I was thinking recently of the importance of updating. We feel it natural to update our homes, to redecorate now and then, to freshen it up, or to give it a new look, and usually, despite the upheaval of furniture moving, paint splashes and the inevitable clutter it brings to the surface, we feel better when it is done.
The newly done surroundings are invigorating and stimulating (unless of course you have a really bad colour scheme going on. lol) and it makes a difference to how you feel in the space. As these bouts of transformation are usually accompanied by clearing out old stuff too it can feel like a breath of fresh air to inhabit this familiar space.
The same is true about our personal look and style. Some people update their image regularly, trying out new hairstyles and changing clothes with the trends. Most of us tend to go with what is tried and true and once we get past the teenage experimental stage, never think of moving much out of our comfort zone.
Which brings me back to what I originally meant to write about.
Updating our mindset.So often, we make up our minds about something and it becomes a 'fixed belief'. In fact we no longer even question it, it just becomes 'the way it is'.
This is the way we as humans work, we can't keep constantly questioning our choices, likes, dislikes etc. or it would use up all of our conscious mind (our RAM - in computer speak) so once we have decided something, it is relegated to our subconscious mind, which then goes about its business quietly beneath the surface, deciding things for us based on previously inputted information.
That's great (most of the time) as it leaves us free to use our consciousness for everyday living. The downside comes through us no longer questioning certain beliefs, preferences etc. We don't even notice that these subconscious decisions are being made, so we miss out on the chance to update our judgements of things that we decided long ago, for whatever reason, we didn't like or were not important.
Everything evolves and changes. Just living and the passage of time updates things, so that things that were once relegated to the 'not interested' pile, may now be interesting, if we gave them a chance, instead of repeating the thing we have repeated for years - I don't like that!
The truth is - just because you didn't like that years ago - how do you know you won't like it now?I can think of a lot of things that I updated my views on and all involved a questioning of something I thought was a 'fact'.
When I was very small I didn't like tomato's!
I thought they were horrible things and couldn't work out why anyone would want to eat one. So for years and years whenever the subject of tomato's came up my response was "I don't like tomato's".
Flash forward to a 13 year old girl having a sleepover at a friends house, still awake in the early hours of the morning and whispering in bed so as not to wake the rest of the family, we both agreed we were ravenous! My friend decided to tiptoe downstairs and see if she could find something for us to eat.
Five minutes later, she appeared out of the darkness and handed me my feast - three digestive biscuits and a huge home grown ripe tomato.
I was tired, hungry and taken aback. I was just about to go into my - I don't like tomato's routine, when she looked at me straight in the eyes and said "eat it". I saw her take a big bite out of hers and pull a salt cellar out of her dressing gown pocket that she then sprinkled on the exposed flesh, "like this" she said handing me the salt.
On autopilot, I copied what she had done. It was absolutely delicious and I was totally amazed. I was converted! I love tomato's now and just think, I could have spent the rest of my life trotting out the phrase "I don't like tomato's".
I know that was just a small example and I am sure I could have happily gone through the rest of my life without eating tomato's! but that, and other situations like it, make me wonder how many times in life we are missing out on enjoyable, life enhancing things, through decisions we made long, long ago that we don't even think to question and update?
"While it is wise to accept what we cannot change about ourselves, it is also good to remember that we are never too old to replace discouragement with bits and pieces of confidence and hope." - Elaine N. Aron
I was speaking to a lady quite recently, she was in her early Sixties and had just retired, she asked me about my painting (as I had an exhibition of my paintings at a local library) then said wistfully, I would love to paint but I am not at all creative. I asked her if she had ever tried? "yes, when I was at school but I was useless, the teacher told me that all my proportions were wrong". That was it! 50 years ago and she took one comment and made up her mind she wasn't creative and had been saying it ever since. She loved Art and colour but had never once, even thought of trying again because "she wasn't creative".
This post could go on and on, as I give examples, but I guess by now you have the idea. We are constantly filtering things out of our current experience because of decisions we made years ago that we now accept as 'fact' and no longer question.
I am so glad that some of my 'facts' were challenged, or I would be missing out on some wonderful things.
Would you believe that 10 years ago "I am not partial to Cats and their fur irritates me" used to be a 'fact' for me! I say this with two of my three adorable and much loved cats laying at their spot on the corner of my desk as I type. Thank goodness I updated that belief.
Have you updated any of your beliefs lately?
Can you think of any 'facts' that you could challenge?
I would love to hear your thoughts.