It really does. Especially upon this shared path of ours called “Becoming Today” it is truly the journey that matters. .Just making the simple decision to step forward and explore your personal odyssey proves you are already passing the test.
The person you are “Becoming” is even better than anything you may have ever imagined.
I know it’s a lot of work and does require dedication and commitment, however if you maintain a positive attitude and an open heart you will find you have the strength, determination and resources necessary to realize your desires.
Congratulations your efforts and perseverance are paying off! (Insert applause here…)
Our conversions this week have been based around your responses to questions I posed to you last week.
Seeing and believing for “Becoming Today” to be a community, I realize communities are messy. How couldn’t they be? Afterrall community involves people and people are messy, still it is so important to be a vital member of a community.
That’s why I asked for you to respond, noting your participation would be priceless in ensuring the future value of this community. Thank you for adding value to our discussions. Your answers were insightful and very helpful in helping to see what we needed to focus on.
However there were two questions I asked, that no one answered… more on that later. First let’s recap some of your replies, so we can revisit some suggested actions for building our momentum, forward and upward.
My queries were as follows:
- Can you love online?
- Is making a heart engagement, a soul level connection, possible in cyberspace?
- How can I serve others?
- Meaning how can I better serve you? and
- What can you do to help others?
- How do you feel connected?
- What inspires you to be connected?
- What prevents you from forming a connection?
- How do you allow others to connect with you?
- What does a true connection mean to you?
So what kind of responses did we receive?
First let me offer a factoid. Each day the average human brain produces fifty-thousand (50,000) thoughts. Wow, right? Don’t’ try to count them yourself I kept losing track around #22, lol.
Of all those thoughts, only ten-thousand (10,000); one-fifth (⅕), just 20% of those are positive.
Something that seems to hold true in our responses. So I’ve divided he answers into three main categories:
- Self Doubt
- External Pressures
These fears were broken down into four subcategories:
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of ridicule.
- Fear of the unknown.
- Fear of rejection.
All point to our wanting to avoid, pain, conflict and addressing uncomfortable issues. Research has shown that the fear of rejection actually stimulates or activates the same regions of our brain that the experience of physical pain does.
In response to wanting to avoid that kind of hurt many will seek to be people pleasers, putting the perceived wants of others before what they need for themselves.
No wonder so many cite it as a reason for not taking steps towards, change, growth and “Becoming”
A lot of fear stems from issues of self-doubt and feeling a lack of self confidence. Obviously I hope you are making the choices to improve or strengthen your positive self esteem. We know that negative self-esteem can impact every aspect of your life, including relationships, jobs and your health.The good news is you can correct your false views of yourself, as the following steps borrowed from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will outline.
1. Identify Problem Areas
Think about the situations that deflate your self-esteem. Identify the triggers. Some examples include
- A crisis at work or home
- A challenge with a spouse, child or other loved one,
- A change in life circumstances, such as a job loss, a death of someone near and dear or a child making poor choices.
2. Pay Attention To Your Thoughts
We all are familiar with the quote, “cogito, ergo sum”.
Not ringing a bell, well that’s probably because most of us don’t speak Latin and have probably heard Rene Descrtes (French Philosopher) words translated as “I think, therefore I am”.
Once you’ve identified a disturbing situation, you especially need to pay attention to your thoughts. This includes self-talk and your interpretation of what the situation means.
Ask yourself if this belief is true? Would you say it to a friend? If not, then don’t say it to yourself.
3. Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Be aware that long-held thoughts and beliefs can feel normal and factual, even though they are not. Often these false perceptions are just opinions devoid of any truth. Then make sure you are not getting involved in patterns of self delusion or accepting falsehoods as the truth.
Some of these patterns to avoid can be:
- All-or-nothing thinking. Do not say to yourself, If I don’t succeed in this task, I’m a complete failure and always will be.”
- Rejecting your achievements. Do not tell yourself they don’t count. Do not place false limits on yourself.
- Reaching a negative conclusion when evidence does not support it. For example, “They didn’t reply to me, so obviously I must have done something wrong.”
