Archive for August, 2011

30 aug

The Choices We Make

Jodi ChapmanTake a look at your life right now. Look at where you live, who you spend time with, how you support yourself financially, your level of stress, your state of mind, your health – all of it. Is this the life that you want to be living? Is this a life that you consciously created or is this a life that you created on autopilot?

We make choices every day. Choices that affect how we live and how our lives turn out. And oftentimes we aren’t even aware that we are making choices. We are simply surviving – getting by – and trying to make it through the day. We aren’t thinking about our vision for our future. We aren’t thinking about manifesting our ideal life. We are thinking about what needs to be made for dinner or what time the kids need to be picked up or whether we have time to finish that project for work that is due the next day.But what’s so crucial to realize is that the universe doesn’t know whether we are creating our lives on autopilot or in a conscious state of awareness. The vibrations that we are sending out are exactly what we will get back.

The choices we make today will affect our life tomorrow. Some of the choices we make today will have a lasting impact on our lives far into the future.

Becoming aware of the choices you make on a daily basis is the first step to creating change in your life. When you recognize that you are about to make a choice – ask yourself this question:
Is this choice leading me toward or away from my ideal life?

So often we know what we want for our future, and we can’t figure out why we never seem to get any closer to our dreams. It’s because of the choices we are making on a daily basis that aren’t moving toward that vision. We are looking for instant gratification and seeing life in the small picture rather than putting aside our wants and desires in the short term to make sure we reach our long-term dreams and visions.

Let’s say your dream is to run a marathon.
You know that to do this you will need to start training every day.
You begin the first day by running for an hour, which feels great! You are on your way!
When you wake up the second day, you are feeling tired and sore and think you will just take the day off as a reward for working so hard the day before and start up with your training again the following day.
This is a choice that you made.
Did this choice move you toward or away from your long-term goal and your ideal life?
Definitely away from.

And if this continues to happen, soon you will realize that the marathon is quickly approaching, and you are not even close to being ready for it. And you become angry with yourself because you realize that your choices put you in this situation.
And if you keep sabotaging yourself by not training, you have to ask if this is something that you truly want for yourself. If it is, it’s time to take a look at what is holding you back. Is it simply that you are lazy and lack discipline or could it be deeper issues of limiting beliefs about what you feel you are worthy of achieving?An alternative solution to this example would be to find another way to reward yourself rather than taking time off from training. Perhaps you can go out to celebrate, or make a special meal, or watch your favorite movie.

It all comes back to the choices we make each and every day.
One harmful choice usually leads to another and another…

But the opposite is also true! One positive choice leads to another and another…
This means that if we are conscious of our choices and make sure they are in line with the vision we have for our future, we will be right on pace to reach our dreams!
So let’s first visualize the lives we want to live.
And then let’s make sure we are consciously making choices that lead us closer to this life.
And soon enough you will see that you are living your ideal life and reaching all of your dreams!

Jodi Chapman writes Soul Speak – a daily blog that focuses on seeing life through a lens of gratitude and positivity. She is the bestselling author of the Soulful Journals series – writing-prompt journals that help you go within and get to know yourself better. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Go For It: Get Out There and Start Living! She believes that our thoughts become our reality, and our actions lead us to our dreams. She is happily married to her best friend and co-writer, Dan Teck. They live in southern Oregon with their four fuzzy kids. www.soulspeakbyjodi.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jodi Chapman on August 30th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 2 comments Read related posts in , , , ,

27 aug

Changing Who We Are by Neutralizing Negativity

WEJMDMany of us resist change because we are more comfortable with the known, as bad as it may be, compared to the unknown, which we fear could be far worse. Many of us resist change because we fear it may make others uncomfortable to the point where they distance themselves from us and possibly leave us, triggering our abandonment issues in the process.

Consequently, instead of making efforts to change and being willing to deal with the uncertainty of the unknown and the possible abandonment of others, we cling to the past, we cling to the unsatisfying relationships and circumstances of our lives, we don’t take risks and we accept a life less lived.

So what can we do about it? First, we have to deal with the prevailing fear which is dominating our resistance to change. We must make the conscious decision that it’s better to risk potential disappointments, in an effort to reach for the stars, rather than accept a life of dormant dreams and quiet desperation.

