Change that Funky Music….

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018. What do you have in-store for this year???? How are you going to make this the year of change, growth and adventure? If you need ideas feel free to hit me up at http://www.saddleupconsulting.com, I have some great (and easy) recommendations.

For me this year is going to be about professional growth. I am another year into my Master’s degree (with hopes of being done in either 2018 or 2019) and am starting to think about my capstone. I am also exploring ways to get Saddle Up Consulting off the ground.

I am currently prepping for a weekend session with a couple. I love doing this kind of work and always know that once we are ten minutes in the session’s needed direction will guide itself, but I spend a lot of time thinking about what I am going to do to kick the session off. What topic or exercise do we need to do to overcome the inertia and get us rolling. How do I build an atmosphere that feels safe and also opens up people to the level of honesty and vulnerability that is required to truly make change. The answer is different for every person and ever client. As I have been approaching this project my thoughts have begun to center on our “internal soundtrack”. This is the ongoing dialog we have with ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously. I believe this dialog is much more important in our lives than the things we say or do externally. This is the true who we are and why we do. It is not colored by the filters we put in place to keep others happy or to be liked. It is our real us. It is our true motivators, our fears, our strengths and our hopes. It is the who we want to be, the who we are afraid we are and the who we don’t want to be all rolled up into one, sometimes loud, mess in our head.

This soundtrack has many components, and maybe I will do a series of blog posts about the different pieces, but at their highest level the soundtrack is driven by are we an optimist, pessimist or realist; are we introverted or extroverted; do we have an internal or external locus of control; are we driven more by logic or feelings; are we more creative or analytical. It is also shaped by our upbringing, our experiences, our fears and our successes.

Had you asked me a decade ago I would have said the symphony was static and we were stuck with it. I no longer feel that way. This soundtrack, I am beginning to theorize, is also where change has to originate to be successful. Before we can exact the behavior of change, we first have to change the tune we live by or are held back from living by! I believe the musical score is our sheet music and until we read off a different tune we can want change but not make it.

Part of how I came to this epiphany is my own journey. I know I changed radically over the last 7 years. The timing aligns well with when horses entered my life. Prior to horses I was a pessimist with an external locus of control. I had spent a lot of time and energy feeling like a victim of my childhood, my medical issues, my body and the world in general. Things happened to me! But through horses, through maturity, through finally surrounding myself with good people the music started to change. I saw that I was in control of my emotions (the music changed from “people make me feel…” to “I am choosing to feel…”. I learned that everything has a purpose, even though I might not like something that goes on, it is has a reason in my life and is pointing me to where I need to be (what I now calling living with gratitude). I found out that I was stronger and more capable than I ever imagined and that I had to make things happen not wait for them. This rearranging of the orchestra in my head didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t even happen consciously at times, but I see it now looking backwards.

So how does one start to change the tape? First you have to be brutally honest with yourself what the current script in your head is. This is hard. Facing who you really are, versus who you think you should be or who others tell you to be is hard. I have referred to it before in this blog as “know your own crazy”. You have to be willing to look in those dark corners, and sometimes that takes having someone you trust help you translate what is in there. We tend to live in denial of ourselves and another person can often help with that.

Once you know what your tune is you need to decide what of it works for you and what doesn’t. What parts of the lyrics are helping you and you want to hang on to and what is no longer serving you well. Once you know what you aren’t happy keeping it is time to replace. When the old music comes on, stop the playlist, do a shuffle, pick another tune. If your music has a tendency to start with “I want to, but I can’t because………….”, change to the song that starts with “I want to do this, I know it will be hard, but to be successful I need to…………..”. As soon as you hear that old familiar chorus of “This person makes me feel so angry/upset/frustrated/annoyed”, stop yourself and change to the melody that is written around “What in this situation is triggering me to feel the way I do, what in me is this bothering”. It really is as basic as changing the station on the radio. You just have to be willing to do it! The great part is over time, the new tunes become your earworms and are stuck in your head!!!!

Want to start to understand your current soundtrack. This test on Locus of Control is a great place to start! https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_90.htm

Here is to the beautiful new music of 2018!!!!

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