WILL YOU LET IT SURVIVE?

This is one of this quotes I read and immediately had to step back take a breath and say “damn, this is a good one!” (This actually really happened)

Have you ever thought about this? Fear is an inside job. When you are young you are afraid of the dark. This usually passes unless you are some politicians, in which case it becomes being afraid of the light.

Why did this change? Something inside of you decided the dark was not that scary. Sure, you had influences from your parents and others assuring you that there was nothing to worry about, but ultimately you have to make that call.

Does this only hold true for children? Not at all. In fact, as a rule children are better at overcoming their fears than adults. Some of are afraid of dying, some public speaking still others are afraid of not being loved. Others say “when my time comes I’ll be ready. ” Some people can talk to anyone. I have heard people say, “If people don’t love me that is their loss.”

The difference is the meaning and inner conversation people have with themselves. In order for fear to continue to exist, we must continue to feed it. We do so by finding examples that back up our fears (in my case John Wayne Gacy was a clown) or continue to play mental movies in our head of worse case scenarios.

What it boils down to is that without our active participation, our fears simply could not exist.

GET ON MY LEVEL

I really like this saying. What it reminds me of is this, that when we receive criticism from somebody we must stop and consider the source. What a person places as their priorities and their experiences in life are different than ours. If a person is a vegetarian they may very well say something about you eating meat. If their parents were alcoholics, they made give you a critical glance for enjoying that cocktail.

It is not even always this black and white. Depending on people’s goals, whether realized or not, they can be critical. Somebody who is driven and works on their passions 7 days a week may be accused of not having enough fun by the person who spends their weekends partying. The person involved with getting in touch with themselves spiritually may be looked down on by the person who is driven for taking time to meditate instead of work. (Although if you follow my work you will know that regular meditation can make you less stressed and more productive) It depends on what we value and where we want to go in life.

All of this being said, one of the first questions I recommend asking ourselves when we receive any sort of criticism is whether or not there is any truth in it. Often the way criticism is presented prevents us from gaining any real value out of it. If instead of hearing “You are a selfish jerk!” you heard “I think you could really benefit from trying harder to see situations from other people’s point of view.” We would be more likely to listen and contemplate if indeed there is truth in the statement. Sadly, often times by the time someone offers us criticism they are too emotional to word it productively. It is up to us to look past the harsh words and decide if the criticism is due to different values, or if indeed they have a valid point. Another way to learn if there is something you might need to work on is if you hear the same critique from several different people.

So, my friends, be confident enough in yourself to not let others opinions of you become your reality, but humble enough to realize they may be pointing out something you may have missed.

YOU DO HAVE CONTROL

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“I would be angry a lot less if my wife/husband would be more understanding and not make me so angry” “I would love to be more positive, but everything keeps going wrong for me”

Have you ever heard others around you saying phrases like this? Have you ever found yourself uttering the same type of phrases? Today’s post is about one of the hardest lessons I have ever had to learn. I once heard at a seminar that nobody can make you feel anything, that all emotion comes from within. My first instinct, as is so often the case was to challenge that notion. After all, how can the girl who just broke my heart not make me sad? How can the person who just said something hurtful and insulting to me not affect me?

Did you ever notice that some people can be put through the same event, but come out feeling two completely different ways? Have you ever told a friend “I don’t know how you stand that, I would have been so mad” or something more colorful? How can people be affected so differently by the same things? The answer is simple, and a bit hard to believe, but once you understand it will give you a personal freedom you may not have ever had. How we feel about any given situation is based on the meaning we attach to that situation. Does the person who is insulting us really suffer from some internal pain we do not know of? Are they really jealous of us and therefore put us down to make themselves feel better? I know it can really be hard to not be affected negatively by outside situations. Believe me between adults that act more like teenagers and last minute adjustments to my seminars, I have had lots of practice deciding what challenges mean to me. So how do you start to change your course from ‘reaction’ to ‘action’? The quick easy answer is change your question. What do I mean by this? When you are faced by a seemingly negative situation there are 3 questions you should train your brain to ask. Perhaps writing them down on a small piece of paper may help as you are beginning. They are as follows. 1) What else could this mean? as we mentioned earlier in the case of the person insulting you, maybe¬†they were hurting or maybe even jealous of you. Perhaps they have really low self-esteem or maybe it might be an issue people insult them with as well. 2) What can I learn from this? Sticking with our previous example, perhaps the person is simply pointing out an aspect of your life you need to work on, and just doing so in a very unhealthy way. Sometimes all you learn is that person acts like an ass. Why is this important to learn? When they do so in the future you will know that is just who they are and take it with a grain of salt. 3) How can I use this? Out of all of the questions I find this one to be the most powerful. It puts negativity in your life to work. You could use the persons insult to remind you to treat others with more compassion. You could let it serve as a practice for these principles. In my own life recently when my seminar was forced to relocate a mere 15 minutes before it was set to begin, I used that as an example of how to remain positive in the face of negativity. Which just so happened to be what the seminar was about in the first place.

Trust me this is not always easy. It is something that you can work on over a lifetime. Controlling your emotions instead of letting them control you sounds so simple, but takes a lifetime to master. Just last night I dropped the ball on this one. So what to do when you do mess up? My suggestion is the same as above. If you have already reacted and let others actions get the best of you, do yourself a favor and ask the three questions anyway. Why? It will both give you some insightful answers and a way to put this to work for you as well as begin to show you the power of acting from your own place instead of reacting to their emotions. It will also show you how in control and wonderful you can feel in the face of situations and emotions that used to challenge you. If you continue to react time and time again, just remember a certain blog writer/self-improvement author is still working on this himself.