The mind is everything. What you think you become.
What Prevents You From Fulfilling Your Greatest Potential?
We're all interested in getting the most out of life. Even the most disgruntled, disengaged person would like to feel useful and satisfied.
But what prevents us from fulfilling our greatest potential? A bad boss or uncooperative co-workers? An unsupportive partner or troubled teens? Too much responsibility and not enough control? Getting laid off in a poor economy?
While these, and other factors can serve as obstacles, they are not what holds us back. Our beliefs do.
Colin Rose in his book, 'Accelerated Learning", told of a newspaper story with the headline, "Man Freezes to Death in Refrigerator." While the headline wasn't unusual, the circumstances were.
When rescuers found a man locked in the refrigerator car of a train, although he had all the physical signs of freezing to death, the freezer had never been turned on, and the weather was warm. Freezing temperatures didn't kill him. His beliefs did.
Picture the man when he first climbed on board. As he stepped into the refrigerator car, he thought he found a safe place to rest. As the train started moving he took a closer look, realized it was a freezer unit and wanted to get out. But when he tried the door it was locked. Panic set in.
This is not unlike how you might get locked in and die on the job. When you first come on board, you have great hopes. But as the job picks up speed, you take a closer look and discover you feel boxed in -- the workplace is so cold. You think about getting off the fast track, but discover you've been locked in by family responsibilities, a depressed economy, or no time to look for a new job.
Your beliefs can tie your hands with invisible threads, preventing you from taking action in a bad situation.They can make it difficult for you to see you have options. Your beliefs that box you in can kill your motivation, and prevent you from getting on with, and enjoying your life.
Beliefs Can Be the Keys Unlocking the Doors to Your Success
But your beliefs can also be the keys unlocking the doors to your success and satisfaction.
If you're dissatisfied in your job, relationship or life, you can do something about it ~ but only if you believe you can. If you've lived your life believing 'things happen by accident', or 'control is out of my hands'--it may be a difficult leap in belief. But you can do it.
Your Ability to Actively Choose Your Way in Life Changes with Practice
According to Erich Fromm, author of the timeless classic, 'The Art of Loving', our ability to actively choose our way in life changes with our 'practice of life'.
"The longer we continue to make the wrong decisions," Fromm said, "the more our heart hardens. The more often we make the right decision, the more our heart softens --or perhaps comes alive."Practice making the right decisions -- the ones that increase your self-confidence, and foster a belief you're in charge of your own life.
Change when you're ready. If you want to hate your job or relationship, or blame your current situation on others, go ahead. Hold on to those beliefs until you're ready to let them go. When you're ready to have a satisfying job or life, take steps to change your belief about who's in charge.
Stop Blaming Others. Your boss may be rotten, making your job difficult; and you may have family responsibilities and bills to pay, making it more difficult to quit. But when you blame others for your unsatisfying job, life or situation, you're saying you don't have control or choices. Don't limit yourself. Don't box yourself in.
Take responsibility. When things happen, practice acknowledging, 'I am responsible for what happens to me now.' There are bad bosses and bad parents. People do take advantage of others. They can devastate and lower your self-esteem. But ask yourself what you can do to gain back your sense of worth.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."If you're held back by things that happened long ago, get counseling. If you're being held back by things happening now, get coaching. Care enough about yourself to face the difficult issues directly. When you're ready, let go of a bad situation, and get on with living. Put yourself in charge so you're free to fully pursue a fulfilling and satisfying life.
You are not responsible for the way other people treat you. But as an adult, you are responsible for the way you treat yourself. Look for ways to break free when you feel locked in by your beliefs.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Where in my life could I practice making the right decisions?
Where in my life have I given someone else control over how I feel about myself?
What steps could I take today to open up options for myself and to make me feel good about myself and my direction in life?