to pick out the right size, and the right color. And who knows, you may even get to toss the gift altogether, and get what you really want.
I love this tradition of returns and exchanges---it's downright honest and practical. It's a moment in our lives when we truly believe without a doubt that we shouldn't have to be saddled with stuff that doesn't resonate with us - it's when we're allowed to get what we really want without any shame or remorse.
What if you felt the same way about your life?
Are there parts of your life that you wish you could just return or exchange for something better? How about exchanging your troubled relationship for a new one that fills you with joy? And what if you could return your boring job to your boss and say, no thanks, I don't need this--I'm going to start my own business or, I want to be better utilized elsewhere.
What if you could rid yourself of your life as you know it, and trade it in for a completely new one and a better fit? If something's not working if it brings you misery, then why not chuck it? It's a simple, straightforward task. But it's also the most difficult thing to do.
Why is that?
Because your brain is hard-wired to be at odds with your dreams. In short, it doesn't want you to take risks because it's trying to keep you safe and snug with what’s familiar. That's what it's supposed to do. It's a very basic, built-in survival mechanism.
So, when you add on top of that the current economic slump and high unemployment, it shouldn't come as any surprise to you why the thought of CHANGE makes you feel like a coward.
That's the time when we don't dare play outside the lines, rock the boat, or make any moves. We don't dare. To dream is to be a loser, unrealistic, and irresponsible. Instead, we hunker down to a life that's just OK for fear we'll lose everything.
The irony is that when you buy into this mindset - when you don't understand how the equipment of the mind works - you get exactly what you fear: a limited, pinched-off, mediocre, ill-suited, miss-matched, ordinary life. And you wake up one day with a life you don't want.
What you've told yourself is that you don't deserve the things you really want. And your dreams get put on some top shelf to gather dust.
The TRUTH is that nothing, not even your awful relationship or soul-sucking job is forever. Your mate could beat you to it and leave you first (this happened to me), and your boss could give you the pink slip tomorrow.
A boring life isn't necessarily keeping you safe. Uncertainty is here to stay. You can be bored and uncertain, or uncertain and ALIVE.
Believing that you should play it safe, is the greatest lie you were ever told. But hold on my friend. I’m not suggesting that you throw everything out and start again. I’m all for soft landings. And there are gradual steps you can take to trick the brain that you’re in control. And you can also remind yourself of how the equipment of the mind works – that it’s just doing its job.
So, what's it going to be? Those dreams that you put on the top shelf --isn't it about time you brought them down and dusted them off?