Personal Development begins in your mind!
As with go through our daily lives the world, many times, seems to push against us. It is as though we are like feathers in the wind being blown in this direction and that. However, you can begin to raise your sails and use that wind, hopping from one air current to the next, until they carry you to the destination of your choosing.
The most powerful way to influence the direction in which we sail is by consciously choosing the direction of our thoughts and feelings. It is our thoughts and feelings that direct our actions and it is our actions that determine where we go in life. It is never circumstances that determines your thoughts and feelings but how you perceive what has happened and how you respond to it internally. This response then affects your actions and reactions and these in turn affect your life. Many times we are on automatic pilot when we react to situations, events and people. Unfortunately, for a great majority of the time, these automatic responses are neither constructive nor life-enriching.
One of the most assured ways of becoming a conscious controller of our thoughts and feelings, and thus our actions, is to monitor and change our internal dialogue. To change your responses and reactions to events that take place in your life, you must first change how you view them. Say, you lose a key sale at work, is this a disaster or a learning experience? Do you ask “Why does this always happen to me?”, “I can’t believe I was so stupid to lose that sale”, or do you ask “How did I contribute to this and what can I learn from it to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes again?”
Your internal dialogue and the words you use tend to show how you are feeling about the external events in your life. However this is a two-way street. By changing the pattern of this dialogue you can alter how you feel and think. By looking for the positive aspects behind the experience you will tend to stay more optimistic, learn to deal more effectively with similar events and attract better situations in the future.
Look at the quality of the questions you ask yourself on a day to day basis. “Do you ask, “Why can I not get that extra sale?” or “What do I need to do to get that extra sale?”. Can you see how your brain would react differently to these two questions? Ask why you can’t do something and your mind will respond by giving you a multitude of reasons. Ask how you can do it better or what you need to do to achieve your goal and your mind is sent in a completely different direction – it will now search for ways to get the job done and bring the outcome you desire!
Your focus determines your reality. Having a positive internal dialogue, that supports, encourages and expands you redirects your focus. You tend to focus on solutions and what you want rather than on what you do not want. What you focus on expands. If your focus is constantly centred on the things that are wrong in your life you will tend to get more of them or at the very least you will always experience those same things. Begin, now, to use your own Self-talk to your advantage. Inwardly talk approvingly and encouragingly to yourself. Ask yourself quality questions that inspire you and drive you to look for answers instead of guiding you into wallowing in self-pity and victim-mode.
As we progress through life, and especially when we strive to create the life we want, we continually encounter challenges and difficulties as the world pushes against us. Problems, disappointments, failures and upsets all play their part in the symphony of life. They are a part of the human condition. But in and of themselves they are just experiences. It is how we react to them that determines whether we are happy , sad, frustrated, angry or apathetic. By responding in a different, more positive, way you can begin to change your life for the better and feel happier and more content also.
If you take a look at anyone who has achieved anything of real value you will find that they encountered many problems and difficulties. No two people experience the same problems in the same way. It seems we live in a wise and all-knowing Universe that directs life experience to each individual based on what they need to learn and what they can handle. A major problem to me, that causes anxiety, stress and heartache, may be a walk in the park for you! We each experience our own hardships in our own ways. The difference between the ones who use these hardships to grow, learn, evolve and eventually succeed is their belief system.
Your belief system is easy to identify. Listen to the way you talk to yourself and others. Pay attention to even the smallest details. Then begin to change your internal dialogue. Never finish a negative sentence. Once you catch yourself saying a negative, stop! Reverse it! Phrase it in a way that empowers you. Make a question out of it, one that forces your mind to seek the answers that will drive you forward instead of holding you back. This is what I refer to as Personal Development Power Talk and it is extremely effective. Change your internal dialogue and you will change your life.
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