How many cartoons have we seen that feature an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? It’s a well-worn trope, but it’s a useful one.
Change of any type often initiates an internal battle. Think of this as a battle between the devil and the angel on your shoulders. Call the devil “Quo” (advocating the status quo) and the angel “Go” (advocating change).
Quo is going to try to discourage you from facing your reality; she wants you to
carry on doing what you’ve been doing. Now, if you stop for just a minute and really think about where you are, you might just admit that “what you’ve been doing” isn’t working. But Quo knows if that happens, you might just do something about it, so she’s going to remind you of every reason, excuse, and justification for staying stick. Expect Quo to dredge up all your well-worn reasons for not acting and whisper them in your ear.
Quo’s objective is to “keep you safe” in the familiar, even if the familiar sucks. Quo wants to prevent you from taking the more challenging road. Quo is probably mocking what you’re reading in this blog right now. Am I right?
You need to actively engage “Go” in the conversation. For every excuse Quo comes up with to keep you stuck, ask Go for two ways to get unstuck. She’ll know.
Listen to Go
If something in your life isn’t working, or you’re aware of changes you need to make, don’t wait for something to break. Don’t wait for things to magically change. Don’t wait for someone else to change or someone else to see the error of their ways. (That’s what Quo wants you to do.)
If something in your life isn’t working, it’s time for action. (That’s what Go is whispering into your ear.)
I understand: Stasis is comfortable. Even if you are miserable, it’s the miser you know. The status quo is known – even if it’s terrible – and there is comfort in that situation’s predictability. There’s a fine line between complacency and contentment.
Don’t get complacent.
Maintaining the status quo, putting on a brave face, smiling for the camera when you want to weep, is no way to live, and it is robbing you of the love, joy, accomplishment, and happiness you deserve.
But it’s not just about you. Go wants you to get your own sh*t together, and not just for your own benefit. That allows us to help and support others to do the same.
I have lost count of the people I’ve come across who are brimming with talent and ability, but who constantly thwart that potential by getting in their own way and the way of others, simply because they don’t have their sh*t together. All the luck, ability, talent, opportunity, or advantage in the world can so easily come to nothing if we don’t learn how to get a handle on our emotions, develop our cognitive and emotional intelligence, and foster our mental resilience to deal constructively with the inevitable highs and lows of life.
It’s time to unleash your potential, whatever that looks like for you. Be open, be honest – with yourself and others. And remember, “Fortune favours the brave.”
(Want more? To win the battle of Go vs. Quo, check out my latest book, Your Life Your Way.)