Most people want to experience freedom – the freedom to travel and experience adventure, great health, abundance of money, and many other types of freedom.
Just look at the thousands, dare I say millions, wishing for the big winning lottery ticket in hopes it will solve all the outward situations viewed as barriers to freedom.
Equally important but not discussed as much is emotional and psychological freedom. But how do we achieve emotional and psychological well-being? It’s not for purchase for $12.99 nor is it given out like the free candy at the bank. No…emotional and psychological well-being are not for purchase.
Being emotionally and psychology healthy begins when YOU decide to live life ON purpose. What does that mean exactly? Well, there’s no right or wrong here because we’re all individuals. What is mental health for me may be mentally healthy for you…but thankfully science has helped us out with providing some general things we know work for everyone.
First thing to do is to understand what exactly needs to be upgraded, created, or thrown out when changing ourselves. Did you know humans think about wanting change long before there’s action? That’s right. We sit, we ponder, we analyze. For some, they talk it over with others then think about it further. And the truth is often this is all we do about something…think about it. Never getting beyond stage one!
Secondly, we must make a conscious choice to get ourselves in to DRIVE and moving forward. I like to call this the “stop living on autopilot” moment. If you think you’re in charge of your life, take a moment to reflect on your morning routine. When your eyes opened, did you do anything different today than you did yesterday? For many people, they will say no. Woke up, did my morning routine, then had a cup of coffee, and out the door. That’s living on autopilot.
Third (but certainly not the last step in this process) is being brave enough to work from the inside out. While we tend to focus on the outward things, such as the examples provided about the typical types of freedom mentioned earlier, working from the inside out means we’re looking at the stinky, stank, and ugly parts of ourselves. You know what I mean – the part that yelled at the driver going to slow for your liking and your kids heard every bad word you said, the part of you that held a grudge against your partner for two days because they didn’t washing the dishes again, the part of you unhappy for not passing on the donut a mere 24 hours after “restarting that diet” for the 5th time. Working from the inside out requires vulnerability and courage to forgive ourselves, others, and shed light on the not-so-fun-parts.
The take-home message here can be summed up in 3 steps:
Identification & Intention
What do you want to change?
Hint – start with 1 thing, master it, then add another
Creating & Planning
Taking what you learned from #1, create plan
Write it down where you’ll see it every day, more than once a day is great!
Action & Revision
Check in every week on your progress
Not going well? No problem. Just restart or redefine the goal.
Successful? Awesome! Return to #1 and start again.
Turn off the autopilot and start choosing emotional freedom!
Dr. Erika McElroy
Smooth Rock Psychological Services, LLC