We must make the conscious decision that if people can’t accept us for choosing to change, it may be painful, but we’ll deal with it. We may feel abandoned by them, but we won’t abandon ourselves. We have faith that others will enter our lives, attracted by what we are striving to achieve, who will appreciate and support our growth efforts.

Once we make a commitment to change, we must vigilantly monitor our thoughts and neutralize our Inner Critic, that negative, disparaging, shaming and degrading voice inside our head that keeps telling us that we’re not good enough, that we’re not lovable, that we’re unworthy, that we don’t deserve success and happiness, and that it is a pointless waste of time to try to become something more.

We must de-fang our Inner Critic and give it no power to fuel our fear and our doubt, to discourage us and derail us. We must de-throne our Inner Critic and replace it with our Inner Colleague, that inspiring, encouraging, uplifting voice inside our head, that loving and nurturing voice of our Higher Self that truly knows what’s best for us.

For far too long we have kept that voice soft if not silent, relegating it to the back seat of our consciousness. But now, having made the commitment to change, we pump up the volume and use it to repeatedly reinforce positive, optimistic messages that neutralize the negative, critical labels from our Inner Critic and, at the same time, fuel our passion, our persistence and our perseverance.

Bottom line: We don’t have to sell ourselves short. We don’t have to settle for less. There is great joy and abundance available to each of us when we release ourselves from the bondage of “I can’t” and other limiting self-definitions.

Truth be told: We can break out of the habits of our past. We can become whatever sort of person we wish to be. We can manifest our destiny and create the life we desire. To do this, we must dare to put aside the judgments and limitations of our past. We must dare to have faith in our capacity to deal with change. We must dare to savor the challenges of emotional freedom. We must dare to discover our authentic self.

Above all else, we must dare to stay positive and optimistic, grateful and happy, regardless of any chaos and turbulence in our lives, regardless of any obstacles and pitfalls in our path. By doing so, we accelerate our progress and insure our eventual success.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on August 27th, 2011 in Career, New Directions, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , ,

25 aug

How to Make Reality Catch Up

RenitaKalhornIn the late 1970s, Jim Fannin was coaching Adriano Panatta, one of the top-ranked tennis players in the world and a former French Open champion. He tells the story of Panatta’s quarterfinal match with one of the newcomers at an ATP tournament.

“As the match unfolded, this low-ranked, left-handed, red-headed jerk of a guy has no respect for a top-ranked player in the world. He stalls. He berates an umpire. He yells at a ball kid. He crushes my player! We are humiliated!”
“Fourteen years later I’m at my home in Chicago having dinner with my best friend Peter Fleming and his doubles partner, John McEnroe Jr. I turned to John that night and said, “Do you remember when I met you back in San Francisco?” He smirked and replied, “Oh, you mean when I crushed your Italian boy?” We all started laughing.
And I said, “Yeah, how did you do that?” Your ranking was so low. How did you play like that?” McEnroe looked me cold in the eye and said, “I was number one in the world. My ranking just hadn’t caught up yet.”
Wow. That’s self-belief.
Too many of us have it backwards. We think it’s when we reach the milestone goal – the ideal weight, million-dollar income, major promotion or championship trophy — that we will finally become the person we want to be.
In fact, it’s the opposite. We have to embrace our vision before it actually happens. As Wayne Dyer says, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”
Mark Levy tells the story of Jake Jacobs, founder of Winds of Change Group, who wanted to take his company to $5 million in annual revenues. In order to make the leap sooner rather than later, Jake conducted a thought experiment:
“He projected himself into the future and looked at each part of his firm and noted how they were conducting business. He saw who they had as clients, what services they were offering, how they closed deals and how they delivered upon promises. Together with his team, they began taking immediate action on as many of his future-focused tactics as they could – thus behaving as if they were a five million dollar firm in the here and now.”
What kind of person (or company) do you have to become to achieve your goal? Embrace your vision and, as much as possible, act that way now — make your decisions from where you want to be, not from where you are.
Sooner rather than later, reality will catch up.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Renita Kalhorn on August 25th, 2011 in General | No comments

25 aug

In Praise of Uncertainty (and a Cheat Sheet for Enjoying It More)

RenitaKalhornOver the weekend, I saw Point Blank, a French action thriller about a nurse at a Parisian hospital whose very pregnant wife has been kidnapped and will be killed unless he delivers to the kidnappers a thief who’s a patient in the hospital. It was so good. Even as my heart was pounding, I savored the twists and turns in the plot and didn’t want it to end.
Why do we like uncertainty in our books, movies and rollercoasters but not so much in our own lives? And what if we could we learn to like it just a little more?
As the American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron says in Comfortable With Uncertainty: “We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. Ask yourself: Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?”

