Change your story (a call to action)

Whether we realize it or not, we are born decision-makers.

Thousands of times each day, we make decisions that impact us for either just a moment or an entire lifetime—sometimes not realizing the difference. With so much practice making choices, you’d think we’d all feel pretty comfortable making changes in our lives. But with the weight so many of them carry, it can be hard to declare anything that’s scary with unwavering confidence.

I’ve often touted my indecision like it’s just something I’ll have to put up with for the rest of my life. Like a cute, Libran quirk—one of many imperfections that I’ve come to acknowledge and accept about myself. (After all, I’m all about self-love.) I laugh now at the things I fretted over as a kid. (Obviously, it didn’t matter whether I wore the black, chunky sandals or the studded, chunky sandals. Both were hideous, everyone was wearing them, and neither option altered my social status for better or worse.) But recently, I’ve noticed a change. I have since become exasperated with myself and my noncommittal tendencies. Because really, it all boils down to one very obvious thing: I’m scared shitless.

Yes, my indecision means I’m afraid. Afraid to take the lead. Afraid I’ll say something someone doesn’t like. Afraid I’ll be stuck with something I don’t like. Afraid to take responsibility if things go wrong because I led myself there. And here I’ve been, proudly trumpeting my shortcomings as though saying them out loud makes them not so bad. When really, I’m only reinforcing bad, lazy, scaredy-cat behavior.

I mean, damn. When I think about it that way, this wishy-washy stuff sounds downright heinous. But I’m getting to the good part.

So yesterday, in a supreme bout of Monday funk (the meh kind), I came across a post by Nicole of A Life Less Bullshit that couldn’t have been more aptly timed for where I am now and where I’m headed. Her creation, the Change Your Story Project, is about these negative self-fulfilling diagnoses we keep repeating to ourselves—and throwing them right in the trash. In Nicole’s own words:

Our lives are made up of stories, and the most powerful stories are the ones we tell about ourselves, to ourselves. If you tell yourself you don’t deserve to be loved, then that becomes true based on the sheer fact that everything you do and say and think makes it true. If you’re telling yourself you can’t change your eating habits because you don’t have enough willpower, then surprise surprise, that’s your reality.

Well, hell-ooo, Nicole. Nice of you to pop up in my reader like you just knew I’ve been excusing my vacillating ways. As one would accidental boob grabs, or farts.

The Change Your Story Project is a call to action for fellow bloggers to share their stories—the false, damaging stories they keep telling over and over—and declare how they plan on rewriting them for a more well-rounded plot and protagonists worth reading about. In non-metaphor speak: By not only addressing our problems, but also by coming up with very specific, tangible, and reasonable goals, we can actively choose to change our lifestyles for the better, big or small.

Key word there: actively. As in, the opposite of passively. Decisiveness requires activeness. No more just letting things happen to me—or worse, allowing nothing at all to transpire.

I said 2013 would be a big year, and I meant it. I’m going to start actively making decisions. Smart, informed, self-respecting decisions. And sticking to them. And playing something else on repeat every time I’m feeling panicky by the uncertainty of a decision I must inevitably make: the consequences of one false move are nothing at all compared to the consequences of stagnancy. This is just one small change of many, but I’m glad I have the guts to choose it.

That’s my story. What’s yours?

 

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Comments

  1. There is no excuse for farts.

    Seriously though, this sounds like a fantastic project! I spent last year being swept along by life and am just now starting to gain back my firm footing and making more active decisions based on what I want and need. It feels pretty good!

    • But accidental boob grabs…? 😉

      Really glad to hear things have been going well for you lately. I can imagine how much better it must feel when the things that happen to you are by choice and not by chance.

