As I reflect back on my former life, it's quite foggy. What I do remember is a series of inner dialogues that had one common agenda, to make me feel like crap about myself! These internal voices came from a number of sources: kids in the first grade making fun of the complexion of my skin; a middle school teacher who hated her job and made sure every kid she came in contact with knew it; multiple ex-boyfriends who fed off of power and control, allowing their insecurities to manifest in the form of making me feel bad about myself; a boss who was overworked, underpaid and miserable, creating a tone of stress and misery in the work environment.
I could go on and on about when my negative inner voices gave birth and started a life of their own. We all have them, they can come from our parents, peers, authority figures, intimate partners, etc. What I didn't realize at the time was how these voices latched onto my subconscious thought processes, becoming a part of my daily thinking, feeling and functioning. Even though I wasn't consciously aware of these thoughts, they were guiding my behavior, the way I interacted with people and the world and most importantly, they affected the way I perceived myself and my own abilities!
My Breaking Point
There was a point in time when I realized I was miserable. I looked happy and functional because I was skilled at creating an image that portrayed confidence and stability to the world. But underlying the surface, I was completely unhappy with how my life turned out. I was a single mom of two boys, struggling financially and constantly feeling behind on finances, energy, patience and confidence compared to my peers. I couldn't figure out why people around me were attracting the things they wanted with ease. They seemed genuinely relaxed, happy and satisfied with themselves. I remember asking myself, “Why can they access happiness and I can't? What am I doing wrong? Why am I not reaching the potential that I know I have?” It was then when I decided to figure out a way to change it!
The 3 Steps I Took to Discover my Inner Power
It took some church, research, self-reflection, and remembering the skills I learned in my clinical psychology graduate program to get to a place where I felt confident in creating the shift I needed inside myself. The funny thing is, after all of that hard work and effort, I realized the change I needed to create was much simpler than I was making it.
The first thing I did was adjust my perception from feeling like I don't have enough and need more, to embracing all I do have and being content with that. It sounds cliche, “focusing on gratitude,” but it works! As you tell yourself you “need” this and “want” that in order to experience happiness, you are also saying that your life is not enough, that you are not enough in your current state.
As you continue to give life to the reality that you are not enough, that will be your experience. If you begin shifting your perception of your circumstances, embracing where you are and being thankful for how far you've come, you will experience an immediate change in your energy, and you will feel excited to see what the future holds. There's no possible way to think about what you're lacking while focusing on why you're grateful for simultaneously. It's either one or the other.
The second thing I did was bring awareness to the thoughts that were streaming through my head every day. I noticed how negative I was, and how I submissively allowed those thoughts to rule over my reality. I also observed that those thoughts didn't even come from me, they were replays of those mean kids, angry bosses and power tripping ex-boyfriends. So why on earth would I allow those broken people to dictate my life?
What many of us forget (or may not even be aware of) is as we put out negativity, we are drawing it to us. We are a magnetic force, and the power of attraction will happen whether we want to believe it or not. As we think negative thoughts, we then feel negative emotions, and ultimately attract similar people and experiences to our lives.
Instead of taking a back seat to your subconscious dialogue, allowing others’ negative opinions or comments to take charge over your mind, start taking control now! You should be the initiator of your thoughts, no one else.
The third step I took towards accessing my power was letting go of the people, places and things that confirmed the negative inner dialogue that I'd been living by for a very long time. I had to assess my surroundings and identify the areas in my life that needed cleansing.
To be honest, this wasn't the easiest thing to do. It actually required me to do work and possibly hurt people's feelings. But, as I reflected back on how hurt my feelings have been due to those negative influences, I didn't feel so bad letting those things go.
For me, there were friends that I'd grown apart from, who only had gossip, tragedy or complaints to add to our conversations. There were also people I dated that always seemed angry about something, and sometimes blaming me for their anger. There were TV shows I'd watch that brought me to a petty judgmental place every time I’d tune in. They all had to go! Once I successfully made room in my life for new positive energy to enter in, it was one of the most liberating feelings I've experienced! I had the opportunity to align myself with what I desired for my life and not settling for anything less than that.
This is my story, condensed into a few paragraphs, about the steps I took to being accessing that inner light that's been waiting to radiate to the world. I use this same story with clients, colleagues and loved ones. Maybe you can you use these tools on your journey towards your most powerful self.
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