“All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” – Buddha
There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not fascinated by the power of the mind. You hear stories of personal triumph, overcoming the odds, and achieving goals. The power of the mind to pull someone through adversity is astounding and there are countless stories that you can draw from to prove that.
But what about daily struggles?
What about those personal goals that we set or challenges we’re trying to overcome? Why is it that the percentage of people who actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions is so low? (Side note: University of Scranton has it that only 8% of Americans do keep theirs)
It’s all in what we tell ourselves everyday and how we choose to go through the day believing in ourselves. Now, I can’t think of anyone who voluntarily would not want the best for themselves every single day; save a few fictional characters maybe. But how often is that self-doubt born from other sources?
Stop right now and think about someone who told you something that made you feel that your worth or ability was shrinking with every word. Maybe it was a direct statement or maybe it was implied or simply it was you comparing yourself to that person. At any rate, you’ve allowed a “filter” to be applied to your view of yourself.
I am blessed to be a father to a wonderful little boy and it’s amazing to watch him grow and flourish right before my eyes. It’s in watching him that I see a “filter”-less approach. He’s not comparing himself, he’s not judging himself and he’s not thinking of ways to impress others. He just enjoys being himself and making himself, and those around him, happy. We all start off that way.
I started to think about when that changed for me. When did I start allowing myself to think, “Maybe I can’t? Maybe I’m not good enough?” because it truly did become a big part of my life for a while, and even sometimes creeps up from time to time. I can’t tell you the exact moment, but I guarantee you I let someone make me look at myself differently. The more people I allowed myself to give into like that, the more “filters” I added and the tougher it became to just be myself and love myself for it.
It wasn’t until my mid-20’s that I realized what had happened. Depressed, self-doubting and lost, I finally figured out that I was letting other people’s opinions about me cloud how I viewed myself. I immediately doubted my success, my abilities and my potential all because someone else impressed their opinion on me.
This is what weighed me down for way too long.
In reading “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz (one of the best books I’ve ever read by the way) he discusses the 2nd Agreement “Don’t Take Anything Personally” by saying this:
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
So my challenge to you this week is to remove at least one filter from your view. Maybe it’s someone who talked down about your work, someone who judged your weight or appearance, someone who left your relationship behind or someone who can’t stop talking about how much better their life is with their new sports car. Think about a time where what someone said made you doubt yourself, even in the slightest bit.
Now, stop and realize that what was said or done was their opinion.
Dismiss their doubt and be proud of yourself and love yourself for who you are.
Even the lightest filter, once gone, makes you see your world in a more positive manner.
Now, let’s create an amazing story this week.