5 Key Discoveries That Can Change Your Life

Barbara A. Bernard

Barbara A. Bernard

Living in discovery means developing a rich bank of knowledge about yourself so that you can retire unnecessary fears and increase your resilience in any situation. We write these blogs to support you in learning more about who you are and what you’re capable of because you are SO worth it.

As we’ve practiced this approach to living, we’ve made some pivotal discoveries that can change your life for the better. Here are five of them:

  1. We can learn about our inner strength without experiencing pain.  

One of the common cultural myths that prevent people from seeking more self-knowledge is “no pain, no gain.” This needn’t be true. It’s possible to greatly enhance your understanding of yourself without pain and even with a great deal of laughter.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 9.43.27 PMFor example, one of the most powerful strategies all of us can use is to identify our “Go-To Excuse File.” Once I identified that I was saying “I’m too busy” as an excuse to keep me from making healthy choices or attempting something new, I started giggling whenever those words popped up in my mind. The more I choose not to buy into this excuse, the more I find time for many activities I’ve long yearned to do.

  1. Comparing our efforts to our own previous attempts is more empowering than comparing ourselves to anyone else.

When I decided that comparison to others was no longer going to be a valid excuse for avoiding opportunities, my life began to shift. I realized that when I attempted to learn to swim as an adult, it wasn’t helpful to compare myself to Diana Nyad. When I was addressing my fear of water, I wasn’t served by measuring myself against my friend who had grown up on a lake and likened herself to a fish.

Now when I am learning anything new, I choose to look at what I know at any given moment in time and then use that for comparison in the future. I love that this supports me in celebrating my efforts, my growth, and the changes I’m making.

  1. Resilience grows when we keep a memory file of the times we felt good about accomplishing a task, succeeding at something, or overcoming an obstacle.

When I face new choices or challenges, my brain often goes to past incidents of embarrassment, humiliation, or fear in order to protect me from experiencing the same thing again. It’s normal to want to avoid those feelings, but we can train our minds to recall our moments of strength instead. My I Can file is a collection of memories that I intentionally consult when I’m trying something new, taking a well-thought-out risk, or feeling anxious about stepping out of my comfort zone. I now take responsibility for drawing on my I Can file to support my learning and growth.

  1. We can identify beliefs that no longer serve us and replace them with beliefs that truly represent who we are now.

For much of my life I held the belief that I was not creative because when I was eight years old, I didn’t do particularly well in an art class with older students. Over the years, I based many decisions on this belief until a friend challenged me with the evidence from my life. She pointed out all the creativity I employ professionally and personally. When I heard it from friends, I listened. I now can tell you I am creative, and I’m able to use this information when making choices.

  1. We don’t have to be good at everything to try new things. It’s okay to be a beginner, get support, and have others observe us attempting something new.

If I won’t try something unless I am good at it, I am severely limiting my life. If I’m unwilling to be a beginner or learn in front of others, I’m closing off possibilities. Life is always more interesting and stimulating when we are learning, discovering, and exploring. We can all be beginners throughout our lives. Let’s celebrate every new beginning and cherish each step of this journey of discovery together.