Next Level Greatness: Your Future is Not Your Past
Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on.
~Alan H. Cohen~
Oprah Winfrey states, “The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.” Self-defeating assumptions about your past may seem hell-bent on keeping you contained to the way things are in your life. These thoughts consume the private conversations you have with yourself and the public conversations you have with others. They are reinforcing a reality you don’t want to continue to experience. And, they're disconnecting you from the innate strength dwelling in your spirit to take purpose- driven action towards manifesting the change you desire.
When you explain your circumstances from a disempowering perspective, this explanatory style can lead to learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is reflected in the belief that “whatever you do doesn’t work” according to Martin Seligman. Most voluntary behavior such as personal control is motivated by our expectations that our actions are going to make a difference in a situation. Resilient and highly successful people have realistic expectations about life. They don’t assume that everything they do will work out exactly as they hoped or planned. They see setbacks and failures as feedback about what not to do. They make course corrections whenever necessary to keep building the momentum necessary to produce the change they want.
People who are less resilient are less likely to make course corrections after experiencing a number of setbacks or failure. They take the results of their actions personally. Instead of perceiving their results as feedback and seeking wise advice from others to improve their effectiveness in producing the results they desire, they begin to agree with the belief that “whatever I do won't work.” They resign themselves to a state of learned helplessness which only demotivates them. They don’t expect their actions to make any difference. Over time, this belief causes many people to give up on their efforts to create positive change in their lives.
Stephen Covey wrote in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “If we want to make significant change, we need to work on our basic paradigms. The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experiences, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions, thereby getting a larger perspective and a far more objective view.”
The Power of Your Self-Talk
Expanding your perspective always involves expanding the story you tell yourself about who you are, who you can become, what you can do, what you are strong enough to handle and what you are worthy of experiencing. Consider the following scenario: if you and a friend are striving to achieve similar goals and both of you are faced with similar challenges and demands in life, yet each of you experience two different outcomes, one with success, the other with failure, your outcomes are different because of the approach each of you have taken towards external influences. The approach you and your friend take towards challenges and opportunities reflects the perceptions and assumptions you have about what's possible in each circumstance. The private conversation taking place within each of you is portrayed in the approach and final outcomes of your individual experiences.
Like most of us, you may have the tendency to believe everything you think without taking into consideration the underlying beliefs, assumptions and emotional interpretations influencing your thought process towards an area of your life in which you would love to experience positive change. So often, our thinking, emotional and behavioral patterns are automatic responses due to our conditioning. We rarely give attention to evidence that contradicts what we believe to be true. This is one of the primary reasons so many people live below their potential. They don't seek nor are they willing to consider that some of their beliefs and assumptions about themselves and life are out-dated or erroneous. I get that. Our beliefs create our identity. So when we begin to question our beliefs, it can lead us to ask ourselves, “Who Am I?”
Manifesting New Possibilities
This can be a good thing. When we begin to peel back limiting and erroneous beliefs about ourselves and what's possible in our lives, we provide ourselves with opportunities to discover and manifest new possibilities. Instead of waiting, hoping and wishing for change to occur, we become the initiators of creating positive change in our life. Instead of allowing our past define what's possible in our lives, we find the courage to place a greater demand on the potential of greatness that dwells within us. First, we start by transforming the word in our heart, which is reflected in the beliefs that make up the story we tell ourselves about ourselves and what's possible in life. We awaken to our power. We stop hiding. We start showing up as our authentic selves trusting that we are enough. We step out of our history and begin to forge ahead, expanding the territory of our lives while becoming a greater blessing in the lives of others. We begin to trust in the process of our personal evolution. We have the audacity to accept our imperfections and forge ahead anyway. We recognize that we don't have to be great to start, but we do have to start a personal change revolution if we are to be great. We make the choice to define, “Who am I?” based on our present needs and aspirations and not on limiting beliefs and disempowering social messages or past experiences that weaken our faith, self-confidence and courage. We embrace the power of now and begin to believe that in this moment, we have what it takes to do what it takes for us to reach our next level of greatness.
This article is an excerpt from my new book Get Unstuck Now: Changing Your Story, Unleashes Your Power to Move On and Be Happy. You can get additional information on how to transform your self-talk and tap into a greater measure of the strength that already dwells in you by purchasing my book on Amazon.com. Click here for details.
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Until next time...Dare to Be Great!
Founder, Grow Forward & Flourish
Author, Get Unstuck Now