The Secret to Change
Have you ever had a bad day? Of course all of us have. It seems like on some days, things keep going wrong. Then again, every now and then we have a day that goes just right. The sun is shining, the kids got out the door to school on time, and you nailed that presentation at work. The truth is both the good days and bad days are manifested and perpetuated by your thoughts - especially the ones about yourself.
It’s All in Your Head
In his book “As a Man Thinketh”, James Allen said:
“Man is made or unmade by himself. In the armory of thoughts he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself. He also fashions the tools with which he builds himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.”
With our thoughts, or our self-talk, we can build weapons that are sharp… that cut… that hurt.
We can create tools that build strength, joy, and peace.
It Doesn’t Just Effect You
Guess what else?
The way you treat yourself is reflected in the way you treat others.
Here’s an example:
I have a friend who is great at a lot of things. However, she’s insecure about her weight. Whenever she sees someone on TV who is overweight, her comments are biting. Have you ever heard the phrase “the best defense is a good offense”? She projects her negative thoughts about herself outward.
Reverse the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is: Treat others the way you would like to be treated yourself. Great advice. But the implementation happens in reverse. When we treat ourselves with dignity and respect, it is easier to treat others the same way. If we treat ourselves with disdain and contempt, it will be reflected by the way we treat others. One leads to the other.
William Arthur Ward said, “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.”
I would add that when we seek the best in ourselves, it becomes easier see the best in others.
“We don’t see the world as it is. We see it as we are.” -Anais Nin
That good day or that bad day… Both began in your head and your perspective tilted the events of the day in one direction or another.
Wayne Dyer said “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
The whole world can change when we change the way we look at ourselves.
That’s great…but HOW?
It all comes down to identity. Throughout our lives, we’ve created a narrative about the world and based on our experiences as to who we are in it. The 7th grade boy who gets turned down by the pretty girl grows into a man who believes he is terrible in relationships. Or the girl who was teased for being chubby grows into the woman eating late night ice cream because she thinks, “What’s the point. I’ll never lose weight anyway.”
Our brains are naturally wired to create an explanation of the world around us. Even if the explanation is not true, we believe the stories we create for ourselves and they become our identity.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine told me his story of going from an abused child to a man who has made something of himself. There was a six month period in which he had a few encounters that helped him believe he could be more than what he had become so far.
I asked him, “Was there something at the beginning of those 6 months that helped you open yourself up to those special moments?” He got a surprised look on his face and said, “Yeah, actually, my grandma. When I told her I was moving she said, “You’re gonna make something of yourself, aren’t you?”
All he needed was to open the door in his mind - just a crack – to the possibility that he could be something more. That maybe, just maybe, there was a different story he could tell about himself.
The key is…
Just for today, suspend disbelief, and entertain the idea that maybe there’s a different story that could be true about you. Each of us has divinity and greatness within us. We attracted into our lives that which we believe we are.