Chew On it – Make the Change

‘Watch your thoughts; they become words. 
Watch your words; they become actions. 
Watch your actions; they become habits. 
Watch your habits; they become character. 
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.’ 

      – Lao-Tze 

In life, we change continuously as experience and knowledge help guide us. Some change for the better and unfortunately some change for the worst.

Changes can always be made to our behaviour, to become the person we aspire to be, but it takes dedication, persistence, and commitment. As I have mentioned before, if you want to make any changes in your behaviour/habits, you need to commit to it. Trying will ultimately lead to failure.

I believe our personality is determined by our environment, DNA, and conscious effort to be who we want. We have the capability to define our character.

 I have learnt to be persistent with the changes I want to make by taking little steps at a time until they become habitual. Compared to the person that I was 20 years ago, I am now happy with the person that I am (although some may not be happy with me!)

I am essentially introverted and relatively shy, but as I know those qualities only hold me back, I have challenged myself over the years to redefine my personality.

I was married the first time at 18, and then again in my mid-twenties, and my behaviour was constrained to appease my partners and prevent arguments. It was tiring and dissatisfying. Hence, I am much happier nowadays (I’m single!)

 I started becoming the person that I wanted to be in my forties. I discovered and developed my sense of humour, although my sense of humour tends to be provocative and politically incorrect.

 Over the years, I have challenged my introverted personality by doing things that I am very uncomfortable with, like striking up conversations in the lift. I have discovered I can easily break the ice by commenting on something positive or funny about what the person was wearing. This too has become a habit and I am now comfortable with it.

 Likewise, when I am in the club I work on interacting with as many people as possible. Especially now that I am the self-appointed Social Director of Elixr. My entire job description is: Have enjoyable engagements with many people. This leads me to challenge the notion of embarrassment, defined as feeling self-conscious, ashamed or awkward. I continue to work on not being concerned with what people think about me.

What does it matter what people think? Everybody makes mistakes. I believe it’s most damaging to a child’s psyche when parents say, ‘Don’t do that, people are watching.” It enhances insecurities and shame. Mental freedom will come from exposing your vulnerabilities, and this shows courage.

‘Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness, but it appears that it’s also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.’

      – Brené Brown 

‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.’  

      – Martin Luther King, Jr.