  2. “The consequences of one false move are nothing at all compared to the consequences of stagnancy” — this is SO good. I related to every single line of this post. I have to make so many big, scary decisions in the next two months and I’ve found myself just trying to find the one which will allow the least active decision making or commitment from me. And even that’s not working out because it’s stressing me out to not take control of my life. I’m totally changing my story today (I even started writing the proposal for the independent study I didn’t believe I was “qualified” to do, and which will force me to graduate and then force me to find a job! Big steps!) Thanks for the post 🙂

    • Yay! Congrats on getting started. Funny how when you finally start taking on the things you’ve been dreading, you feel a whole lot better. I so hope these next couple of months work out well for you. Good luck. 🙂

  3. Yeaaaahhh! I’m so thrilled you’re jumping in for the Change Your Story Project, and it sounds like you’re already off to a kickass start.

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes, lady! xo

    • Thanks so much for kicking it off and getting me inspired! Looking forward to updating on my progress (and getting updated on yours!).

  4. Absolutely love this. A lot of small changes have, eventually, got to lead up to a big life change.

  5. I’m really excited (& maybe a little scared) by this whole thing. I can’t wait to see how everyone changes their story & accomplishes cool stuff. Love, love, love it.

    Sounds like you’re already off to a great start!

  6. “the consequences of one false move are nothing at all compared to the consequences of stagnancy.” Words to live by, right there, Cassie. Thank you. I hope your changes work out well for you. I have taken the opposite approach to life, somewhat. I am learning to accept things the way they are. Me, the way I am. That sounds like a cop out, but I feel self-acceptance is massively important and definitely has to happen before any meaningful changes can be made, if they are required at all. We shall see.

    • Not a cop out at all. I’ve been trying to work on that, too, and I’ve definitely noticed a positive change in myself over the past couple of years. I feel like right now, I’m at a point where I can (respectfully) push myself to do better so I keep evolving. Glad to hear it’s been working for you!

  7. This is such a brave thing to do. What an inspiring project. I can’t wait to read about your story and what you hope to accomplish. The beauty of the internet is that you get to “meet” all different kinds of people who deal with situations in a hundred different ways. I have no doubt that I’ll be inspired by your change.

    • Thanks, girl. <3 In the coming months, I'm hoping to get way more specific about this and be able to share it openly. Exciting (and scary) things on the horizon for sure. And the Internet sure is a beautiful place. I'm lucky to have bloggy friends like you.

  8. Afraid I’ll be stuck with something I don’t like. Afraid to take responsibility if things go wrong because I led myself there.
    THIS. This is how I’ve felt for ages. Even when I do commit to things and make decisions, it’s often a half-hearted commitment because I’m still thinking about the four other choices I could have made.

    Love the LLB post that inspired this too. I think it’s one of those things that we could all stand to be reminded of at some point or another.

    • Yup. I hate that feeling. It’s not good for the whole self-confidence thing, plus, it makes me feel like I want to flake out. Gotta learn to live with the decisions we make.

  9. Yayy us! I know I also needed this reminder. And I love that you recognize stagnancy more damaging than a mistake. Good luck!

  10. I have posted in my office the following quotation “Regrets are usually greater for risks avoided than those taken – even ones taken and lost.” (Ralph Keyes, from The Courage to Write) The stagnancy issue is one I’ve definitely struggled with, and I believe we all do to some extent. I mean, there’s just SO MUCH information out there, how informed does an “informed” decision have to be?! Often it feels easier to make no decision at all. Good for you for working to make a change. And thanks for introducing this project into my life – sounds great!

  11. I really love the idea behind this project. Im currently on spring break and I’ve been exercising every day. I think my change starts now; rather, I know my change starts now. It looks a lot of guts to admit to myself where I stand, but I think I’ll need some motivation to continue, which could perhaps come from accomplishing what I hope to do in little steps throughout this transformation. So glad I found your blog!

Trackbacks

  1. […] You are in charge of your own destiny. Cassie charges us all with being in charge of our own stories with her call to action. […]

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The comment’s server IP (67.205.49.112) doesn’t match the comment’s URL host IP (75.119.206.87) and so is spam.

  2. […] Cassie’s lovely post directed my attention to Nicole Antoinette’s “Change Your Story, Change Your Life” project… […]

  3. […] I’ll always be improving regardless. Change is inevitable, so it was time for me to make the decision to keep my momentum going. Look, guys, I’m not just talking out of my ass around here! […]

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