To Obtain Different Results, We Must Reinvent Ourselves
Same ol', Same ol'
Regardless of what has prompted me to date the men that I have, be it their sense of humor, their wit, their hobbies, their charisma, or their looks none of them have "worked out". For a complex multitude of reasons they just haven't. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was them, sometimes it was us together.
But, the one common factor, was me. I realized in order for me to obtain different results, I could not continue the same behaviors. I had to change what I was doing in order to get a different result. Why would I expect a relationship to work out if I treated every relationship the same? Or for that manner, each partner? I couldn't. I had to be the one to change. I had to change me. Well, change what I could. I could change my behaviors such as: outlook and approach. Who we are is just who we are, we can't change engrained personality traits, things like sense of humor, timing, openness, leadership, or being conscientious.
Admittedly, I was not typically the most positive person. I had a tendency to be one of those glass half empty folks, not all encompassing though, I will give myself that much. For example, watching my favorite teams play, especially my favorite baseball team, I wouldn't change the channel just because we were down some runs. I would watch until the end because I always believed we could pull it off in the end. That's positive thinking, no? When I was at work and had deadlines pressing and had yet to receive all the information from my counterparts needed to complete my project, would I throw my hands in the air and say, "There is no way this can be finished in time, they will never come through." Absolutely not, I kept trucking along always believing in the back of my mind that they would come through in time. That's a positive outlook, right? I think so. So, I didn't consider myself a doomsdayer but I was no little miss sunshine either. I had work to do.
"Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results." - Willie Nelson, country western singer
I had to put conscious effort into it. That was a lot of work for me at first. Once I started focusing and paying attention, I saw that I had a big hill to climb with this one. I wasn't starting from the bottom, but I wasn't even halfway up. Just the realization helped. Acknowledging that something is an issue, works wonders. Once I was able to catch myself thinking negatively, it became far easier to change my outlook on things. If I found myself thinking, "Oh no, it is going to rain." I would say, "Whoa, even that was negative" The number of times I had a negative thought in a day was unbelievable to me. Now when I say negative, I am not saying mean or evil thoughts. I am saying the opposite of positive. A positive outlook on rain would be, "Oh look, it may rain, hopefully that will cool it down some." Same train of thought just a different outlook on it. It took a lot of conscious effort. I work on this still. But I can see and most importantly, I can feel the effect of my efforts. You can take a positivity test here.
As I was getting myself in a different frame of mind, I decided it was time to start making other changes. I decided to work on my approach, specifically how I approach people and make myself more approachable. I am an introvert by nature, so I never approached anyone. Not socially. Ever. Anytime I ever did meet, or IF I did meet, a man while out on the nightlife scene, he approached me. I was just too shy. I could not muster up enough courage to even smile and look someone in the eye. Another big hill.
But I came up with a plan. I would create scenarios to force myself look up at people and smile. Simple things like, today everyone I see in passing wearing a blue shirt, I am going to smile at whether they are looking at me or not. This trained me to not put my head down when passing someone in the hall, at the grocery store, or on the walking trail. What was the most difficult for me was the smile. I felt so fake. So, I just kept it to a closed lip grin. Crazy I know, but some of us are just this way lol. Next thing I knew, I would feel this huge sense of accomplishment when someone would smile back! It was contagious. I kept it up, increased the scenarios and stipulations. Soon, I was just doing it all the time.
Next, I had to get myself to the point where I could actually speak first. The thought of this made me break out in sweats. Literally. I just added onto the scenarios above. But I made new rules. This worked best while on my trips around the lake to get my exercise in. While I was walking, I would grin at everyone I passed. Joggers, dog walkers, those with their nose buried in their phone, everyone. I added rules like everyone without headphones on and aren't jogging, I will smile, not just grin, and say one of three phases:
- "Hey, how's it going?"
- "How are you doing today?"
- "Hey, how are you/you all?"
For those jogging, with headphones, or talking on their phone I would just grin and give a head nod. Second nature to some but, these things were difficult for me. I had to make myself do them. But it worked. I eventually began doing this on my own as well.
Baby Steps, But I'm Getting There
In summary, I just want you to realize you are not alone. There are many of us former negative nellies lurking amongst the masses! We can break the cycle of anyting, but we must first start with ourselves before we can look past ourselves. No one can love you if you don't first love yourself. No relationship will ever work out if you continue on the same path with the same behaviors, they will always end with the same result. We must first reinvent ourselves. I am traveling this road now. I have taken these baby steps and I am a work in progress. I welcome you to travel it with me. Tell me your story. I will surely tell you mine.
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