Today I took a long walk outside in the sunshine. An intensive work schedule and many different projects demanding my energy and attention have begun to put a dent in my enthusiasm and focus. I figured a mid-afternoon hike would help, and it did. But when I arrived back at the office to resume working, felt a heaviness, a sort of dread, which is weird, considering how much I love my work.
I took a moment to check in and observe my thoughts, and captured the bummer thought that caused the bad feeling. It was something like, “You have too many things to do. You’ll never do anything well because you’re stretched too thin.”
I realized I’d actually accepted that thought, unconsciously maybe, but still, when I accepted the thought it gave rise to the negative emotion. Immediately I took the opportunity to consciously employ optimistic thoughts and self-enhancing statements. I told myself, “I’m up to this! I can accomplish everything…but I’ll need to do one task at a time. I’ll do everything well because I believe in myself and my purpose.” Of course, the feeling of dread vanished, replaced by a sense of competence and self-assurance.
Responses like that are increasingly automatic for me now, but years ago I bounced back and forth between negative impulses and emotions, blaming outside circumstances and other people for the pain I experienced. I created crises and made dire predictions and self-fulfilling negative prophecies. Then I had an epiphany and my whole life changed.
I realized that the key to a brilliant future resides in the present moment. So does happiness, healing, personal growth and recovery. Whether we realize it or not, our happiness depends upon our positive belief in the future, that is, in a personal tomorrow. Most of what will transpire in our lives tomorrow is a direct result of how we think today. Fear breaks down the fabric of your existence, while positive belief in yourself will build it up.
As we move through the day, we’re constantly bombarded by messages. At home or at the office, the gym, or in the car, there’s a constant barrage of news media, advertising, texts, social media updates raining down on our consciousness. Many of these messages are negative and can adversely affect the way we think about ourselves, the world and life in general.
The self-empowering thing to do is create a buffer against negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and to think, act, feel and create from a deep inner well of peace, self-assurance and sense of purpose. When we live this way, we experience a better quality of life, deeper relationships with others, and greater satisfaction with our accomplishments.
You can if you think you can. When you embrace positive, self-enhancing beliefs, you enable yourself to smash through limitations you may have set in the past. Personally, I use mantras and affirmations to reset the way I think about myself, life, and other people. And I find that I need employ tools like that on a regular basis. When we’re not proactive about our good thoughts, negative thoughts will move back in and take over the party, so to speak.
Practice thinking of yourself as successful, loved, and effective. Visualize yourself surrounded by everything you need. The thoughts and images you carry in your mind in this moment will manifest themselves in your personal future. This process works especially well when you attach an emotional tag to the visualization.
Emotions are powerful forces. Positive emotions, especially love, courage and gratitude, are extremely dynamic. You can harness creative forces by basking in a positive feeling while meditating, visualizing, or making affirmations about tomorrow.
Of course, you still need to do all the legwork, that is, put in the effort, build, network and accomplish all that you can in a given day. But the magic, the power, is in believing in yourself and in your life’s purpose. Recovery and healing from past pain will give you the power to release accumulated fear and build faith that you can, and are building a new lifestyle, and a new future.