Live your dreams
(extracts taken from 'Live Your Dreams' by Les Brown)
The Power To Change
Hurtful memories can stifle your development and growth. How do you break through this insidious mental conditioning? How do we grow and develop beyond hurtful episodes that bury themselves in our subconscious and influence our lives? How do we change and grow so that we can live our dreams?
The first step is to break the hold of these inhibiting influences from the past. Recognise them and then either get rid of them or turn them into a positive force that pushes you ahead rather than holds you back.
Identify these inhibiting memories in your life so that you control them rather than allowing them to control you. Did someone hurt your feelings? Forgive them and forget it. Move on. Did someone punish you unfairly? It's over. It's done. Go on.
Here are a few of the most common emotions that burrow into the subconscious and impede our growth as individuals:
Anger. This is a natural response to a perceived attack or injury. It makes energy flow. But when allowed to simmer it depletes energy that could be used to improve your life. If you hold your anger for more than a week, it is only hurting you. Make yourself let go. Envision yourself throwing it out. Ease your mind. Transform your anger into positive motivation. Don't get mad, get motivated.
Revenge. The first cousin of anger. It also robs you of strength in the long run. The person who has injured you has probably gone on with life; so should you. Don't let the injury hurt you further by inhibiting your growth. Lose it or use it. Instead of saying, 'I'll get them', say 'I'll show them, I'll be somebody!'
Sadness. This is more crippling than anger because it drains you from the start, sapping your will to go on. You probably will have to let this drain away slowly at its own pace. Time heals, but if the sadness seems to linger, consciously force it out. Seek out things that make you laugh and feel positive about life. Realise that feeling sad will not change anything. Seek peace of mind as your right.
Resentment. Life is not always fair. It is unrealistic to feel any other way, and holding on to resentment is no way to fight back. Drop it and get back into the battle.
Guilt is another emotion that stands between you and your dreams. All of us have done things we feel bad about and regret. Things we would do differently. Many of us carry that guilt around and it keeps us from moving forward. Don't let people put you on a guilt trip. Say to yourself when someone is putting you on the defensive, 'No matter what you do or say to me, I am still a worthwhile person'.
To rid yourself of these past emotions, put them in a perspective that is positive rather than negative and thereby cut off their painful roots in your subconscious. Reinterpret the past with these methods:
Get better, not bitter. Find a quiet comfortable place. Sit back and relax. Think about something or someone who caused you pain or disappointment. Now take a mental step back from that feeling and the situation. Assess it. Did the emotions that resulted make you stronger? Did they give you determination? Can you use those memories to empower you rather than drain you? Why let them hurt you further?
Envision those hurtful emotions as a sword held by an enemy. In your mind, see yourself snatching the sword away and using it to cut away the emotional snares that have tied you up.
Whatever the cost it is worth it to clear away burdensome emotions. If you have feelings of unworthiness because of something you did, let them go. Realise that we usually do the best we can according to our level of consciousness at the time. If you would not do the same thing again, you have changed. You are no longer the same person, that person is gone, so forgive yourself.
Love yourself unconditionally, just as you love those closest to you despite their faults. Let it go so you can grow. You have the power to change.
Once you begin to know and understand yourself more completely, then you must accept and love yourself. Self approval is crucial to changing your life and pursuing your dreams and goals.
Self-hatred, guilt and long-standing anger block your growth. Practice self love and forgiveness and they will carry over into your relationships, your work and the world around you. By loving yourself, you open up the possibility for others to love you, too. Work to remove the psychological blinders that restrict your own growth. Understand yourself and your motives and the influences in your life and open yourself up. Direct your energy away from self destruction or self loathing. Forgive yourself. Forgive those who have hurt you. Give yourself self approval and permission to move on.
Right now, write down all your bad habits and faults and all the mistakes you have made in your life. Did you hurt someone? Did you waste an opportunity? Have you written down everything that has nagged and eaten at you over the years? Good. Now take that piece of paper, tear it to shreds and throw it away. Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on. The way to your dreams is now clear!
