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Double Down or Choose to Change

When it comes to self-improvement and life improvement, people have a very one-dimensional, black and white idea about it. As people, we think that when you see something about yourself that might be judged as bad or wrong or detrimental, the automatic answer is to change that thing about yourself or about your life. The thing is, this isn’t always the answer. 

You cannot create a life that is all good in that it is entirely free of contrast. After all, there is positive inherent in every negative and negative inherent in every positive. And everyone will have to consciously choose their contrast in this life. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Why You Should Consciously Choose Consequences.

The truth is, when you see something about yourself or about your life, including something that might be judged as bad or wrong or detrimental, you are in a position of choice. The choice you have is to 1. Change that thing. Or 2. Double Down on it. If you choose to change it, you first accept that thing. You then put conscious energy into changing it into something you prefer. If you choose to double down on it, you first accept that thing. You then decide not to change it. Instead, you choose to consciously own it and strengthen your commitment to it. You then make any necessary changes to yourself and to your life around having decided to double down on that thing. 

There are a great many things that we can change about ourselves and about our lives. There are also a great many things that are not changeable about ourselves and about our lives. Maybe they aren’t changeable because of our values or because of our goals or because of what matters most to us, or because of our true desires or because of our purpose or because of realities we might have to accept, or because of the decisions we would have to make, or because of the effort we would have to put in, in order to change them etc. And therefore, sometimes, what is right for a person, is to double down on something rather than to change that thing about themselves or about their life. 

So that you can understand this concept, here is an example. Ivan is struggling to make relationships work. His past girlfriends all have the same complaint about him. That he is super dominating and controlling. That he always has to make all the decisions. And that they feel suffocated by him always telling them what to do. For another person that finds themselves in this position, it might be right to change this about themself. To work on their resistance to letting go of some control. To learn strategies for how to be in a more egalitarian style of partnership. But Ivan does not actually want to do this. Rather, he wants to want to do it. He feels shame about it, but he is happiest in relationships and feels most fulfilled when he is the one deciding and he is the one directing and he is the one leading and he is the one telling the other person what to do and not do. So, after much deliberation, Ivan realizes that what is right for him specifically, is to double down on his dominant nature. So, he decides to consciously enter into a dom-sub relationship and to live a dom-sub lifestyle both in and out of the bedroom. When he does this, what does change is things about himself and his life around his decision to double down on that thing. For example, he decides to integrate the parts of himself that feel guilty about this truth about himself. And he decides to seek a partner specifically within the dom-sub communities, so that he can be sure that he is meeting a woman who actually wants and is fulfilled by being in a subordinate role. He also takes classes on how to be a conscious dominant, in which he clarifies the difference between healthy dom-sub dynamics and abusive dynamics. When he enters into his first dom-sub relationship, he creates a structure of safety measures and agreements to ensure that his dom-sub relationship does not become an abusive dynamic. 

To give you another example, it has come to Miriam’s attention that she has a real issue committing to a career. She keeps taking classes to get certifications she never uses. And going off on outdoor adventures rather than committing to a specific job. She has gone to counseling to try to work through her adult responsibility issues and yet nothing seems to work. For another person, it might be right to change this about themselves. To use those certifications by picking a job and sticking with it. To face their fear around commitment to a specific career path. To de-prioritize those outdoor adventures. But for Miriam, this isn’t actually right. 

When Miriam starts sorting out her values, she realizes that one of her absolute top values is spontaneity. And another of her absolute priorities is nature. Society is very clear about what a person’s priorities should and shouldn’t be. And the reality is, Miriam’s values don’t align with those priorities. But, after much deliberation, she realizes that what is right for her specifically, is to double down on her values. And this means, she decides to stop trying to get herself to commit to a single career path, especially one that is indoors. What changes is things about herself and her life around her decision to double down on that thing. 

She has a long conversation with her parents and siblings to assert that they should never expect her to live a normal life and to commit to a specific career, like the one that they have always had in their minds for her. She does breathwork to release all of her painful emotions about feeling like she is letting everyone down and fearing that she will never be seen as successful by society’s standards. And all of the pain of realizing the things she will have to choose to give up as a result of choosing this path in her life. Miriam decides that she only wants to either work temp jobs or jobs that have a seriously high degree of variety and surprises inherent in them and only jobs that are outdoors. She also decides that she is going to consciously decide to prioritize outdoor adventures that she is invited on, as well as spontaneous impulses for outdoor adventures that she, herself has. And she decides to further commit to a social sphere of people who share the same values and have the same priorities. She sub-lets her apartment and buys a camper van to live in, so she can go anywhere, anytime she wants. She also decides that she is never going to have children because she doesn’t want to have to consider someone else when she wants to go on her adventures, many of which are life threatening. And this means, she will not entertain the idea of getting into a romantic relationship with someone who wants to settle down.

Because each person is so multifaceted and has such unique desires, goals, values, needs, purpose, previous life experience and personal truths, it is not possible to tell you what things a person should absolutely double down on and what things a person should absolutely change. There are also potential shadows inherent in deciding to do either. But some things to consider when you are deciding whether to change something or to double down are: What do you dislike about yourself? What do other people dislike about you? If you took away your concept of good and bad, right and wrong, what person truth would suddenly be ok to have then? What would you truly want? What does it seem like you can’t un-need? Is there something in your life where nothing you have ever done to try to change it has worked? What about yourself do you feel the most ashamed of, but have not managed to change? If you knew that there would be a person who would want exactly what you are afraid that no one would want, what would that thing be? What are you afraid you can’t change about yourself? What would you be beyond relieved that you don’t have to change about yourself? What matters most to you? Given that truth about what matters most to you, what can’t you change that you want to change or that other people might want you to change? 

Anytime something comes to our attention about ourselves or about our lives, we are by definition aware of it. Once we are aware of it, we can apply our free will to it. We can choose what to do or not do in response to it. We can choose to leave it the way it is, deliberately make changes to it or to double down on it, making accessory changes instead. And in some cases, even if that thing you are looking at could be judged as “negative”, doubling down just might be the right thing to do. When this is the case, self-improvement, relationship improvement and life improvement will all become possible as a direct result of doing so.


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