We come into this world with an innate sense of peace and inner knowing of who we really are. Just as life unfolds, through our conditioning and experiences, we develop our inner voice – you know the one. This voice either tells you you’re not enough and can’t do it or it tells you that you are worthy and capable of anything. The number one thing that gets in the way of us being who we really are and thriving in this world, is our inner critic. You know, that chatty inner voice that constantly tells you how you are bad, wrong, inadequate, worthless, guilty, and so on. This causes self-doubt and destroys our confidence. That’s when we make bad decisions and begin living a life that is not true to ourselves. Our fascination with negative thoughts – most of them are not that interesting or helpful – makes us forget who and how magnificent we really are. We limit ourselves by telling ourselves we are not capable, not worthy. We get in the way of our progress and sabotage everything we set out to do. You could say that we get smaller, and begin believing that who we are or what we are made of is just a resume, the different roles we play, our successes and failures, the opinions we hold, and the problems we face.
One of the most painful things for me, is to see someone fall for the trap of the mind. When we allow our inner critic to take over, we see life through a tunnel vision and put ourselves in a cage of our own making. The overthinking, insecurities, lost potential, time wasted, distractions and addictions. Simply put – you either control your mind, or your mind controls you.
Every single cell of the human body is magnificently engineered for you to thrive on this planet. The fact that you are alive is a gift, and the greatest thing you can do is to honor that life everyday. So how do we begin to let go of our inner critic and connect with our magnificence? How do we allow ourselves to thrive, and be the best we can be? How do we use our mind to create the best life we possibly could?
- Be your own best friend. The most intimate relationship you will have in your life is with yourself – make sure its a good one. Show up to that relationship with honesty and love. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself and motivate yourself to be the best you can be.
- Put yourself in a positive mindset, even when you are in a tough circumstance. No one knows your circumstance better than you do. The best thing you can do – the only thing you can do sometimes- is put yourself in a positive frame of mind. Even when life puts you down and you have a reason to give up, start being hopeful, positive and strong, then decide what the best thing to do for you is. You always have many options and different paths you can take in life. Being negative can blind you from seeing them. To make good decisions, be in a positive frame of mind first by letting go of your inner critic – that gives you complete clarity and control over your situation. If you listen to your inner critic and make your decisions according to your insecurities and fears, you will never move forward.
- Do not resist life. I read about an interesting paradoxical theory called “the backwards law” by a philosopher called Alan Watts which states that the more we pursue feeling better all the time, the more we end up being dissatisfied.This is because pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. So wanting a positive experience is a negative experience, and accepting a negative experience is a positive experience. What I learn from this theory is to remind myself to be content, grateful and accepting of any situation I am in, rather than fighting it. It reminds me to live in the present moment, rather than worrying about tomorrow, and to say “This is my experience right now, and it’s okay.” , then move on.
- Be fully aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Life goes in the direction of your focus, what are you focusing on today? Are your thoughts in alignment with what you want, or the opposite? Nobody knows you better than you know you. You know the quality of your life, you know how you truly see the world, and you know how you think and feel. If you have a negative world view, it can really impact the quality of your life and the world will become dark and depressing. So, you have to be aware of your thoughts and how you see the world. Practice having positive thoughts and build a positive world view. That will give you the energy to create a beautiful life of passion and purpose.
I choose to see life as a game – even though sometimes it is not an easy one – that I have to win. You have a choice, every day, to listen to the voice that inspires you, or the voice that puts you down. You can either live a life that is true to you, or a life that is dictated by your fears and insecurities. Your life is precious and worth fighting for. How many more heartbeats do you want to waste? Give it all you’ve got every single day.