(Becoming Your Best Self Series—Part 5)
We’ve talked about beliefs and how they shape your actions and views of the world. But, how are they formed in the first place? They come as a result of the experiences you’ve had in your life. They are further cemented by your reactions and actions during these significant experiences.
Your experiences, reactions, and beliefs work together. The more often you experience and internalize something, the more likely you are to believe it’s true. The more you believe something to be true, the more likely you are to experience it. It’s a cycle— a cycle you need to break if you want to make changes in your life.
If you look back over the course of your life, it’s obvious that many good and bad things have happened to you. What stands out most? If you’re like most people, then it’s easier to focus on the bad. It’s easier to feel sorry for yourself than it is to appreciate the good things that have happened.
There’s no doubt about it— we all deal with things that get us down sometimes. We deal with things that are horrible and life-changing. But, you can make yourself stronger and more resilient. You can instil internal strength to take on anything that comes your way. You just have to change how you react to things and what you believe to be true about yourself and the world.
It’s often said that perception equals reality, and while sometimes it doesn’t quite seem fair that it’s the case, your perception in large part becomes how you look at not only the world around you but also at yourself.
If you perceive that you’re lacking in some way shape or form, you internalize that belief and it not only stays with you, but it grows stronger. If on the other hand, you perceive yourself to be an amazing individual with great talents that can help others, that becomes reality as well, and again, that reality grows stronger each day.
So my advice would be to look inside yourself for all the amazingly positive things that you bring to the world, bring them out into the open, and they will become your reality rather than simply your under-the-radar abilities.
Really, you’re just dealing with patterns and habits. You’re going to work very hard to break negative patterns and habits that are leading you down the wrong path. You can’t function well and become your ideal self if you completely shut down whenever something bad happens. You can absolutely become your ideal self if you develop new patterns and beliefs so you can tackle anything head-on.
Replace the Blame
I don’t want you to blame yourself if you feel like you’re way off course. The things that have happened in your life, both good and bad, are often outside of your control. That’s a scary thought and it’s why so many people deal with anxiety and depression.
But you do have complete control right now over how you respond to things and where you go from here. You have control to change the way you respond and what you believe so you can be the amazing, effective person you were always meant to be.
It’s incredible, but I’d say most people go through life not fully realizing that other people see the world completely differently than they do. They don’t understand that they operate within predictable patterns and that what they believe shapes what they do. They make a conscious effort to change but don’t really change what they believe.
This is a huge part of why people who make New Year’s resolutions don’t tend to follow them. They don’t truly believe they can become fit and stick to it because they’ve experienced the opposite, even after trying over and over again. Their experience is that they quickly fall off the wagon because the temptation is too great. Because that is what they believe about themselves, it inevitably becomes true.
Change what you believe to be true and you can finally say, “wait a minute, I can do that after all! I can succeed and achieve my dreams!”
In the next edition, we will explore "How Other People Affect Who You Are and How You Feel"
Until then, many blessings and much peace!