Beliefs

Get Out of Your Own Way

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The world and its occupants are loaded down with rules, expectations, judgments, accusations, and speculations – all about you. From the moment you take your first breath, someone is telling you how you are, what you should think, feel, and do. As babies, we need someone to show us the basics, but once we develop our own minds, we love to “do it ourselves.” That’s natural.

From the moment you take your first breath, someone is telling you how you are, what you should think, feel, and do. As babies, we need someone to show us the basics, but once we develop our own minds, we love to “do it ourselves.” That’s natural. Just look at nature for confirmation.

People don’t stop imposing their attitudes, beliefs, and opinions on us once we are thinking for ourselves. Humans have grown into complex creatures that feel compelled to articulate the “why” of everything. And we think this makes us intelligent.

Oh, contra ire.

The more you listen to everyone else instead of your own feelings, the farther away from yourself you travel.

No one can fully escape someone telling them “no.”

“No. You can’t do that.”

“No. You shouldn’t think (feel or believe) that.”

“No. You are wrong.”

“No. You are not ___________enough.” Fill in the blank. (smart, talented, skinny, brave, rich, pretty, connected, educated or strong)

You hear any of that often, eventually it soaks into you like an ink stain. Your subconscious mind replays those negative ideas constantly. Even though your conscious mind is telling you not to listen, not to believe, and that you should know better. Because you do!

But whenever you are complimented, you brush it off and reject the positive input. Any skull session that promotes creativity and chasing dreams has you snuffing them out with all the reasons “why not” instead of planning the pathway toward our goals.

We stamp out our dreams like a boot extinguishing a cigarette.

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What can we do?

Wish on a star? A birthday candle? Wait for a hero to rescue us from ourselves?

How can you undo years of mental programming and record new, positive, self-affirming “Yes!” data?

Be aware of your thoughts and re-word them, one thought at a time. Be diligent! Any time you get down on yourself or hear yourself rebuffing a compliment, STOP! Imagine a seeing a stop sign and then mentally talk to yourself as you would someone you love.

Squirming yet? Yes, it is very uncomfortable because you are accustomed to accepting the worst for yourself.  Accepting the best takes practice and reward.

When you treat yourself, you never chose the smallest brownie or just one piece of chocolate. So why do you do that in other areas?

If you feel as if you “don’t deserve” good stuff, you’ve been lied to. Oh, yeah. Again and again, you’ve been fed big, fat, hairy lies by people who had also been raised on a diet of the same or are purposely trying to hold you back and keep you down.

You were born knowing better but changed when the rest of the world got a hold of you.

Instead of asking yourself what you think about it, ask: How do I feel about it? Use your heart center instead of your intellect.

How do you feel about it?

You know when you feel good and bad. Any time you get down on yourself with all the reasons why not, stop. Remind yourself that all those reasons came from others. Then ask yourself: How do I feel about it?

Use your heart instead of your head. How does it feel? It’s smarter than you think.

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Beliefs, Day in the life

Feed Your Truth

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What sort of “truths” do you tell yourself on a daily basis?  You know, that critical self-talk that plays in a loop that makes all your negative thoughts and fears much bigger than they really are? Nine out of ten of those things aren’t true at all.

But what if, like me, you learned very early that telling the truth could spell trouble? The truth was always flexible with everyone but parents, priests, and police. White lies or exaggeration was permissible if the intent was to spare feelings. Lies for the sake of covering my butt usually boomeranged back. If caught, they can mean deeper trouble because of the intention.

Here’s the truth. You can lie to anyone in your life about anything, often with little or no repercussions. But if you lie to yourself, you are inflicting as much damage as any disease.

I go through phases in my life when I take a good hard look at myself, and if I’m being honest, I’m not being all that I can be. If I would stop lying to myself about what I can or should do, I could get out of my own way. So I’m working on getting over and on with it.

How many times have you felt in your gut that you wanted to do something, then asked your friends and family their opinion, only to have them talk you out of it? Oh, most of them mean well, even think that they have your best interests at heart. But there is always one who will do their level best to sabotage any change you might want to make. Sometimes it is for the sole purpose of holding you back, keeping you in a stagnant space, and thereby making them look or feel better about themselves.

Or you make the mistake of comparing yourself to some highly successful celebrity who seems to have burst forth overnight. You have no idea how long and hard they worked to achieve their success or the team of behind-the-scenes connections they employed.

Your family might be especially skilled at activating unnecessary fear. They know what buttons to push. What they don’t realize is that their experience doesn’t have to be yours. Perhaps they failed miserably at achieving their goals, or never took a chance because their fears had been energized. You don’t have to be like them. You are unique, in a different time, space, and attitude than anyone who has “tried” in the past. There have been ideas that I haven’t shared with anyone close to me for these reasons. I can derail myself as fast as anyone. And I can be just as adept at staying the course and persevering if I would be honest with myself about what I needed to do.

Like the son of the attorney who was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps, attend the same college, and rise to the same, if not higher, station when what he really wanted for himself was to make movies. Or the daughter who shouldered the burden of providing grandchildren when all she dreamt of was traveling the world with a camera.  If they follow the parent-pleasing path they might end up bitter having not fed their own truth.

You don’t owe anyone anything, except yourself. Ignoring your truth can spell big trouble if you continue to deny it.  Like the puppy who goes unnoticed in the other room and makes a big mess because they didn’t have your attention. Pay attention to your truth, and care for it properly. Because if you don’t, no one else will.