The Magical Thinking of Miracle Cures, Silver Bullets, and Quick Fixes

Olya Kobruseva on Pexels

Maybe things will get better if I go on vacation…..

Hot damn! There is the new book on how to help your partner ____________! (fill in the blank)

Have you heard about the new diet that will get rid of all body fat in 6 weeks? You can eat all the vegetables you want, and you don’t even miss other food groups.

These ideas sell like cheap real estate because they mislead people into believing that change will be easy — painless — and that is what we all want to believe. Right? Be honest.

The problem is that this type of thinking is magical. If only….

The bigger problem is that each time we buy into the deception of quick, pain-free solutions, we set ourselves up to be hurt and disappointed again and again. We feel like failures. We create our own cycle of self-defeat.

The sad truth is that real change is fucking hard. Change hurts. It is tedious and boring. Change cuts into the fun and freedom. There is no mystery. It isn’t sexy and, in fact, can be quite ugly in the thick of it. Change sounds good in theory, but the reality is that it comes with a shit ton of work. Not only that, change isn’t done when you reach goal. After that, you have to maintain, which is even more work.

Recently, someone who was trying to lose weight told me that she is constantly thinking about meal planning and calories. She was frustrated and wanted me to tell her that this was unnecessary effort. Instead, I said, “YES! That is how it is done.” I wasn’t going to lie. Weight loss is a pain in the ass. There is no secret. It is brutal honesty and math. There is the easy way, and there is what works. We prefer to believe there there exists — somewhere — the easy way that works like a miracle.

The way I see it is that we can spend our time chasing a silver bullet that doesn’t exist, or we can get down to the hard work. Chasing the silver bullet is just a distraction or avoidance.

I’m gonna rip off the band aid here. You can’t change your partner. You can’t change your family. You won’t make a fortune overnight with one great idea. Your soul mate isn’t going to waltz into your life and take all of your problems away. Perfection doesn’t not exist.

But it isn’t all a downer. Change is possible. Problems are fixable. You just have to start with the truth about what needs to be done and truth that it won’t be easy. If you are honest with yourself, you will avoid all of the pain and disappointment that comes with magical thinking. You will begin to recognize that your savior is right in front of you ready to get shit done. Knowledge is power.

Go to the mirror. Take a good long look into your reflection. Look into your eyes.

There lies your hero — your savior. You are looking into the eyes of the one person capable of saving you. You are looking at strength. You are looking at wisdom. You are looking at the one true person who will always show up and be there to take your side. You are looking into the eyes of a person who can be honest in a world of dishonesty.

The reflection in the mirror is your superhero if only you’d recognize it. Once you own that no one else can or will save you and that you are only accountable to you — you become incredibly powerful in your own life. You have been there all the time just waiting to be recognized.

The person in the mirror understands the difference between truth and lies. Don’t look away.

Want to go deeper? Get a hand mirror. Force yourself to look into your own eyes for 3 minutes. Notice the discomfort. Let the judgments come and go. Dig deep. What do you need to say to yourself that you have been wishing away? What magical thoughts are you ready to abandon? What power lies within? What are you willing to do to be your own superhero?

Want to know more about self-honesty and power? Check out my book, Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go on,,,, or your local bookstore.

Author of Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go. Using CBT, mindfulness, humor, and profanity to feel better.