THAT’S RIGHT, PEMA’S CALLING YOU OUT. READY TO TAKE HER UP ON HER CHALLENGE?

  • Get out of your head. Would you have been affected by the market volatility this week if you hadn’t read or otherwise heard about it? In other words, did your life change dramatically – did you have to stand in a bread line or scrabble for pennies on the sidewalk – or was it, physically, pretty much the same routine? Uncertainty is a fact of life, yes. Whether you create unnecessary suffering around it is up to you.
  • Focus on what you can control. Okay, you probably know that. But are you clear on what’s really in your control? (Hint: it’s a short list.) Draw a circle on a piece of paper: write down the things you can control inside the circle and put everything else – you know, the markets, the weather, other people’s behavior — on the outside. Then, just like you keep your dog on a tight leash when there are other dogs/traffic/enticing piles to sniff, train your focus to keep coming back to what’s inside the circle.
  • Make a game plan. Have you noticed that you don’t actually have to be in control to have a sense of control? In her book, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, Julie K. Norem discusses the concept of defensive pessimism–considering the worst so you can plan how you’d handle it. Instead of letting your mind randomly spin tales of doom and gloom, ask yourself: what are the worst-case scenarios and what would solutions would I come up with? No matter the degree of uncertainty, taking a proactive stance will build confidence in your ability to cope and adapt.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Renita Kalhorn on August 25th, 2011 in General | No comments

25 aug

Hearing Fear Out

Jodi ChapmanHave you ever embarked on a wonderful new adventure that you were super excited about, and just when you really started to get into it with both feet in – fear stepped up and started listing all of the reasons why it’s probably not a good idea for you to do this after all and tries to get you to see how much safer it would be for you to just step back into your comfort zone?

When this happens, what if we took some time to listen to what fear has to say?
It’s there to protect you – it doesn’t want you to get hurt or fail or be disappointed.
So the next time this happens for you – take some time and write down everything that the fear inside of you wants you to know.

Get it all down on a piece of paper. Give yourself the time and space needed to go within and bring up any reason why your new adventure might not be a good idea or why it’s a scary place to be.
And then you can crumble it up and throw it away.
Or…
You can go through your list one by one and turn it around.
Fear is ego-based and faith is soul-based.
Give your soul a chance to counter each point that your fear brought up.

I think you will find that if you really dig deep and go within, you no longer need fear to protect you on this journey. Your old patterns of letting fear take over will no longer work in your new life.

In my own life, I am writing my first full-length book. It’s a very personal book for me to write, and it requires me going within and really looking at myself and my life with what feels like a magnifying glass. And this can be a hard process that my ego doesn’t want me to go through – it can be painful and yucky and sad to relive certain events or examine my patterns and habits that haven’t always served me. And yet my soul knows that in sharing my story – in putting it out into the world – it will not only help to heal myself, but hopefully others as well who are sharing similar experiences.

So when my fear starts taking over (and boy is it strong!), I recognize it for what it is: a scared ego that just wants me to be comfortable.

And I thank it and let it know that we can’t learn and grow if we always stay comfortable.
And then I get back to writing.

So please take some time today and look at the role fear plays in your own life. Give it a voice – let it be heard. And then either crumble it up or counter what it had to say with all of the reasons why these fears and ways of sabotaging your spirit will no longer work in your new, soulful life.

And then get back to what you know you need to be doing to grow into the person that you were meant to become.

Jodi Chapman writes Soul Speak – a daily blog that focuses on seeing life through a lens of gratitude and positivity. She is the bestselling author of the Soulful Journals series – writing-prompt journals that help you go within and get to know yourself better. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Go For It: Get Out There and Start Living! She believes that our thoughts become our reality, and our actions lead us to our dreams. She is happily married to her best friend and co-writer, Dan Teck. They live in southern Oregon with their four fuzzy kids. www.soulspeakbyjodi.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jodi Chapman on August 25th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 comment Read related posts in , , ,

25 aug

How to View Setbacks on the Road to Success

WEJMDWhen we set our sights on a goal, no matter what it might be, and someone or something gets in our way, our first impulse is often to feel badly about it.