- Mistaking feelings for facts. Do not confuse feelings or beliefs as factual evidence. For example, “I feel like a loser, so I’ll always be a loser.”
4. Take Ownership of Your Thoughts
Rather than being overwhelmed by negativity, acknowledge its presence.
Accept it, then shoes to empower yourself. Look at the reality and declare it will be no more. Work, take action thoughts or feelings to be “Becoming”:
- Take care of yourself. Self care not only of the mind, but also the body and soul.
- Use Positive Affirming statements. Treat yourself lovingly and always be encouraging. Delaye you “can” and you “will”.
- Forgive yourself. If you’ve made a mistake or are not on track to complete a goal, remember it’s not permanent. You need to readjust to move past that moment in time and create the next in abundance.
- Do things you enjoy. Start by making a list of things you like to make a “can-do” list. Things you can and are willing to do.. Try to do something from that list every day.
- Spend time with people who make you happy. Don’t waste time on negative or fake people.
Once you readjust your thoughts. Aligning them with your essential beliefs, then focusing on the positive is “Becoming” much easier.
Release your understanding upon your actions. Live it and Gracefully Acknowledge. Accept grace, joy and wisdom. Give thanks for it with a grateful heart. What then? Keep doing it. What? Being you.
Then you are “Becoming” the real, true, authentic you. All you were intended to be.
Still have questions, concerns, doubt or worries?
Well, it’s time to let them go. A key element of being “Becoming” is living a righteous life. To do so requires we cast all of our cares upon God
Righteous living on our path to “Becoming” can literally be defined as being “right especially in a moral way”. Being righteous means doing the right thing at all times not only for yourself, but also for others.
When I first launched this project, I wrote,
“How do I, as an individual and we as a society, focus on “Becoming” what we are truly destined to be? How do we become all we can be? How do we further enrich our lives and those of our families, friends, communities and society as a whole? What exactly is it we want to become today? Each and every day, becoming the best at whatever we desire, hope for, have set goals for, prayed for and how do we achieve this state?
Those are questions we’ll focus on together in this new year of 20/20+1.”
And I hold true to those thoughts.
Finally our third category of responses were those related to external pressures. When offering reasons for not taking the next step, many cited what they believed to be obligations of others, a belief that improving themselves was selfish and that personal growth was something that was in direct opposition of what was expected of them.
Some of the outside forces listed as holding them back or keeping them from whole heartedly taking steps towards their own “Becoming” were jobs and / or a lack of one; unsympathetic or controlling loved ones and expectations either families, bosses or the perception that society would not allow them to consider personal advancement.
Remember self care is not selfish. It’s something that no one else can do for us, so it should be a primary responsibility within our daily lives.
What is Self-Care?
On the simplest level it is taking care of yourself. We know we are unable to care for, assist or be of service to others if at first we are not addressing our own needs and healing. It’s the old story about the flight attendant’s speech. What is the first thing you are supposed to do if the oxygen masks drop on a plane? Put yours on first then you can come to the aid of others.
Self-Care is also being good to yourself. Treating yourself like you would others. It involves self acceptance, gentle self talk, self compassion, having empathy for yourself and seeing that your basic human needs are being me.
If you are not feeling that you are receiving C.D.R. (compassion, dignity and respect) the first thing to check is are you giving them freely to yourself? If you’re not respecting yourself, not allowing yourself to live a dignified life or not accepting your own ups and down with compassion, why would anyone else be?
Recognizing what self-care is, now let’s explore some of the benefits of this practice.
“Becoming” More Productive
When you care for yourself and become more balanced in your approach to any situation, your goals can become clearer. You are able to focus better and concentration is boosted allowing for you to get the work done.
There is all kinds of research, both from medical and psychological professionals that show Self-Care is healing. Studies have shown those who do adopt the strategy are able to activate their parasympathetic nervous system. This allows your body to enter into a more restful state which strengthens your immune system. Researchers have also learned that those who adopt healthy self-care rituals also catch fewer colds, are less likely to get the flu , have fewer instances of upset stomachs and have generally lower stress levels.
