Posts Tagged ‘ resolutions ’

Changing my mind

Recently, it seems as though the universe, or God, or a strange conspiracy, is trying to get a message to me, and that message is that my mental habits need to be broken.  Warning: serious introspection ahead, and proof that a friend’s assertion that I say things on my blog which I’d never say face to face is indeed true.

I have written before about how hard I find it to take a compliment, and that has not changed (in fact, looking back at that post, I fear I’ve become worse).  There is a loud voice inside that says “yes, maybe, but…”  For example, if someone tells me they enjoyed a performance of mine, I immediately draw up a mental list of reasons why they are wrong (any wrong notes, mispronounced words, moments where the character wasn’t clear, fumbled danced steps, mis-timed breathing, awkward arm movements and so on ad infinitum), a list of people who could have done it better and probably a list of reasons why that person is biased, ill-informed or otherwise not the best person to make that judgement.  This extends to other areas of my life as well.  I am very quick to decide that things are my fault, frequently call myself stupid and tend to say “I can’t do this” at least once every day.  I am always perhaps too aware of the need for improvement in my theatrical endeavours, of failings in my professional life, of ways in which I am socially awkward, and I have a tendency to look in the mirror and despair.

It has been pointed out to me many times that all of this is not healthy, particularly for someone with a history of mental illness (past downward spirals have had serious Consequences).  Recently, a peculiar combination of a few blows to my ego from external sources and a surge in unsolicited encouragement has convinced me that I need to do something about it.  I have been told good things about myself, sometimes very forcefully, but the mental habits explained above mean that this isn’t generally very effective.  I have also been reminded that I should try to see myself as God sees me.  I don’t know what He thinks about my exploits on stage (other than that He’s probably very pleased that I enjoy it), but I should know that in Him I am deeply loved and treasured.  This is something that I believe, but don’t really seem to accept.

I vow to now start living up and mean just what I say
Making resolutions, you must hold on fast…
Made my resolution now the die is cast,
I will succeed!

‘Resolutions’ from When Midnight Strikes, Charles Miller and Kevin Hammonds

It’s a little late for New Year’s Resolutions, so I’m starting small with a New Week’s Resolution.  For the next seven days, I am not allowed to say anything negative about myself, or utter the words “I can’t do this”.  I’m not sure how well I’ll manage, even for just seven days, and I know it won’t transform my life instantly, but I’m pretty sure that  it will help.  Maybe not saying these things will mean that I think them less as well.  It is, at the very least, a start.

Other steps are needed to change the way my words and thoughts about myself run, and will require the help of God, people and time. But this is something I can do right now. And after I succeed with one week, I can aim for longer, until eventually I build new mental habits that are less destructive. And that is a good way to change your mind!

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