Would you like to discover the power to create the life you want rather than the one you have settled for? You may be surprised to learn that you already have considerably more power than you may have realized, and the source of that power is already within you. Last week's article on perpetuating your own problems set the table for this discussion by focusing on the omission side of creating your own life circumstances. Voltaire's famous quote, "Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do," helps point the way in terms of thinking about what you might have done in your life contrasted with your actual choices along the way.
Choosing not to do something, as in Voltaire's focus on good not done, is a choice in itself from which consequences appear, or, in this reference, fail to appear. Failure to choose or act proactively often leads to people blaming someone else for their negative circumstances rather than acknowledging their own role in the outcome.
Of course, many people struggle with the failure to choose because they can't see a way to produce that which they truly want in life. The primary challenge, as noted in several earlier blogs, is that you can never get enough of what you don't really want. Even if you get that one clear, you may still be struggling with how to imagine the real possibilities of improved circumstances, much less the actual choices you will need to get there.
Last week, we addressed the core premise that how you respond to the issue, is the issue. Obviously, you are going to encounter unanticipated circumstances in your life, many of which will have negative attributes. The more you let the circumstances take over, the more trapped you will feel. The more you feel trapped, the more limited your thinking and perspective will become. The more you tell yourself that there's nothing to be done, the more evidence you will find that you are trapped. Sound familiar?
If you do even a little research into how your brain filters information, you will discover all manner of evidence that your brain filters information based on the perspective or focus you choose. Just look at your own life experience: Haven't you ever told yourself something like, "This is really bad?" No sooner did you tell yourself this than your brain found even more evidence of just how bad it is, and then your brain screamed at you: "OMG, this is worse than I thought!" And worse it gets. The only problem here is that telling yourself that it's worse than you thought doesn't mean it's actually worse, it's just that you begin to create an even worse experience of the circumstances.
Unless you are the quintessential fear-motivated person, harping on how bad something is will not move you very far in terms of taking positive action.
This is where the power within comes into play. Actually, it already was in play the moment you told yourself that things were hopeless and getting worse. You shut your brain down every time you repeated that story line to yourself. If you can make the subtle shift from how it's bad and getting worse to something along the lines of "I may not like it now, but it will get better," your brain will fall into line and start looking for evidence that there is a better way.
The Power of a Positive Focus
By holding a positive focus, you can begin tapping into a deeper power or ability to create the life you want rather than the one you may have settled for. However, there's a huge gap between simply daydreaming about a better life and doing the work necessary to turn your imagination into reality.
From my own life experiences, I know all too well the challenges of holding a positive focus in life, whether from experiencing family bankruptcies while growing up, being homeless for a time, or having business opportunities melt during tough economic times. Along the way, I learned that holding a positive focus is an invaluable key to overcoming adversity. Invaluable is not the same as easy, however.
As we dig into this deeper power to create the life you want and the role of holding a positive focus, you might want to read an earlier blog of mine titled "Why Positive Thinking Just Doesn't Work." Obviously, positive thinking on its own won't produce very much, but positive action will, which begs the question: How do you take a positive action without a positive thought in the first place?
How Micro Steps Help Get You on the Way
As you practice holding a positive focus, your brain may only come up with a couple of micro steps at first, and micro steps clearly won't take you from zero to hero in one sudden leap. Micro steps just get you moving. Much like driving a car, it's a lot easier to steer once you are moving. In order to get anywhere meaningful, you also need to have some idea where you are heading. So, start with that positive focus of an improved experience of life and take whatever micro steps you can.
As you begin moving, keep reminding yourself that you are moving and that things are becoming just a little bit better. From there, you will then find your brain filtering in more opportunities, more choices, and more micro steps that you can consider taking. The more opportunities and choices you perceive, the more your mindset will begin to shift from bad and getting worse to good and getting better. And the more you make that inner shift, the more you will find yourself making real world choices that begin adding up a real difference.
There's a lot to this notion of the power within, more than can be addressed in a simple blog post, but hopefully you are glimpsing the possibilities.
I would love to hear from you so please do leave a comment here or drop me an email at Russell (at) russellbishop.com.
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If you would like to learn more about the spiritual or soul-centered aspects of this power within and explore techniques that can help you create more of the life you want, please join me Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m. PDT, 8:30 p.m. EDT for a free tele-workshop, "The Power Within You." To register for this free event, just click here or paste this link into your browser: http://www.msia.org/info/tele21. I will be leading this live, interactive telephone or Skype audio workshop, basing much of the session on the book, The Power Within You by John-Roger.
If you want more information on how you can apply this kind of reframing to your life and to your job, about a few simple steps that may wind up transforming your life, please download a free chapter from my book, Workarounds That Work. You'll be glad you did.
Russell Bishop is an educational psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant based in Santa Barbara, Calif. You can learn more about my work by visiting my website at www.RussellBishop.com. You can contact me by e-mail at Russell (at) russellbishop (dot) com.
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