“Becoming” via Positive Self Esteem
Earlier we focused on the need for and benefits of improving or maintaining a positive sense of self. Treating yourself like you matter and are valuable can silence your inner critic and discourages getting involved in negative self-talk.
“Becoming” Of More Service
Being good to yourself allows for you to find and develop the resources needed to be more accepting and compassionate. This allows you to build on your strengths and be able to give and assist more freely.
What Self-Care Is Not
Self Care is not a rationalization to become self indulgent. It is not an excuse to self medicate or escape from reality and most important Self-Care is NOT being selfish.
Selfishness is having an attitude of “me, me, me”; “I, I, I”. The selfish person consistently only thinks of their own needs and desires without consideration of others or their needs.
Self-Care allows for you to be able to have the strength dn tools necessary to be more open, to be more empathetic, to be of more service and accepting of others.
This was an area I struggled with for years. Since my innate nature is to be a nurturer and caretaker, I always felt if I put myself first or said “no” to someone’s request then I was being selfish. I could not have been more wrong.
As a result those false beliefs took their toll on both my physical and mental health, nonetheless I have recovered and am living my life as testament that it can be overcome and we can all always be “Becoming”.
Selfishness breaks down, it defeats. Self-Care builds up and empowers strength and victory.
Self-Care allows you to set boundaries to maintain your personal power and sense of identity. Another method of empowering is through affirmations.
Let go of all negative thoughts and release your subconscious to heal itself with new beliefs, foundations and visions which are positive and boldly declared as already taking place right here, right now.
To use affirmations, identify thoughts, attitudes or behaviors that you truly desire to change. Then take action. Develop positive growth focused, achievable affirming declarations. When you’re ready to put them to use, realize it will require a daily practice. No one and done, it takes work to retrain your mind and align it with your heart’s desire.
These affirmations should always start with the same two words: “I am…”
Two simple words can hold such power over our lives, internally and among the world. These two simple words give us power, direction and create focus.
Repetition of your daily affirmations allows for reminding your unconscious mind to remain focused on your goals, desires and the ultimate big picture. They also inspire the mind to seek and discover solutions to challenges that might initially appear as obstacles.
They also create higher levels of energy to fuel happiness, joy, appreciation, and gratitude which then allows for the right people, places and things necessary to achieve goals, to come to you. Removing limitations and strengthening resolve are important steps along this path we call “Becoming”.
Whether or not you realize it, you are probably already using affirmations, however most of them may not be positive. When you are affirming self critical defeatist thoughts like the following, you are bringing those experiences to you.
Stop saying things like:
- “Everything I eat goes straight to my ______”
- “Everyone is against me.”
- “No matter what I do, I will not succeed.”
So How Do We Create Positive Affirmations?
Good question. I’m so glad you asked. Here are some guidelines for creating effective affirming statements.
- Always start with the words “I am.” They are the two most powerful words in the English language and can change your life today.
- Always use the present tense.
- Always affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
- Always keep it simple.
- Always be specific.
- Always make it a call to action. Affirming is moving forward and upward now, not last week or maybe, some day.
- Always involve your positive emotions
- Always make the declarations for yourself, not others.
Do you notice a pattern here? Always. Yes Always follow these steps, follow the pattern and always be “Becoming”.
Now remember affirmations work better when they are empowered by you. They should be intensely, (sometimes painfully so) personal. About yourself. Your needs. Your desires. Your best life. Declare them as soon as you have the inspiration, then review and continue their “Becoming”
Meanwhile as we continue tweaking, fine tuning, improving, growing, learning, “Becoming”! You can use this space to put into action as your new covenants. The daily, consistent declarations of your new found truths. Go ahead and share them below, adding to the level of boldly declaring your new focus, intentions, aspirations and raising the volume on your receptivity to their success.
By the way I mentioned there were two questions I asked that no one chose to resend to. So I’ll try again.Could you take a few moments this weekend and ponder these:
- Can you love online?
- Is making a heart engagement, a soul level connection, possible in cyberspace?
Let me know your thoughts and until our next conversation, may a smile always find you.