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Change is simple. You only have to step into the new person you want to be.

Ask yourself. What do you want to see in your life right now? And who do you need to become for that to happen?

Choose to be that person every day without fail and you will see the life of your dreams effortlessly blossom into reality.

But—here come all the buts.

Change may be simple, but it’s not easy. At least, that’s what most people say.

See, humans don’t like change. They say they want a more rewarding job, a healthier body, or more fulfilling relationships. They say they want a better life, but when they’re confronted with what it takes to have all that, they say they don’t really want to change at all.

Most people, when they say they want all of that stuff, wish it would just drop from the heavens on a silver platter. They want more money, but they’d rather play mindless games on their smartphones all day long. They want a sexier ass, but they’d rather park their ass in front of the TV binging on popcorn and caramel strudels. They want to be happy in their relationships, but they don’t know how to put down their phones at dinner.

Don’t get me wrong. Living a better life doesn’t start with the things that you do on the outside. It starts with what goes on inside, which then influences the things that you do on the outside.

All of the binge-watching while binging on junk food and all of the mind-numbing time spent hunched in front of a little screen happens because they’re ingrained. Somewhere deep inside that human brain of yours, you’ve somehow managed to convince yourself that all the things you really don’t want to do but feel so compelled to do anyway are good for you.

You bought into the belief that if you do this (i.e. sabotage yourself with self-destructive behaviors), you will feel good about it. Yes, the dopamine surge feels good the first time you watch the first three-hour Lord of the Rings movie, but as each three-hour flick passes, the dopamine surge drops and you’ll need more and more of the Shire and the elves to make you feel good about your actions. At the end of the day, you’ve numbed yourself out sitting in front of the movie for nine hours straight and you’re regretting your decision to watch all three movies at once.

And that’s all because of one thought. Just one thought that you bought into over and over again until it has solidified into a rock-solid, iron-clad belief about who you are.

How many of these unhelpful thoughts have you bought into?

“I need coffee before I can start my day. Otherwise, and if it’s not strong, dark, and brewed using fair-trade Arabica beans from Hawaii, I’m going to be a monster all throughout the day.”

I need to pay my dues first.”

“I need to look and sound a certain way to be accepted by society.”

“I need to be a nice person. Smile, wave, shut up and let everyone treat me like a doormat.”

“I was born without privilege. And so, I have to keep fighting my way through life just to get by.”

“I’m too passionate/enthusiastic/intense/energetic/demanding. Nobody wants to listen to a woman like me. I’d burn them out.”

“I can’t do that. I’m not [insert some arbitrary criteria here] enough.”

At one point or another, we’ve all bought into these thoughts. We’ve all believed they were true at one time.

But the good news is you can always opt out of these thoughts, like an annoying newsletter that keeps sending you unhelpful emails all the time. You can simply click the unsubscribe button and never let them bother you again.

Yes, it’s as simple as that.

You can simply stop listening to those thoughts and start replacing them with new ones that better fit the new identity you want to become.

And no, don’t tell me it’s hard to drop old beliefs when you’ve been believing them all your life. Beliefs are just thoughts that we’ve bought into over and over again.

When someone tells you you’re ugly for the first time, you’d drop it if you don’t believe in it. And then someone else comes along to tell you your ugly and you’d wonder, “Hmm. Is it true? Am I really ugly?” And then a third person comes along, and then a fourth, and then a fifth. And your initial dismissal turns into a full-blown questioning of your beauty.

And as more and more people come in to confirm to you that, yes, you really are ugly and you had best not show your face to the general public, the thought which was once just a thought solidifies as a belief. And so, you no longer need other people to validate that thought for you. It is already your firm belief that you are ugly, and your mind will continuously seek every single piece of evidence to prove that belief for you.

Beliefs, after all, demand to be proven. Everything that happens to you somehow becomes just another extension of that belief. It’s no wonder why people who think men are assholes always end up getting their hearts broken by men who are assholes. Life simply reflects back to you all that’s going on inside your head.

More specifically, life simply conforms to who you choose to become. People who choose to be victimized by their circumstances will simply get more of the circumstances that make a victim out of them. And people who choose to look at their circumstances as opportunities will find more of the opportunities than anything else.

It’s a mechanical thing. This happens if you do this. That happens if you do that.

It’s a universal law.

You always get what you give. And just because you think you were given the wrong kind of life doesn’t actually mean you were given the wrong kind of life.

Everything that happens to you happens for all the right reasons. You only have to buy into those reasons first, instead of choosing the thoughts that make you feel small.

You may have been born in the wrong place at the wrong time. You may have been born and bred in the wrong country, with the wrong genital organs, to parents who speak all the wrong languages and pray to all the wrong gods. And you can choose to make out of that whatever you want.

It starts with choosing one thought, just one thought.

“This is a good place to be.”

“This is a phenomenal time to be alive.”

“My penis/vagina doesn’t define who I am.”

“The language I speak doesn’t define who I am.”

“There is no right or wrong god to pray to.”

And that one thought is followed by another thought. And another thought. And another thought.

All of which you have the power to choose. All of which you can consciously examine, evaluate, and decide whether to discard that thought or allow it to become part of your new identity. And if you choose not to let one thought bring you down, you can always choose another thought to replace it with—one that feels better, one that feels truer to you.

Here’s a foolproof, failproof way of knowing whether or not a thought is true. If it makes you want to feel like curling into a ball and shrinking in the corner, it’s a thought fueled by fear, which is nothing but the human ego speaking up.

But if a thought makes you feel alive, capable, and a tiny bit stretched but not too much and with some nerves thrown in, then believe in it. Whatever makes you feel expansive, like you’re about to grow into a better, bigger, higher version of yourself, trust that thought. Buy into that thought over and over again until it has become an automatic part of who you are.

That’s how you shed old beliefs that no longer serve you. That’s how you develop new beliefs that are good for you. And that’s how you become a brand new person, one that you’re proud to be.

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