Get Up

Something Has to Change: Episode 13

Meggan Stephens

2/28/20245 min read

low light stage microphone photography
low light stage microphone photography

Personal Reality

What is personal reality? Personal reality is created by your personality. Personality is defined as the combination of behaviors, emotions, thought patterns, and motivations that form an individual's character. Basically, your personality is how you think, how you act, and how you feel. It is the characteristics of who you are that have been shaped by genetics and the environment around you. Your perception, the way in which you view and understand life, is your personal reality. To bring it full circle, you create your own reality.

Is it possible to change your reality once it's been created? Simply put, yes, it is possible. However, it involves changing your personality, and let's face it, a lot of us don't want to let go of who we are. Despite the fact that our personality is the root cause of our endless anxious thoughts and bad decisions, we hold onto our unhealthy ways believing and accepting them as our identity. It's a common misconception, but who you've been doesn't have to be who you will always be. This is that area of life that can be changed yet seems unchangeable. Changing your personality, and ultimately your personal reality, is not only possible, but achievable.

Write a Vision

In order to change your reality, Stephen recommends writing a plain vision for your life, a concept observed from Habakkuk 2:2. Putting the vision on paper and placing it before your eyes daily will help you to keep your focus in the proper area. This suggestion has been the focus of my week thus far. It has prompted me to reflect deeply on the direction of my life and the areas that need improvement. Ironically, writing down a vision for things such as meal plans, daily schedules, and exercise routines are some of the most difficult tasks for me personally. The reality is they're not actually too troublesome. I've just made it harder because it's not something I particularly enjoy doing. Hence the importance of the next recommendation, priming your mind.

Prime Your Mind

To prime your mind is to prime your life. Priming the mind is the most beneficial when done first thing in the morning as it sets the tone for a productive day. It is similar to meditation in the way of allotting a specific amount of your time to adjust your thoughts and emotions in order to perform your daily routine at your peak state. It's important to prime your mind in a positive way.

For example, if you have a job interview approaching, are you going to prepare yourself to get the job? Or are you preparing yourself to not get the job? You become the best primer of your own mind. Whatever you're telling yourself internally is what will be produced outwardly. If you often "wake up on the wrong side of the bed," why? Perception is key. Every day that you're alive is a good day. It's an opportunity to smile and to make someone else smile alongside of you. Reconditioning the mind will in turn change the reality.

Getting Back Up

This section of the podcast spoke to me the loudest. One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 24:16 which says, "Though a man falls seven times, he gets up again." Who hasn't fallen a time or two, or twenty? The problem isn't the falling, it's the choice to stay on the ground. Typically, when I fail at something, I almost immediately recognize it. Unfortunately, upon recognition, I will continuously kick myself when I'm already down. I have a tendency to wallow in self-pity and "woe is me" rather than accepting failure and moving on. This is known as negative perfectionism, which is a trait I'm quite ready to part with.

To reiterate, falling is not the issue. Following each defeat is an opportunity to stand, to rise up and overcome. However, you can expect excuses and procrastination to inevitably show their faces with every decision to get back up again. Time and again we will declare, "I'll start Monday," or "I'll do it tomorrow," when in reality, these days are not promised to you. As the host said, "One day and some day are the only two days not on the weekly calendar." The most crucial time to get back up is today.

If you've recently relapsed, now is the time to recover. I'm not speaking specifically to drug or alcohol addiction, but to any sort of regression whether it be depression, anger, or even sugar. In the moment you recognize backsliding, encourage yourself. Muster up the effort to accept your short-coming and push forward. In this episode, Stephen helped me to realize that falling doesn't always involve praying. Most of the time, it just takes an effort to change.

Fear of Happiness

The fear of happiness typically stems from past experiences, often experiences of being consistently let down by other people. It can be identified when one faces anxiety about attending a party or social gathering that is sure to be fun or joyful. Usually, one with a phobia of happiness will also reject opportunities that may appear to bring positive life changes due to the fear that something bad will follow. Those fearful of being happy will find comfort in the arms of depression, living life with a low expectation of what's best for them, inevitably settling for broken relationships and a wounded self-image.

Fear of happiness brings on a constant level of stress. When stressed, there is no ability to understand, learn, or to grow. You begin to live in a continual state of emergency, also known as fight or flight mode. These high levels of stress shrink your brain and cause you to withdraw from supports and detach from relationships. You'll also be more likely to make simple mistakes and become forgetful.

What most don't realize is that you were designed to be happy, healed, and set free. The Creator has called you to be joyful, instructing you to be anxious over nothing, to cast all of your cares on Him. The weight of the world was never intended to be carried on your shoulders. God intends to give you what is best for you. Do you have faith to receive it?

Something Has to Change

The "something" that we must begin to change this week is our personal reality and the understanding we hold of getting back up if we fall. We need to let go of this irrational fear that God is against us, wanting us to be miserable because this concept couldn't be further from the truth. Receive the forgiveness that God is offering you and begin to forgive yourself. Find ways to destress such as exercise, taking a warm bath, meditation, listening to soothing music, painting, writing, or simply a hobby that you enjoy. Learn to smile, and be happy.

Throughout this series of Something Has to Change, the host of Contemporary Speaks, Stephen, has spoken on many of the basic components that contribute to mental instability. Previous episodes have discussed topics such as: self image, negative thoughts, procrastination, isolation, and stress. Episode 13 addresses three subjects: personal reality, how to get back up, and the fear of happiness. With each episode, the host has faithfully encouraged the audience to pursue change in all areas of life, especially those that appear unchangeable. According to Stephen, "Change is as easy as changing your clothes, but as difficult as you make it."

Three Takeaways:
  1. Write out the vision for your life.

  2. Allow good change to become permanent change.

  3. Don't worry, be happy.

Want to dive deeper?

Watch the full episode