Argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours… another great line from Richard Bach’s Illusions.
I think this speaks to habitual reaction patterns and victim scenarios. Arguing for your limitations is the way in which our history defines us and sure enough they’re yours has to do with the way energy seems to work – what you focus on is what you see.
One way to change your perspective is through affirmations. There is a lot of work out there about the use of affirmations to recreate your view of the world. Of course the most famous is Louise Hay, she developed a whole system of symptoms and affirmations.
I have a couple of favorites on this subject currently, one is Joel Osteen’s work called Become a Better You, and another is Esther Hicks’ work Ask and It Is Given. They come from VERY different paradigms, one is a Christian Pastor and one is a New Age Channeler, but they actually say the same thing.
And that is this:
FOCUS on WHAT you WANT rather than what you fear.
They each, in their own way, discuss the importance of reorienting yourself away from what you don’t want toward what you want to create. This is a great internal mantra. It keeps you focused within for your guidance, so that more of you and your goals are in your life. When you do this, life stops happening to you and You start living. You move from the passenger seat, to the driver’s seat of your life.
Remember from the Gestalt perspective anxiety is a function of being in the past or the future. Another kind of anxiety comes from not living in your own world, or from getting guidance from outside sources rather than within.
The theory behind this is that what gets created is just a function of energy. If we put a lot of energy into fear and anxiety then that gets created. If we focus on what we want we actually create more of that.
Affirmations have gotten a bad rap ever since Al Franken did his SNL skit with Stuart Smalley about I love myself and gosh darn it people like me. Try not to link what I’m writing about with this.
Affirmations are statements that are affirming rather than disconfirming. It’s a way to question those negative misbeliefs that are the basis of our habitual reaction patterns. You’re affirming yourself rather than disconfirming yourself. The negative misbeliefs are not you, they’re historical definitions of yourself in a specific situation rather than true aspects of yourself. The trick with affirmations to work, is to get the right one.
I’m not suggesting that there is a specific one for everything; I’m suggesting that simply stating to ourselves a mantra that is affirming will help us maintain a positive connection to ourselves, so that we can then allow our best self to guide us from within. This is reconnecting to that instinctive aspect of yourself that is hidden by the habitual reaction patterns, the victim scenarios, and negative internal self talk.
Start with just saying the opposite. If you feel like you’re stupid. Say I’m smart. Then look for supportive evidence. If you want to create something, say I can rather than saying I can’t. Focus on what you want rather than what you fear.
Try it with something small first. Don’t pick your biggest challenge. Notice how you feel. It’s a little stilted and difficult at first but as you get the hang of it, it gets easier.
See you tomorrow.