Wherever You Go, There You Are

Did you ever think about the fact that the one common denominator in all your life experiences is you?  I say this because I used to think that if I moved to enough new houses or made enough external changes in my life, then things would get better or be better. I’d be happier or more content.

I hear this from clients a lot too – that they need a new job, a new boss, a new spouse, and then things will get better. Funny thing is though, many of these people keep changing jobs and getting new bosses yet having the same issues as in their previous places of employment. I cannot help but tell them, “wherever you go, there you are.” I say this lovingly, of course, but I am direct with my clients because I’ve been there. You cannot escape yourself. As much as you may think a change in environment will do it, most often the change that needs to happen first is within you.

I’m not saying changes in environments, jobs, or relationships cannot help.  Often, they are the actual problem, and getting out of them is exactly what is required to improve your life; however, I am talking about the repeat scenarios. For example, if you keep having the same relationship issues with each new partner, maybe you need to take a look at yourself, your patterns, and your behaviors that need to change so the next relationship doesn’t have those same issues.  It’s the same thing with jobs or bosses. If you keep having the same issues at the new job as the old job or with the new boss as your former bosses, perhaps it’s you that is the issue.  You are the common denominator.

I know it’s sometimes easier to point the finger at everyone or everything else and think that if we move or change jobs, things will get better. They might. But if they don’t, my suggestion is the following:

First, admit that you may actually be the problem.

Ask yourself what the commonalities are in the old situations and the current or new situation.

Ask yourself what you want to be different and how YOU can make some changes so that things can be different in the new situation.

Then, take some time to work on yourself to make those changes.

For example, many years ago when I got out of a bad marriage, despite how bad my ex-husband was for me and how incompatible we were, I knew I contributed to the failure of that marriage. I knew I didn’t want to have those same experiences in my next relationship. I took some much- needed alone time outside of any relationship to do some reflection on my own habits and insecurities that negatively impacted that marriage (and previous relationships). I believe that it is only because of the time I spent working on myself and dedicated to loving myself through it that I am able to have a successful relationship today.

The fact is, wherever you go, there you are. Stop trying to outrun yourself with external changes. Try to accept that no matter how many new jobs, relationships, or bosses you have, ultimately nothing changes unless you do.

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