When facing challenges, its easy overlook the fact that we always possess the power of choice to make changes for the better. In other words even if we don’t realize it, we can always improve any situation.
Unfortunately, its easy to allow our thoughts to get the better of us and instead, while feeling low, we often remain stuck, immobilized and absolutely consumed with ‘whatever ‘it’ may be that’s knocked us down a peg or two.
Sometimes we get so lost, we simply can’t even imagine things EVER getting better, so the fact we can choose to change based on our own personal power never enters our heads. When we let ourselves get to this point, we stay trapped; make no progress in the healing department and waste time wallowing in our own disappointment.
Even though it’s natural to feel this way sometimes, in order to survive, we must realize that in life ‘things’ happen and though we cannot control ‘what’ happens, we can control how we look at things and our response / reaction to the circumstance.
Once we get our heads around this simple fact and realize we can choose to change the way we look at things, we will have learned one of the most important life lessons.
For example, if you’ve lost your job, naturally you won’t feel over the moon, in fact you’ll feel awful, but rather than focusing on being down in the dumps, moping, blaming outside circumstances, etc, your time would be better spent to look for the higher purpose in every situation in order to determine how to make it better.
Better you ask??
I will admit that losing a job is far from a celebratory occasion, but at the same time moping won’t alter a thing and likely you already know that.
With this being the case, we should then decide to see these situations as opportunities for improvement and acknowledge the fact that you now have the doors open and you’re free to take a different path in order to better yourself.
You see, giving power to your negative situation will only result in becoming consumed in your misfortune. Focusing on the doldrums will multiply the pain and misery and like it or not, it will soon become ALL you’ll ever be able to see.
I know based on personal experience. When I went through a rough spell a few years ago, from the moment I placed my feet on the floor each morning, my brain would kick in and within a split second, “I remembered” that I was supposed to be feeling down. My brain was trained so well to sink into misery once I opened my eyes.
From that moment forward all day long I felt as though I was pulling a piano… uphill!
What’s really unfortunate (and I realize it now) is despite the joy and happiness my children brought to me, and even on the most beautiful of days, I simply could not break out of the trap in order to actually see the brightness and wonder around me in order to enjoy any of it.
In other words, I was blinded to everything else that would have otherwise made me so happy and saw nothing but sadness.
It’s a real tough go when we get into this stage and it is terribly difficult to recognize that we can exercise the power of choice to create change for the better.
It’s so important to try to retrain our brains to remember this as well as realize that we need to start by reprogramming our thought our mental process first and foremost. Once we start to change our thoughts it becomes abundantly clear that they do in fact ultimately determine our reality.
What do I mean by our thoughts create our reality?.
Telling ourselves over and over again how ‘bad’ things are and how horrible things are going, results in nothing more than ‘things being bad and horrible’ solely because we have made them so.
Choosing to change our thoughts to focus only on the positives will automatically make us feel better and has a way of opening our eyes to all the wonderful opportunities and things we have to be grateful for.
In the end, we feel uplifted and obviously by focusing on what is right rather than what is not makes the world of difference to our morale.
The funny things is too that nothing has changed “externally”, rather we have exercised our ability to make changes to our thoughts … proving how powerful our mind really is.
This holds true for whatever happens in life…not just when it comes to ‘losing a job’ which was meant as an example.
With the right mindset, we have the power to turn anything around… but it all starts with our inside attitude and our willingness to choose how we look at things.
If this isn’t clear, let me give you a couple of examples:
In my line of work, my primary focus of my business is to empower others to step out in order to create a better existence combining entrepreneurialism with personal development.
Many people contact me looking for a way to get started online and usually it’s the prospect of earning that attracts them initially.
Though there are a handful of people who recognize they are in charge and have made a choice to change their current situation, there are so many people who haven’t yet wrapped their head around it.
For example, last week I spoke to a fellow who had been laid off, was depressed, hadn’t worked in months and lived on social assistance. He told me “nobody would hire him”.
Naturally, I was sorry for his situation, but by his own admission, it was his depression that was holding him down, and the fact that he was holding himself down… was making him feel even more depressed. (A catch 22!)
I asked him ‘why’ nobody would hire him… and he didn’t know the answer.
I asked him if he had applied for any jobs… and actually, as it turned out… he hadn’t!
I asked him ‘why’ he hadn’t applied for other jobs… and he said ‘because nobody would hire him.
(You see how he had “convinced himself” based on nothing more than his own internal programming?)
I then asked him how he thought he might do working online. He told me that to be honest, he really wasn’t truly convinced he could actually make it happen, but nevertheless the thought intrigued him.
I asked him if he was willing to work towards making changes and learning a few new skills.
He said he’d like to… but deep inside he didn’t truly think he could.
He admitted that he felt so bleak, that if he were to be blatantly honest, he couldn’t imagine things getting better from his vantage point.
As you can likely imagine, this wasn’t your typical business call… I spent a great deal of time explaining that he simply had to choose to change his mindset before anything else in order to look beyond his self induced feelings of despair.
In actuality, only his thoughts were holding him hostage.
I know it’s a difficult transition when re programming your mind… but the reality is it needs to be done.
If we all let our thoughts hold us down, there would be very few people moving ahead.
So why is it so difficult to make changes?
I was listening to a call the other day between Sonia Ricotti the creator of the Unsinkable Series and Gina Mollecone Long. Even though I had this post already drafted, I couldn’t help but throw in some great pointers I picked up from the interview.
Gina pointed out that the human mind had the innate ability to grasp onto the things we focus on, and throw away or ignore everything that doesn’t match or align with it.
In other words, if we are feeling depressed, our brains will continue to gather and hold onto depressing thoughts, but anything that isn’t depressing or dismal won’t fit into the programming of our mind and will be discarded.
She then shared a couple of most hilarious, yet brilliant exercises:
The first one… and I hope I have this right, was to sit quietly where you are and look around the room.
Now focus very intently on picking out everything that is RED in the room.
After a while you start to pick up on absolutely everything that is red, yet pay little attention to any other colors. Red just keeps popping out at you and before long it’s all you pay attention to!
Now… try to pick out everything that is blue. At first you hardly notice ‘blue’ (or any other colour for that matter), but when you begin to focus on blue, after a while … you will notice there’s blue everywhere!! (yet you didn’t see it while focusing on ‘red’!)
I thought this was quite ingenious personally!!
Now you might be thinking… “Oh… I can’t be so simplistic with my thoughts. I’m truly down in the dumps”.
If you sincerely can’t imagine for a moment feeling joy, then try this:
Look up at the ceiling and then… smile.
Now try to feel sad. (I’ll bet you can’t!).
Looking up at the ceiling smiling is almost hilarious. There is no way you can feel down while doing this exercise.
This is a very good thing because it will open your eyes to knowing there are still a few “happy seeds” in your system; you’ve just chosen not to pay attention to them for so long.
The bottom line is… making the choice to change your current situation IS possible.
You just have to change your thought process to recognize it.
There are millions of people who have been in tremendously challenging situations and have managed to pull out of them all because they “decided” to do so.
In conclusion the thoughts you focus on and give power to WILL become your reality.
If you want to change you can, regardless of your situation. The only reason you may not feel you can improve is because you have told yourself and trained your brain to believe you can’t!
The bottom line is you do have the ability to improve everything, you just have to ‘know’ it and put your new belief system into practice.
If you need help tweaking your thoughts in order to start making changes, contact me (one who’s been there, done that!) at any time.
Please leave comments or questions below. I’d love to hear from you!