We tend to get angry, anxious, depressed, frustrated, discouraged, and/or demoralized, due to our interpreting what has happened as a setback.

This is a mistake. At any one moment in time, we don’t really know if something that happens is, in the long run, going to be in our best interests or not. At any one moment in time, we don’t really know if something is good luck or bad luck.

The truth of it is: What we think is good luck today could prove, at a later date, to have been an unfortunate turn of events that led us down a road to nowhere. Equally so, what we think is bad luck today could prove, down the road, to have been a huge blessing in disguise that was pivotal in getting us to the ultimate place we wanted to go.

We just don’t know. We aren’t able to see the bigger picture at the moment something is happening to us. Therefore, it’s best that we not presume anything is good or bad for us and it’s best that we not make assumptions about the impact any event is going to have on our future. In which case, it’s best we not react emotionally, in a positive or negative way, to events as they occur, but rather stay calm and objective.

There’s no need to assume that something is an obstacle or a barrier to our success, simply because it’s blocking our path, and become discouraged by it. Conversely, there’s no need to assume that something seemingly positive is going to be our ticket to heaven and that we should start celebrating.

Of the two scenarios, perceiving something as a setback and driving ourselves emotionally into the ground because of it, tends to be the more damaging one that deserves closer attention. Let’s take a look at an example.

Let’s say I am an aspiring author. I send a query letter to an agent, seeking his representation to help me sell my book, and the agent sends me a curt note saying that, “The book will never sell. Better keep your day job.”

I have a choice. I can fill my mind with doom and gloom, with fearful, catastrophic thoughts that, “I’m not good enough. My book isn’t good enough. I’ll never get an agent. My book will never see the light of day. Nothing is ever going to work out. I am going to be an eternal failure.”

Or I can tell myself that the agent’s rejection doesn’t mean my book is worthless and won’t ever sell. Nor does it mean that I am worthless and will never amount to anything. I don’t have to go down that road in my head.

His rejection simply means that he doesn’t like my book. It simply means he is not going to be the one who’s going to represent me. It simply means he’s not in the final equation of my success. His rejection actually says nothing about my potential to succeed in the long run. It speaks more to who he is than to who I am.

I don’t have to fill my mind with catastrophic fear thoughts of a lifetime of failure and frustration. I don’t have to get depressed or anxious. I don’t have to get angry, bitter, and resentful. I can stay positive, be grateful that a dead end has revealed itself, and be confident that the opportunity I’m looking for is just around the corner.

In truth, rather than feeling beaten up by the agent’s letter, I can choose to view him as a great friend and ally, who has done me a huge favor by getting out of the way so that I can focus my energies on finding the right person who will share my vision and help me hit a home run out of the ballpark.

It is our fear that makes us assume the worst when something doesn’t happen the way we think it should or hope it will. It is our fear that makes us jump to negative conclusions about our future based on one isolated incident, the true value of which cannot be adequately defined in the moment it’s occurring. It is our fear that generates our catastrophic thoughts that we are not good enough and that nothing will ever fall our way.

Rather than give in to these catastrophic fear thoughts and allow them to terrorize and demoralize us, it behooves us to find another way to look at every seeming setback, to discover the blessings in every disguise, to examine every cloud for its silver lining, and to consider the possibility that, regardless of what is happening, we’re exactly where we are supposed to be, in which case, it behooves us to stay calm and confident, learn from our mistakes, move forward without fear, and smell the roses while we’re at it.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on August 25th, 2011 in Career | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

18 aug

Pushing Through the Obstacles

Jodi ChapmanSometimes we are on a roll in our lives where everything feels like it’s going really well and flowing effortlessly.

And then we add something new – something that is out of the norm from our every day life. We stretch a little bit out of our comfort zone and expect things to continue flowing.

And sometimes they do.
But sometimes we come across obstacles where we didn’t expect them to be.
Sometimes we even come across road blocks that seem to be right in the way of reaching our dreams.

