Underdog Phenemenon. That’s what I created as a pattern for my life. Everyone seemingly “ahead” of me in an imaginary (or real?) race, and I buckle down like a boxer prepping for a champion fight and emerge far ahead, out of the blue, after a long time of struggling… motivated by percieved crisis.
I remember being a cheerleader who sucked in Junior High. I am tempted to post a photo but, lets just say: it was New Jersey in the late 80’s and I was also really into my very styled hair! As a result of being a cherleader who sucked, I made it my mission to be the best cheerleader ever. I worked for hours on the cheers. I stretched in my grandma’s house for hours while we watched TV together at night until I could do splits and jumps. After a year of this, I became JV co-captian.
Then I quit.
The fight has been a theme… the enjoying of the success was not as compelling.
I have been motivated by crisis.
It took me a long time to realize that this is my pattern.
Breaking down this pattern was no small thing.
Today’s expansive design is all about motivation. When you see what drives you, you can also understand your outcomes – and your habits- a whole lot better. That’s, of course, when change is really possible!
Do you know what motivates you? Are your habits creating a world for you that you don’t like? Are you motivated by your problems or your dreams?
Look at what you’ve been doing repeatedly in your life.
Are you having the same issues keeping jobs, relationships or just happiness?
Is it the thrill of the chase, the promise of overcoming something, that makes things interesting?
Have you become used to putting yourself in positions where you are made to feel small, silent or stuck… because it is familiar?
After all, if you are motivated by struggle or negativity… you will keep brining more of it into your life. Negativity and struggle will be how you know you are suceeding in the way you’ve defined it. As warped as it may be, I see it happen all the time.
If you can see your patterns, you can shift them. Even if it takes a year to get through it, to a new habit, you can if you keep your awareness up.
I start every year with a theme.
It’s like a filter, a North Star, a way to think freshly about my days and my decisions.
My themes started out very simple: “I just want happiness.”
Then they became more pointed, more specific and more exciting.
This year, my theme is “expansion led by dreams”.
Its my way of filtering out the decisions I’ve made based on fear, familiar (bad) habits and general stubbornness!
I tell everyone my theme. That way, when I’m tempted to ditch my theme, I’m reminded, loudly, by my friends.
Can you think of a theme that can guide you through a year, a week or even a day of making fresh decisions and taking new actions?
I bet you can.
Let it be something that signals a real game-change for you.
Feel free to share it. Share it below. Share it with friend. Share it with strangers.
And…Live it. xoxo Dana
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