Evaluate Your Life
Check yourself. What do you want from your life? Is your behaviour bringing the results you want in life? Is it moving you toward your dreams? How do you see yourself in the future? How can you get to where you want to be?
Check your relationships. Do your friends tear you down or build you up? Do they weaken you and make you dependent on their approval? Or do they make you feel strong and capable? Measure the value of each relationship against how that person makes you feel about yourself.
Get a plan. It doesn't have to be for your lifetime. Just for the next week, month and year. Get some help and determine the steps you need to take to make that plan work. What is it that you like to do? How do people make a living doing that? Are you interested in making that your career? Think about the type of person you want to become, not the type of possessions you want to accumulate.
Recognise your own value. Respect yourself. Think about the activities that give you the most satisfaction, the skills or talents that you have that you can build upon and turn into lifelong gifts. Develop them, take pride in your abilities and your creativity and the strength of your character. Each of us is unique, celebrate your uniqueness and the diversity of the world around you. Be secure within yourself so that no one controls your destiny but YOU.
Seek mentors and role models. Role models have to be positive people.
Be Positively Charged!
There are negatively charged people, who allow events to control their lives, and there are positively charged people, who remain in control of their lives no matter what life throws at them. You want to be positively charged.
Good things happen to positively charged people because they look for good things even when others see only the bad. Positively charged people are both powerful and empowering. They believe in themselves and their abilities, and their enthusiasm and self confidence affect everyone around them.
Positively charged people choose to react positively to life because they see no benefit in letting life get the upper hand. They don't assign blame or look for a cause when a problem occurs. They look for the solution. They seek understanding.
Positively charged people are not merely positive thinkers. They don't refuse to see problems, but they do refuse to let the problems control them or their emotions. They disregard the factors that they have no control over and focus on what they can influence.
When you have negative inner conversations ignore them and take action to change your situation. People who are deterred by negative inner conversations are like the first frog that fell into a bottle of milk. This frog cursed his luck, hopped around in anger, gave up and died. Those who take the positive approach and fight for their dreams are like the second frog that fell in. this one cursed his luck, but kept on kicking. He directed his anger toward positive action. This highly focused frog kicked until he churned that milk into butter, and then he hopped out!
To help yourself develop a positive charge, read this exercise. Below are situations that commonly make people anxious along with some typical negatively charged responses.
Situation Negatively charged attitude
- Asked to do new tasks I don't know how
- On a job interview Why would they hire me?
- Meeting someone important I never could do what you do
- Making a speech What do I have to say?
- Asking for a raise I need more money
- Starting a new project I will never be done
- Meeting an attractive person Looks out of my league
Since negative inner conversations only restrict your growth, you have to convert to a positive charge to get where you want to go. Negative self talk is a difficult habit to break. For each of the situations above here is a positively charged response.
Situation Positively charged response
- Asked to perform new task I'd love to learn this
- On a job interview You need my skills
- Meeting someone important I want to learn how you do it
- Making a speech I have a worthy message
- Asking for a raise I am worth more money
- Starting a new project This is a good challenge
- Meeting an attractive person To know me is to love me
The difference in language and attitude is obvious. Monitor your language, listen to the way you respond to questions and situations. Make a conscious effort to develop a positive charge. You will find that people respond more eagerly to you.
Bad Relationships Drain Your Positive Charge
Seek out those who empower you, who inspire and complement you, the people who enable you to see great possibilities in yourself. It takes an enormous amount of energy to reach your goals and to strive continuously for greatness. You really cannot afford to have relationships with people whose very presence drains energy from you. Look for someone who thinks like you, someone to help you move to the next level of achievement. Don't get involved in relationships that undermine rather than support you in your search for goals. Don't let someone else's lack of vision restrict your growth.
You should endeavour to surround yourself with people who will enrich and empower you, this sort of support group can strengthen you in moments of weakness and bring you up when you are down. Surround yourself with people who share your vision and who also are willing to support you in pursuing that vision. You cannot make it alone in this journey. If you find relationships that are not mutually constructive, if someone bring you down rather than challenges and elevates you, then you must make a decision. Can you transform this into a healthy relationship or do you need to sever it?
Face the challenges that life presents you. Take life on. LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
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