When this happens, take a look at these obstacles and notice where they are coming from and what messages they are conveying.

Are they coming from fear – is our ego stepping in and warning us that it might be scary to try new things?

Are they coming from outdated beliefs that we have about achieving success and finding true happiness?

Or maybe we haven’t stretched our adventure muscles in awhile and just need more practice.

Over the past week, I have been writing my book, and I have stumbled upon many obstacles – some that I had a feeling would show up and others that I’ve been surprised by.
And while I recognize them for what they are (old fears and distractions coming up to keep me comfortable), I still have to work through them and move them aside. This dream is too big to allow anything to stand in my way.

I was listening to a powerful telesummit yesterday with Jack Canfield where he was talking about how we can live our ideal life – even with the obstacles.

He brought up the great point that we are always going to have obstacles – but our response to these obstacles is entirely our choice.

We get to choose our thoughts, which means we also get to choose our outcome.

So the next time we are reaching for our dream and we come across an obstacle – take some time to go within and try to get to the bottom of the message it brings up. And then thank it for showing up and teaching you more about yourself, and either push through it or go around it. Keep moving forward.

We are all learning lessons every day. And with each lesson, we are all getting closer and closer to our truest self – our divine soul.

And every obstacle and road block is helping us do just that. They are also great tools to show us just how passionate we are about achieving our dreams and living our ideal life.

Every obstacle we push through and every barrier we eliminate leads us closer to our dreams.

Jodi Chapman writes Soul Speak – a daily blog that focuses on seeing life through a lens of gratitude and positivity. She is the bestselling author of the Soulful Journals series – writing-prompt journals that help you go within and get to know yourself better. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Go For It: Get Out There and Start Living! She believes that our thoughts become our reality, and our actions lead us to our dreams. She is happily married to her best friend and co-writer, Dan Teck. They live in southern Oregon with their four fuzzy kids. www.soulspeakbyjodi.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jodi Chapman on August 18th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

14 aug

The Power of Labels

Jodi ChapmanHave you ever had a moment where you wanted to change in some way, but you didn’t because it seemed too crazy, too out of the box, too “not you”?

The labels we give ourselves are really powerful.
They can define us – and this can be empowering or stifling depending on where the label came from (our higher self or our comfort zone). If your higher self created the label, then you know it’s something great that you either currently embody or you can strive for. If you create labels for yourself from a point of low self esteem, comfort, or because you think you should – then they can hinder your growth and box you in to a life of comfort and stagnation.

I recently took a look at what labels I give myself – both professionally and personally.
I have been designing, writing, and making journals for over six years. Our business completely supports us, and I am comfortable calling myself an entrepreneur, a designer, and a creative spirit. But for some reason I had some blocks with calling myself a writer and an artist. For me, these words were powerful and I had to step back and think if I could truly embody these labels.
It’s so funny to realize this – the power of words is so strong!
I AM a writer and I AM an artist.
I can choose to create these labels for myself and fully embrace them.
Look at your own life.

What labels do you use to define yourself?
What labels do others use to define you?
Take some time today to write down these labels.

You could write: mother, friend, good cook, likes Chinese food, sensitive, artist, computer savvy, deep thinker, seeker, spiritual, nag, dependent, emotional, etc.

Write down every word you can think of that you would use to describe yourself.

Next, take a look and see if it truly describes the person that you want to be – your best self. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Think about where each label came from. Is it something that you created for yourself or something that someone gave you that never seemed to fit (or no longer fits)?

Are there any labels you would like to add? Anything that you would like use to define yourself?

Here is an example of how powerful it can be when someone else labels us:
Let’s say you have always wanted to sing, but in junior high your choir teacher said that while you had a nice voice, you really weren’t able to project it. So you probably would never be a professional singer. So the label you put on yourself was that you had a soft voice and probably shouldn’t sing in public. Years go by and the love for singing is still inside of you – you receive support from friends and family urging you to use your voice and sing out. But that darn label is still there.

But… what if you created a new label for yourself? What if you said that you were a singer? There is no judgement in this word alone. It just is. You could then embrace that label and do what singers do: sing!

You can also create labels for yourself that you grow out of.

And when that happens, it’s hard to let it go because you have become defined by this label – it is part of you.

