For change to happen you will need to see and appreciate progress that happens in small steps.
If you are learning to play a musical instrument the inner Judge will think that success means getting your first paying gig, or record contract, or Grammy. Unfortunately, this sets up the mindset that everything less than these achievements is failure. That perspective makes the journey emotionally unbearable to continue very long, and so the temptation to avoid and quit the journey grows.
If you are going to change your emotional reactions, negative thoughts, and behaviors, this mindset has to shift.
One essential element for progress is to notice and appreciate the small things that are going well. Any step forward or learned experience is a win. It is essential in skill building practices, like changing beliefs, that you have positive reinforcement for the small progress.
When you take the time to notice small progressions you are building faith in the attempts you are making and will continue practicing the work to build the skills needed. You not only need to build neural pathways of good habits, but also neural pathways that the changes you seek are happening.
In learning an instrument, you do better when you feel satisfaction about learning one note, one chord, and then playing one song. In a video game you get some wins at every level that is enjoyed before you “win” the game. If you didn’t have those good moments of small accomplishments, the emotional frustration of “continual losing” would drive you to quit.
How to put this essential element for change into action?
Now it is a matter of changing your brain, thought, and behavior patterns to make that happen.
To help facilitate this progress in the Self Mastery Community we started posting Wins and Celebrations. We are taking the time to acknowledge progress, no matter how small. This way we also learn what progress looks like.
Why would we need to learn what progress looks like? Wouldn’t that be obvious? Uhhhh… NO!If you are like most people, and certainly like most high achievers, the job of measuring success and failure has been turned over to the inner critic of the Judge voice in our head. There is one important fact that I can tell you about the Judge voice in your head. He/she, doesn’t know shit about measuring progress effectively.
The judge knows very little about being happy, peace, calm, and less about changing thoughts and emotions. Yet, surprisingly is often the loudest about directing our success and failures, what we should and shouldn’t be doing.
We got better plan…
The Self Mastery Community Weekly Wins and Celebrations
We are in the progress of training the inner critic out of the job of measuring success and failure in our progress. We are reclaiming how to see and acknowledge our progress of change. At the Self Mastery Community we are acknowledging our “wins”, however small, and the confidence it builds.
As you read in the community what progress look like you get to train your new mind in a new way about what to look for. Day to day, and week to week progress looks very different than what the Judge character thinks or would mention.
I’ve taken some samples from people’s post about their wins and they are below. This is what changes look like on a day by day, week by week basis. Maybe it will help get your inner Judge calibrated a bit. Nobody is winning a Grammy here, but they will be feeling incredibly different as the weeks of small changes build. Here are some of the wins a few members are posting. (names are left out).
Weekly or longer win: Normally when things are too messy or chaotic I get angry, but been able to give thanks to the judge/villain/victim/know-it-all/perfectionist of the ego for their input and keep my cool, let go organically, find centeredness, and be a better parent and husband.
– I got an email from a colleague who I have had a pattern of being irritated by all the time. I was again irritated – made me want to swear and say all the usual things about her. I decided not to respond for a couple of days. In that time I could see the anger was not about her – it just triggered something in me. By the time I responded my reply was completely practical and neutral. The bigger win is that I could observe myself and saw the situation totally differently. Also learning that emotions do change. It felt good not to act in the habitual way. Felt more powerful.
My win for the week is being able to observe the stories in my head as stories and not who I am. Can’t say they’ve stopped or quieted much, I am just aware of them and able to observe that it is the judge or the critic or the victim.
I walked into the kitchen and my daughter had the radio playing. It was playing a song from my teen years. I SANG AND DANCED full OUT. WOOOHHOOOO!!!! And….drum roll…let the feelings flow….I felt happy, nostalgic, pumped, joy, and then I cried. :-) All in my kitchen.
This week; I discovered that there is freedom in accepting I was wrong and forgiving myself for that.
BIG INSIGHT WIN
Well… a big insight came into something that has plagued me for a long, long time. A trio of ego belief characters surfaced when trying to speak to a group of people. The characters ‘Expects People to Be Kind’, ‘Expects People to Be Nasty’, and ‘No One Is Interested in What You Have to Say’ make quite the trio, all chiming in at once! No wonder I can’t get a word out… or even find a word to try to get out! And the tension is something to behold! Interesting. Definitely interesting. Characters definitely calling for some compassion. And I have a much better understanding so am better prepared to provide compassion. So Yay!
I have started to become much more aware of using ‘should’ both to myself and others, which is very freeing. I’ve started dating someone new and have been able to communicate my needs very honestly and, for the first time, am able to relax a bit into ‘seeing how it goes’ rather than cling onto it for dear life and trying to make it ‘the one’ at any cost. I’ve been able to let go of anxiety in the mornings with the releasing emotions exercise. I’ve been much better at noticing when the judge and victim are talking and becoming less involved in those thoughts (still a long way to go!) I’m being very compassionate to myself and getting lots of value from the acceptance exercise. Just learning to accept thoughts and feelings (even the judge of the judge) rather than rejecting everything. I didn’t even notice how much I was doing this. It feels so good to highlight these wins because it reminds me how far I’ve come!
My win … learning to be careful of the word SHOULD. I realised that the word SHOULD often brings up feelings of guilt and is often a signal that a character is at play.
The subtlety of all this is blowing my mind away. It is so important to make baby steps and I am now able to say this with a conviction I have not had before in my life!!
You can join the Self Mastery Community here:
and begin to log your own changes through the skills you learn in the Self Mastery Trainings.5