Do you expect things to be hard or do you allow them to be easy? When something goes wrong are you able to step back and imagine a simple solution or do you automatically envision a major problem waiting to be solved? Recently I discovered that I belong to the worst-case scenario club – I expect things to be hard.
During a warm, spring day I decided to try the air conditioning system in our new home only to discover that it didn’t work. I contacted the company and waited for them to show up three days later to investigate the problem. In the meantime, I found myself imagining that the unit was defective; I thought it might be a broken line in a wall and that the wall would need to be torn down for the line to be repaired; or that the whole system had been designed improperly. Talk about worst-case scenario.
When the repairman finally showed up, he discovered a broken seal on an outside line – a simple repair that took a couple of hours to fix. As he drove out of the driveway I thought to myself, Why didn’t I even consider an easy solution?
Generally, I’m an optimistic person. I tend to see the upside of life and am able to look for the positive opportunities in even the most challenging situations. But, the trouble with the air conditioning system made me aware of a habit of thinking that I hadn’t realized before: The tendency to expect things to be hard.
As I considered this pattern of thinking, I immediately remembered past examples. When I used to prepare my own taxes, I would ruminate about how long it would take to get them done. I imagined days of arduous labor only to have it take three or four hours. Or, when my computer contracted a virus, I expected to lose all of my files only to have my computer guy not only repair the problem, but improve the performance of my machine. When I considered present day examples, I realized that I’d been worrying for months about how difficult it would be to sell our former home once we got it on the market. My mind revolved around thoughts like, “The housing market is bad, homes aren’t moving at all and I’m sure it will take months or even years to sell ours!” Yup, I expected the worst.
While there are certainly benefits to considering worst-case scenarios – being better prepared or better able to handle setbacks, etc., stewing in a pot of negativity is not productive. When our mind is focused on all that could go wrong or how hard it will be, it’s as if we empower the very outcome we most want to avoid. If you’re about to go through a divorce, for example, and you keep worrying about how contentious or painful it will be, there’s a good chance that you’ll behave in a way that allows for that experience. If, on the other hand, you breathe through your fear and frustration and keep returning your mind to the present moment trusting that all will unfold in perfect order, you’ll have a much better chance of experiencing a smoother ride.
When we expect simple or easy solutions to life’s challenges, we set ourselves up for a more positive experience (whether it turns out to be easy or not). We show up with the right frame of mind, we focus on what works instead of what doesn’t, and put ourselves in a more open and receptive state that attracts the people or resources we need to get things handled.
My new awareness has inspired me to change my expectations and it’s working. Last week we put our house on the market after clearing it out, cleaning it up and restoring it to its original beauty. We priced it right and I placed a photo of the house with the word “SOLD!” across the top, in the wealth corner of our new home. I imagined a wonderful couple enjoying this amazing home that’s brought us so much joy over the years and guess what happened? The house sold within 12 hours for more than the asking price! No contingencies, no hassles, just an easy sale with the new buyers ready to close in a couple of weeks. Sure enough, when the paperwork was signed, I caught myself imaging the deal falling through. But, the moment it happened, I smiled and said, Cheryl, let it be easy. Then I took a deep breath and went about my day. And so it was…
How about you? Are you ready to allow life to be easy?
Take Action Challenge
Choose one area of your life that’s been hard and make a decision right now to shift to “easy.” Create a written affirmation that reflects this new belief. Something like:
I easily transition from my current job to a new one that I love.
I enjoy the process of buying a new home with joy and ease.
I marvel at how simple the process of clearing out my garage is as I share my treasures with those in need.
Get the idea? Make easy your new standard for living this week and see what happens…
This week’s video is another gift from my dad. Go the extra mile and turn up the heat! You’ll find it here. Thanks Dad !