Yet, by understanding ourselves deeply, we are incredibly empowered to harness our potential. So how come it’s such a taboo?
The space in our heads is full of stuff, longings, desires, moods, thoughts, our very being, personality and spirit. What we choose to show the world and what we choose to hide, sometimes even from ourselves. Our conscious and unconscious thoughts guide us daily in a multitude of decisions and actions. I don’t think about breathing or swallowing and sometimes I don’t think about what I’m saying!
I have a very cute fridge magnet given to me by my long suffering family. It features a remorseful polar bear saying “I can’t believe I said that!” Don’t you know that feeling? You wonder whatever possessed you to say that, or do that?
What’s worse is when it happens more than once! Guilty! At some stage we wake up, work out what’s going down and make conscious choices about what we are going to think, decide and do. That is progress!
One really useful tool to create this awareness faster is self reflection.
I used journaling for years, and that helped, but you can turbo charge this by asking a few probing questions. Don’t limit this to the negative stuff, use it too on the great things in your life. After all, that’s what we all want more of!
So, say you are writing or thinking about your day and it was a bummer. You felt emotionally drained and fragile. Do you accept that or to you use this bad day as a gift – a lesson you need? Do you ask yourself good questions? Where you the person you wanted to be, to achieve the things you desire? So if you want to be super successful is moping around getting your outcome? If you see yourself as happy, confident and persistent, why are you choosing fragile and emotional?
Often people think they have no choice about how they feel. But we all make choices, and unless you’re chronically mentally ill, you have a choice about what you feel. This is a really important insight. I have seen athletes give more than is physically possible and I know sleep deprived mums get up again to comfort crying children at 2am when they can hardly put one foot in front of another. We all know we are capable of greatness, Marianne Williamson, from her 1992 book, "Return to Love" (p. 165) say’s it beautifully.
So when you think about your day, bummer that it was, ask yourself was I the person I needed to be? This is a great question because it leads to WHO do I need to be. If you have no idea, you’re not alone. Lots of people have never really given it a lot of thought. Yet this is so powerful. If you want to be successful in business what sort of personality characteristics would you have to have? If you want to be a great nurse, then what sort of person would you have to be? Write them down, stick them up, become conscious and aware of when YOU ARE and when you’re NOT WHO you want to be. Analyse what is happening and bring it to the forefront of your conscious mind. It’s like jamming your foot on the accelerator of self improvement.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.”And what’s really great about this mental exercise is there is no sweat involved. You can do it in the car, turn off the radio and just think! In the bus, waiting in queues, try out this mental gymnastics and turn your down time into insightful moments!
There are two more powerful questions you can use. What motivates you and what slows you down. These are your accelerators and brakes. Your motivators and your depressors.
Now I certainly have driven my car down the driveway with the handbrake on and its like that in life. The brakes are on but often we just keep driving wondering why we are going so slow! Some of my brakes are negativity and fear. I’m also a procrastinator. As soon as I analysed my brakes , became aware and looked at my days in terms of what brakes I engaged or avoided, some really big problems just went away! All I did was become aware and changed the way I thought about stuff in my head. No sweat.
I also looked at what motivated me and when I realised beauty and love motivated me, I found ways to create more of that in my life. I went to art galleries and nature parks, spent time with family and friends, and got inspired and happy. By knowing what motivated me I could consciously use it to keep my engine burning, even when inevitable challenges turned up!
So try these questions; Was I who I needed to be? Did I avoid or engage the brakes, and what drives me? Did I use that?
By regularly being quiet, contemplative and analyitical, you start to unravel your own head and understand yourself and how you can accelerate your progress to realize your dreams.
All of these question are part of 4me2realize which streamlines the whole process so you can quickly apply it to your everyday life.
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