What if you loved Chinese food. It was your favorite food ever. And then one day, it didn’t taste as good to you anymore. And you kept eating it because you had labeled yourself as someone who liked Chinese food. And you had created a life around this label – you would go eat it with friends every week, you would cook it for yourself at home. It was a comfortable identity – but it was no longer serving you because you realized that you no longer loved it like you used to.

This is a funny example, but you could take out “Chinese food” and replace it with any part of your life that no longer feels like “you.” And if you do decide to relabel yourself as someone who no longer loves Chinese food – there may be friction. Your friends will no longer get to see you weekly at the restaurant. They may feel hurt and wonder why you are choosing to not be there. They may take it personally instead of realizing that you simply don’t like the food anymore. But you know that it’s simply because you no longer like this type of food. And why would you put a label on yourself that no longer fit?
Continuing to look into the labels we create for ourselves is part of self growth.

If a label is no longer serving you – if it no longer represents who you are or who you would like to become – than replace it with one that does.

“But I always have been that.”
or
“But everyone expects me to be that.”
aren’t reasons to continue being someone that you no longer are.

This isn’t an easy process, but it’s so worthwhile to go through.

It’s part of becoming conscious and truly being aware of how we define ourselves.

The first step is realizing our labels.

The second step is making sure that each label fits who we are and want to become.

Living a conscious life is a lifelong practice that takes some work – but it’s so worth it!

Jodi Chapman writes Soul Speak – a daily blog that focuses on seeing life through a lens of gratitude and positivity. She is the bestselling author of the Soulful Journals series – writing-prompt journals that help you go within and get to know yourself better. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Go For It: Get Out There and Start Living! She believes that our thoughts become our reality, and our actions lead us to our dreams. She is happily married to her best friend and co-writer, Dan Teck. They live in southern Oregon with their four fuzzy kids. www.soulspeakbyjodi.com

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jodi Chapman on August 14th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

14 aug

The Power of Negative Thinking

WEJMDNegative thinking is our enemy. It dampens our enthusiasm and motivation. It contributes to indecision, inertia, procrastination and outright derailment of our goal-directed actions. It defeats us. It beats us. It creates the “bad luck” that we will later bemoan.

We are our own worst enemy when we indulge our negative thinking and tell ourselves, “It’s not going to work out… I’m unlucky… Something will go wrong… Such and such will happen and I’m just going to be more miserable, so why bother?”

There are an endless number of negative messages in all shapes and sizes that discourage us from being proactive and going forth into the world. And now is as good a time as any to stop playing this losing hand, to stop giving these negative messages any power.

A major problem in this regard is that, for the most part, we’re so used to our negative thinking that we aren’t even aware when we’re doing it. Consequently, we need to listen closely to the content of our thoughts. We need to hear our words as we speak them, with our negativity detector finely tuned.

When we recognize the negative thoughts and words, we need to stop them and counter them with alternative messages that are positive and optimistic, based on truth, not fear.

To be sure: just because things haven’t worked out in the past doesn’t mean they never will. Just because we have been rejected and disappointed in the past, doesn’t mean that this is our eternal fate that we must resign ourselves to. Just because we’ve been plagued with failure and perceived bad luck doesn’t mean that this is the way it always will or must be.

We are masters of our fate, whether we allow our fear or our optimism to propel us forward.

On an unconscious level, our negativity is a defense mechanism, a protective device such that if something bad should happen, we won’t be blindsided and devastated by it. By anticipating failure, we think we are softening the blow of failure should it occur.

Unfortunately, this is not a good plan. The negativity of anticipated bad luck and failure actually helps to create them because it contributes to us not putting our best foot forward. It blocks the flow of positive energy and directs the Law of Attraction to attract negative consequences rather than positive outcomes. It reinforces our fear and insecurity, and it diminishes our confidence and faith in ourselves and our objectives.

In this regard, negative thinking is actually a form of self-abuse. Certainly, it is important to be aware of the things that can go wrong so that we can have a strategy to address them and push forward, should they occur. But to beat ourselves into submission with our negative fear thoughts such that we don’t take risks and we don’t go the distance in order to protect ourselves from disappointment, shame and humiliation is simply self-punishment.

