While many of us can rightly claim to be dealing with challenges in our lives, very many of those challenges are self-inflicted. This isn’t to say that we never face external problems but the truth is, we create our own reality through the thoughts that we think, whether we like it or not.
What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing today? Is it lack of money? Examine the story you’ve been telling yourself about money. From an early age, many of us have been taught that the words ‘money’ and ‘not enough’ go together. We’ve been primed for a life of scarcity. Not only do we believe that it’s impossible to ever have enough money, but we also believe that the avenues through which money can come to us are limited.
What about relationships? Do you know people who have outstandingly successful careers but struggle with romantic relationships? People like this tell themselves the story that in life, you can’t have everything. You can have career success or a happy personal life ÔÇô never both. So they automatically, although perhaps not consciously, opt out of great romantic relationships. As soon as they meet someone, in their minds, they’re already predicting when and how that relationship will end, and so it inevitably does end.
Even our physical bodies are affected by the stories we tell ourselves. Some of us believe that because we come from a family of diabetics, or people with heart disease, then we’ll automatically start to exhibit similar symptoms. And then we get surprised when we fall ill.
The stories we tell ourselves affect every part of our lives. They determine whether we’ll have successful careers, relationships; good health and financial abundance. Our internal stories are mostly affected by our need for outside approval – most of our perceptions about ourselves are influenced by how other people view us. If our family frowns on people who’re self-employed, we usually start to adopt a similar internal story. We tell ourselves that working for ourselves is not only financially risky, but that it will lead to financial ruin and becoming a social outcast.
What story have you been telling yourself about your life; and is it serving you? To answer that question, look at your life right now. Everything you’re living is in response to the story that you’ve been telling. If you want things to change, before that can happen, you have to start seeing and believing that change in your own mind. You have to start telling a new story.
Tempting as it may be, stop fixating on the things that you don’t want. Instead, think about what you do want. While it’s difficult not to notice what’s going on around us, with practice, we can train our minds to focus on the positive.
Start telling the story of your life as you want it to be, but leave other people’s response out of the equation. Only focus on how you feel. Realise the importance of what you think, your feelings, your moods and attitudes ÔÇô you are your point of attraction.
Sometimes it’s entertaining to talk about our problems ÔÇô we get sympathy and understanding from other people; and some of us even bond over our problems. But realise that unless you change your attitudes and beliefs about your own life, you’ll only perpetuate the very problems that you’re complaining talking about.
Tell a new, more positive story until it becomes your chronic way of thinking. Try telling this story:
I am worthy beyond description and all is well for me. Abundance is flowing to me. I am abundant in nature; and well-being is my norm.
I am often understood by the people I interact with; and I’m loving the life that I’m living. It’s fun to be in this world!
It is fun to expand and grow. I love experiencing challenges. It helps me to identify the things that I want and that’s what I focus my attention on.
I know that often, I don’t feel good, but I also know I can get myself to a good-feeling place when I choose to.
My life gets better and better! I’m surrounded by people that like me and I love the people that surround me. There’s co-operation around me all the time; and I’m feeling great freedom from my ability to detach myself from what other people think.
I appreciate people more and more; and I love knowing that we create our reality through our thoughts. Sometimes I get glimpses of what a powerful creator I really am. Things I want are coming my way; and I’m enjoying how my life is unfolding.
Things are coming to me more easily; and I’m beginning to understand how the universe flows. I’m becoming more intuitive about people; and I can feel when it’s to my advantage to interact with them and when it is not.
Good ideas flow to me constantly. I always have a good time and I have fun wherever I am. I love living life; and I love knowing that I don’t have to hold anybody responsible for the way my life is unfolding.
I love telling a new story, because then my life just gets better and better! I enjoy knowing that it doesn’t matter what’s going on right now, because I can continue telling a better and better story with the expectation that the universe will keep matching my new story.
I love knowing that I have the option to focus; and that I am the centre of my universe. I enjoy knowing that the universe will give me evidence of the different story that I am telling. My happiness is within my control!
*Primrose Oteng is a Master of Applied Positive Psychology and the Founder of the Positive Peace Project, an organisation dedicated to creating positive change through personal empowerment. For more on how we can assist you contact [email protected] or visit www.positivepeaceproject.co.bw