For many years of my life, I struggled with negative thinking – thoughts that people are out to get me, I’m not good enough, or sometimes not even worthy to be on this earth. Yes, it has been that extreme for me at times. In college I found myself drawn to behavior theorists who provided explanations regarding certain thoughts and behaviors and how they came to be. In my dark mind, I never realized there was an exit door staring me right in the face that would put an end to my suffering and give me some relief.
For many people that know me personally, this may come as a surprise because the “external me” had grown accustomed to acting as if everything was normal, while the “internal me” was being ripped apart.
Then about ten years ago, there was a small crack in the door of my dark mind, that revealed a stream of light. I gently walked through that door and was introduced to books by spiritual teachers that invited me to challenge my discouraging thoughts and replace them with thoughts of hope, love, and my strongest desires. I was eventually able to venture out of that dark space and create my own light.
Occasionally, I would revisit that dark space that had become my home for many years, but the difference was I didn’t stay there long. I was now equipped with tools to help me spend more time in the light rather than in the darkness.
How many of you are spending too much time dwelling on all the challenges in your life, rather than focusing on the good? We all have the superpower to create our own reality, just by changing the way we look at things or shifting what we are focusing on. Like me, many of us don’t realize that the exit door is staring you right in the face. You only need to have the courage to walk through it. This means abandoning your limiting thoughts and beliefs and allowing new people and opportunities to bring you into the light.
I would like to share two of my biggest ah-ha moments that have led me out of darkness into light.
The first is the power of taking responsibility and the other is using my voice to set boundaries. Let me share how these two values have worked in helping me create the life of my dreams.
Taking 100% Responsibility
About thirteen years ago, my husband Kermit, approached me with a book that would forever change my life and my thinking. I was sitting in our home office sipping on my morning cup of coffee when he invited me to simply read the first page of a book he was holding in his hand. Now at the time, I was not a reader, which I believe was one of the reasons I stayed in darkness.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to finish my coffee in peace until I complied with his request, so I read the first page. The book was titled, The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield. The words from the first page slowly opened my mind and revealed the exit door I had been searching for.
That morning I learned that by simply taking responsibility for my life, I could then begin to create the life I wanted.
We live in a world where we have become accustomed to blaming something outside of ourselves for the things that we don’t like. Think about it – if we’re having trouble at home, we blame our spouse or our children, or if you’re living with your parents, you may blame them. And when we’re at work we blame our bosses, our co-workers, or even our customers. In the grand scheme of things, we blame the government or other decision-makers, never realizing that we have the power to create the life we want by simply taking responsibility. Responsibility doesn’t mean that something is your fault. It simply means that we are responsible for fixing it. When it’s your happiness that’s at stake, it’s your job (not anyone else’s) to do something about it. Today, look at areas in your own life where you have been blaming someone or something for where you are today. Try taking responsibility by looking at your role in the matter and what you can do to resolve the matter. Remember, you hold the power to create a better life.
Setting boundaries is not something we learned to do. As a young girl, I feared telling my parents or siblings my likes or dislikes because this would usually lead to conflict or hurt feelings. I’ve learned that setting boundaries is an act of kindness for you as well as the people in your life. No one knows how to treat you unless you tell them. When you express what you want you are seeing yourself as someone who deserves to be treated with respect and value. Your confidence increases when you step into your authentic self and realize that you deserve nothing but the best. You are also providing the other person with true insight into how you wish to be treated. Feelings may get hurt in the process especially if people aren’t used to you expressing your desires, but in the end, you are taking care of yourself and creating a better life.
These are two ways I’ve learned to escape the darkness and enter into my light.
Every experience is first created in the mind. And when we learn how to transform those dark places, we’ve created into opportunities to discover our authentic selves, we are courageous enough to walk through the door and discover beautiful blessings.
This week, practice taking responsibility and using your voice to shape the life you've always wanted. Believe! BE Awesome! BE YOU!