Our brains are very good at identifying and noticing our flaws and all the things that we need to “fix” about ourselves. And at the same time, we all have an innate, God-given desire to change and improve and grow, to continually evolve and become.
The trouble is that it can be really easy to use our flaws and mistakes as a way to beat ourselves up or punish ourselves into growth and change. We have lists of all the things we want to remove in ourselves, destroy in ourselves, eliminate in ourselves—thinking if we cut all these parts out of us, we can change into the better version of us.
But it just doesn’t work. Self-destruction does not create. When you set up your life as a continuous battle against yourself, you are going to lose. And not only is this a painful way to live—it never works as a model for change.
In this podcast, I want to offer you an alternative to create change and growth in our lives. Instead of wanting to become less, the key is to focus on becoming more of who and what we already are. This is change through love and abundance.
It is your right to grow and change and become forever. And we do that, not by negating who we are, but by building with it...and that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
A Word about “Improvement”
When we hear that word improve, it usually kind of implies “betterment.” That we are going from a state of less to a state of better. But I don’t mean it that way as I talk about it today. When I say “improve,” I don’t mean that YOU will be better in any way as you pursue a course of growth.
You cannot be better. There is not a better version of you in your past or in your future. Just as you cannot be better than any other human being, you cannot be better than yourself at any point in your human journey.
When I use the word “improve,” I simply mean acquiring more skill in any area that you want to. You always have the ability and the right to get more skill or experience or aptitude in any area of your life, but that makes you better at performing those skills. It does not make you a better person or version of yourself.
The trouble comes when we decide to use all the things that are “wrong with us” as a reason to change. As you think about the things you want to change in your life, ask yourself:
This is the default model of change our brain has always offered us: Notice all the things that are wrong…beat yourself up until you change….and you can never change enough….so just beat yourself up forever. Our human brains offer us a perspective of change based on everything we want to get rid of.
The “Cut-Down” Model
Alexander Cortez points out that this paradigm of change is based on the “cut-down model.” Make it less, make us less. Remove all the “bad things” about us. We are constantly noticing all the things we want to remove in ourselves, destroy in ourselves, eliminate in ourselves.
We want to cut all these parts out of us, so that we can change into the better version of us, but it just doesn’t work. When you set up your life as something you are in a continuous battle against, you are going to lose. It’s not a war you are going to win.
And not only is this a painful way to live….it doesn’t even work as a model for change.
The opposite perspective says that instead of wanting to become less and remove all these parts of us, what we want to focus on is becoming more. You want to become more than what you are. Not less. Building on what you are and who you are and simply choosing to love that and also become more. Because you can. Because it is your right to progress. It is your right to grow and change and become forever. Not because you have to, but because progress to becoming more is your divine inheritance.
Now we don’t want to become more from a place of lack. But become more from a place of wholeness—from, in fact, a place of abundance. I am enough and more than enough and there is no end to what I can learn or ways that I can grow. Improving and evolving is a process of becoming more of what you are, not lessening of what you are.
In many ways, it goes back to the difference between scarcity and abundance. When we look at ourselves from a mindset of scarcity, we see all that we lack and we want to remove even more.
The alternative is an abundance mindset. It means seeing all that we are and learning and building and becoming more of what we are currently, not less. We are either becoming or lessening. You really do have to pick one. Do you want to grow from becoming or lessening?
Questions to Think About
One clue that can help you see where your mindset is, is the desperation you feel to change…how in a hurry to change are you? How fast do you want to change or be different? How quickly do you want to get to that new version of you?
If you are in a hurry, it is because you are operating from scarcity. If you feel peace about where you are and where you are going, no matter how long it takes, you are settling into abundance
2. Another good question to ask yourself is:
Remember, it’s never better there than it is here. You never feel better there than you do here. If you hate yourself here you will hate yourself there. Our circumstances, our actions, or our results, never create our feelings…only our thoughts do. You need to generate the thoughts you want to feel now so that you can feel them then as well. It’s never better than this.
3. If you find your mind really resisting the idea of loving yourself as you are, ask yourself,
Thinking about yourself from abundance is not easy because thinking of yourself in terms of lack is the default programming of your amazing brain. You are going to have to manage it. You are going to have to direct it. You are going to have to take the knife from the toddler running amuck in there.
Change and grow and improve from abundance. Love all the parts of you as you are so that you can stop fighting a war you only ever lose and decide to become more of who and what you are…grace by grace until the fulness. There is nothing you can’t become if you love what already is…and that my friends is 100% awesome.
Mentioned on the podcast:
“Self destruction is not a creationary process.”
"And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace; And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness; And thus he was called the aSon of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first."