Letting fear and negativity derail us will never bring rainbows and sunshine into our lives. Rather than anticipating failure, we should anticipate success, while at the same time telling ourselves that should failure occur, we will be emotionally capable of dealing with it, that we will pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and continue on our path toward our goals because that is the only way we will get where we want to go.

It’s best that we remind ourselves that there is less shame in failure and defeat than in never trying at all, that many great hearts and minds have risen from the ashes of multiple failures and defeat to reap the rewards of great success and prosperity.

Bottom line: we must be vigilant over our thoughts, stop the negativity and be positive and enthusiastic regardless of adversity and seemingly overwhelming odds against us, and push forward with one true thought always in the forefront of our consciousness. Win, lose or draw, it’s much better to play the game than watch from the sidelines.

By Walter E Jacobson, MD
http://forgivetowin.com
info@walterjacobsonmd.com

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Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on August 14th, 2011 in Career, Health, Relationships, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in ,

11 aug

How to Succeed in Business by Spiritually Trying

WEJMDIf we continually procrastinate and sabotage ourselves to the point of not getting the lives we want, we need to re-program our subconscious minds because it is not our being a victim of bad luck or some more concrete scapegoat that is getting in our way. It’s us.

When one self-improvement effort after another has failed to deliver us our aspirations, it behooves us to keep our Shakespeare in mind. Particularly, that “the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

Point being: We can be masters of our fate or victims of our fears, fantasies and foolishness. We can continue to know what we need to do and not do it, and not get where we want to go. Or we can recognize that everything we’ve tried hasn’t worked, so we best do something different.

Self-Sabotage

In order to do something different, best we know the root cause of the problem and then design a unique and effective solution.

The root cause is self-sabotage. Consciously, we want to make money, make friends, lose weight, get healthy and fit, find our soul mates and partners, and by golly we’re gonna start tomorrow morning for sure, you betcha. This time I really mean it.

New Year’s Resolutions come and go. Again and again. Year after year. Unconsciously, our resistance to change is great and our resolve to put into practice the principles and techniques we’ve learned is weak. The resistance wins out, any attempt at establishing a habit of behaviors, a pattern of focused thoughts and exercises all devoted to the achievement of expressed goals fails sooner or later.

We’re back at step one. With another healthy dose, so to speak, of guilt, shame and self-loathing that we’ve failed another attempt to attain our goals, whatever they might be.

Why is the unconscious resistance to change so great? It’s because of what I just made reference to: guilt, shame and self-loathing. Buried deed in the unconscious mind is the belief that we are not good enough and don’t deserve abundance and success.

That core thought compels the subconscious to act in ways that creates that reality. We experience a world which reflects that self-concept that we are not worthy. Rather than attracting success, happiness and prosperity into our lives, we attract accidents and potholes.

If this premise is correct, then we must change our core thoughts about ourselves which compel our subconscious mind to do our bidding if we are to attract the life we want without resistance, negativity, obstacles and unpleasantness.

We must rid ourselves of the unconscious guilt, shame and self-loathing. Not a simple task. Nonetheless, a worthy one. And the way to do it is to be of service to others, to engage in estimable acts towards others as best we can, without conditions, exceptions or expectations.

As we esteem others through our respect and service to help as best we can, we are esteeming ourselves and sending our subconscious the message that we are good enough. But that’s not enough. We must forgive ourselves as well if we are to eliminate the deeply submerged guilt and shame.

As we forgive others, which involves letting go of our harsh judgments of them, we are actually forgiving ourselves, letting go of our harsh judgments of ourselves. It’s Confucius’s Law of Reciprocity. It’s a Golden Rule sort of thing. It’s the way this world of ours works. It’s all projection. People are mirrors of our thoughts. Trust me, there’s a lot of that going around.

As we forgive others, we forgive ourselves. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. Esteem others, let go of judgments and resentments and anger, forgive others for they know not what they do, among other things, and be of service to others. We get out of ourselves.

We get out of the crazy thinking in our head which makes us feel alienated and frightened. We help others. We count our blessings. And guess what? Things get better. Life gets better. Life has greater meaning in addition to greater clarity, direction, transformation, happiness, contentment and good fortune.

By Walter E Jacobson, MD
http://forgivetowin.com
info@walterjacobsonmd.com

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Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on August 11th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No comments