Have you ever listened to all that chatter that goes on in your mind?
I don’t know about you, but for me that chatter rarely has anything good to say.
Here’s a recent sampling of some of the stuff bouncing around in my head:
– Who do you think you are?
– Nobody cares what you have to say.
– You need to get a ‘real’ job.
– You can’t do that.
– You don’t have time for that.
– You’re too lazy to achieve anything.
And then there’s the BIG one. The one that really knocks me off my feet:
– You’re going to fail… Just like every time before.
Wow! Where does all that negativity come from?
Perhaps you’ve had some of these thoughts. Or maybe, you’ve had others. Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to about this subject has had their own negative chatter that has stopped them from living the life they desire.
But don’t worry, there’s hope! There is a way to silence this chatter and replace it with a supportive and confident voice that inspires you and encourages you.
It seems to me that when we come into this world we are empty vessels. As infants we are pure potential; anything is possible. At this point, there is no negative chatter in our minds.
And then we begin to be influenced by people, events and external stimuli. These influences can be negative or even harmful and for some of us, they were all too frequent. No matter the frequency, these negative and harmful experiences tend to create the strongest and loudest impressions.
Perhaps we didn’t receive the care and nurturing that we needed from our parents. And, all too often there may have been abuse or bullying by peers at school.
Or, we were told by teachers and well-meaning adults to be “realistic” and to lower our expectations.
And then on top of all that, we have been bombarded with messages, broadcast through film, television and newspapers, that tell us that we are not good enough. And it seems like the only news we hear is bad news, full of violence, fear and conflict.
It’s a wonder that we can function at all…
All that negative programming has a way of dashing our hopes and dreams before we even get started, or perhaps we keep trying, but our fears and doubts turn into self-sabotage that prevents us from ever achieving our true potential.
These fears and doubts are the result of a lifetime of negative programming and the end result is often an unhappy life, void of passion or meaning.
It seems as if we are destined for failure.
I used to know this guy who was miserable. Everything in his life caused him grief. He hated his job. He worked with idiots. His clients were jerks.
He was disappointed in pretty much everyone and everything in his life.
He lived the life of a hermit, alone and unhappy, numbing himself with alcohol. Television seemed to be his only companion.
Without a doubt, he became my greatest teacher.
You see, for a big chunk of my life, I was on the way to becoming just like him.
I was angry a lot. Every driver on the road was a jerk. I was beginning to agree with him that everyone and everything sucked.
He was older than me, and at some point I stopped to consider what my life would be like if I continued down this path. And, I didn’t like what I saw. I decided that from then on, I would begin to make different choices.
I began to search for people who were living lives full of love, joy and fulfillment. In the beginning it was hard. I didn’t know where to look. So, I started by reading about people who inspired me. As I read their stories, I searched for clues on how they created their lives.
I noticed that those who were living lives full of love, joy and fulfillment had, at some point, made a conscious choice to create the lives they desired. They chose to undo all of the negative programming and replace it with inspirational and positive influences.
Then I began to study human consciousness and I saw that our lives are comprised of a series of circumstances and experiences that starts at birth and continues throughout our lives.
Some of these circumstances and experiences we have control over, but mostly, we don’t have any say in them at all.
However, the one thing that we can control, is how we respond to these events. And these responses are based on the thoughts and beliefs that we hold in our consciousness.
Then, the realization came to me that as long as I allowed the negative thoughts and beliefs to control my responses, things didn’t go so well. In fact, I was at the mercy of all that negative programming, and I truly was destined for failure.
However, when I began to consciously respond in a way that aligned with my new chosen beliefs of love, joy and fulfillment, then these things began to appear more and more in my life.
The more I thought of love, joy and fulfillment, and the more I acted from love, joy and fulfillment, then even more love, joy and fulfillment began to appear in my life.
Nothing else changed in my life, except my thoughts. I began to see everyone and everything as a blessing and a gift.
Things were no longer happening to me, they were happening for me.
In a nutshell here’s how it works, in every single moment you have a choice: Fear or Love.
We’re not talking about a “scared of the dark” kinda fear. No, this is a deep seated fear born from all of that negative crap that’s been shoveled into your consciousness without your consent. It’s this fear that has kept you from living the life you truly desire.
Thoughts of fear will lead to contraction, envy, anger and lack. Thoughts of fear lead you to feeling as if you are the victim of everything the world has to offer.
On the other hand, thoughts of love will lead you to expansion, compassion, joy and abundance. Thoughts of love open you to the awareness that the universe conspires with you for your good.
In the beginning choosing love was not always easy for me. It took a lot of patience, consciousness and self-forgiveness. I found that whenever I “slipped” and reverted to my old habits I would be really hard on myself, which tended to just reconfirm my old fearful beliefs.
I found that the best way to handle this was to choose to forgive myself and recommit to my new patterns as soon as I noticed the slip.
The key is to start small, be patient and go easy on yourself. Reprogramming a lifetime’s worth of negative beliefs takes awhile. But, I guaranty that it’s worth it.
A life of love, joy and fulfillment is its own reward.
One way you could begin this practice is to choose a routine activity, something that doesn’t carry a lot of emotional charge, perhaps like grocery shopping. Then, as you go about the activity, notice: are you open or contracted? Are you choosing love or fear?
Every encounter and experience is an opportunity to make a choice:
Long lines at the checkout stands… Love or fear?
The store is out of your favorite treat… Understanding or frustration?
That jerk just cut in front of you in line… Compassion or anger?
You see, there are a thousand opportunities a day to recommit to your choice:
Love or fear…?
Understanding or frustration…?
Compassion or anger…?
Another way to transform your beliefs is to write down these negative thoughts.
Then, imagine saying them to the person that you love the most. Would you ever talk to your wife, husband, child or closest friend this way?
What if you treated yourself with the same love and compassion that you show to those you care about most?
This process helps you see how harmful these beliefs actually are. Getting them out of your head helps you to disempower these harmful beliefs.
So if you’re up for it, write out the loudest self-doubt that you hear chattering in your mind right now in the comment section below and let’s see how many we can dispel together!
To your freedom!
P.S.- Next week we’ll take a look at how to identify the support and inspiration you’ll need to create the life you truly desire. Now that you’ve cleared some space in your consciousness, it’s time to fill it up with your new chosen beliefs.