Life is what happens all around you. Every moment of every day. Life happens.
You have complete and total control over how you think and how you react. The issue isn’t what’s happening — it’s your thoughts about what is happening. It’s your perceived powerlessness and chronic habit of tbelieving you are powerless to change things.
Let’s break this down.
No matter where you go, there you are. Your internal dialogue accompanies you everywhere. Much of this learned self-talk begins when we’re little kids learning about life here on Earth. We learn the ground rules from our parents, relatives, teachers, etc.
If they are like most people, they criticized you for things that didn’t meet with their approval. You then developed your own harsher inner-critic to keep those outer-critics at bay. At some level you understood the power of your thoughts and gave your inner-critic free reign to judge you. The only way you could love yourself was to be perfect.
No one, not even you, can live up to such exacting standards.
By breaking this process down you can see that it’s been your interpretation of these events that caused you to blame yourself. Most of this is from habitual thinking and not being totally aware of your thoughts and your power over them. Unless you begin to consciously break this chain you life will be a continuous uphill battle.
This simple equation sums it all up:
Your Experience = External Events + Internal Perception.
Life is continually unfolding. It just is — until we analyze it and assign a value, label, and perception to it. We’re in charge! If you want to succeed, if you want to enjoy life and live it with a song in your heart and smile on your face then begin to change how you label your perceptions. Tell a different story.
Because you have complete and total control over your thoughts you can begin to change your story to a positive one that supports you — a story filled with great goals and accomplishments.
Little by little, begin to craft a new story about how you want your life to be. Recent studies show the average person has 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. These same studies show that for most people, 80-98 percent of these thoughts are negative.
Start taking control of your thoughts and create a new story, allowing you to create a new outcome.
Begin to modify your internal perceptions — they aren’t cast in concrete. I suggest taking inventory of your thoughts/perceptions. You can engage a trusted and positive friend for input too. A therapist can also be helpful if you’re holding on tightly to damaging thoughts.
These people help you see yourself for the inherent high-quality being you are. This is the first step on the path to self-love, self-worth, and self-empowerment. With a little practice you’ll begin hearing your own self-empowering coach who has always been there but was being drowned out by your inner critic. The more you listen to the self-empowering coach the stronger and more dominant it becomes.
Replace negative thoughts with the new compassionate and positive thoughts. Give these more air-time. It’s simple, but does require discipline. There’s a great Zen saying that applies — “fall down seven times, get up eight.”
Let your spirit shine and boldly walk forth knowing you matter and have great ideas to help yourself, your family, and mankind. Make your goal to live every moment in a way that has you constantly smiling and your heart singing with joy.
I call that a life worth living.