This article was based on the TEDxSF Talk, “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over,” by Mel Robbins
|How to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins | TEDxSF|
Identify What You Want
One-third of Americans feel dissatisfied with their lives. Are you one of those people? Take a moment to think about what it is that you want right now. Be selfish. Are you looking for love, do you want to start your own business, or maybe you want to lose weight so you can get a date?
Once you’ve thought about what it is that you want, the next step is to figure out how to get it. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. In fact, if you think about it, we live in the most amazing moment in time with an abundance of resources. You can walk into a bookstore and buy at least ten books written by experts on how to get exactly what you want. You could google it and find hundreds of articles that document the exact steps you need to achieve your goal. So why is it that you don’t have what you want when you have all the information you need to get it?
Fine is Defeating
It all comes down to one word: fine. We are constantly telling ourselves and those around us that we are fine, even when we aren’t. By saying this, we don’t have to do anything. Fine is a flimsy and feeble word to describe the feeling of being alive. We convince ourselves that we are fine not having what we want. The word fine is a sign that you have given up, it is a sign of defeat.
Scientists have calculated the odds of you being born. They took into account the wars and natural disasters and determined that the odds of being born at your time of birth, to the parents you had, with the DNA you have were one in four hundred trillion. When you consider those odds, we should consider ourselves more than fine. This should motivate us to live our lives to the fullest.
Find Your Activation Energy
All day long we have ideas that could change not just our lives, but others. Instead of acting on them, we ignore them. Think about why we ignore these ideas that are bouncing around our heads. Most often, it’s because we just don’t feel like it. Motivation is hard to come by. To take action, scientists have determined that we need activation energy. This is the force required to get you to stop living on autopilot and try something new.
Tomorrow, try something different. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier. When it goes off, get out of bed without hitting snooze, stand up, and start your day. This will put you face to face with the physical force that is required to change your behaviour. The activation energy required to do anything new is the same amount of force that it takes to push yourself out of a warm bed and into a cold room.
As an adult, it is your job to parent yourself. This means it is your job to make yourself do the things you don’t want to do so you can be everything that you are supposed to be. The problem is that we are so busy waiting until we feel like making the changes that they never happen.
Getting What You Want is Simple
Its very simple to get what you want, but it is not easy. Your brain would prefer to work on autopilot, maintaining status quo. When you do things that are different from your normal routine, your brain wants to put on the emergency brake. Anything that’s a break from your routine is going to require force.
We spend so much time trying to push our lives into a stable routine only to grow bored of it. Physically, our bodies have basic needs, and they are wired to send us signals so we can meet these needs. When you feel dissatisfied with your life, it’s a signal that one of your most basic needs is not being met – your need for exploration. Your soul needs exploration and growth and the only way you’ll get it is by forcing yourself to be uncomfortable. Stop worrying about how you feel and focus on what you want.