As we embark on another New Year, many of us have established goals that we want to accomplish in the next twelve months. These goals range from losing weight, being happier, saving money, making more money, starting a business, positioning our businesses for greater growth, going after a promotion, doing work that we’re passionate about, spending more time with family and friends, stop smoking, unplugging from technology, accepting and loving ourselves, giving back to our communities to working harder and making every attempt to not screw up this year. There is no doubt that the achievement of any of these goals would greatly improve the quality of our lives.
A Recent Study on New Year Resolutions
According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8 percent of people are successful in the achievement of their New Year’s resolutions (goals). Now, if I hadn't developed the mindset to know that this study is only a reflection of the people who participated in it, therefore a truth of their reality and not mine or yours, it could easily impress you and me to think and believe that there is no hope for us to take action towards improving our lives.
How Our Models of Reality Shape Our Lives
The truth is, each of us are operating in this world based on our own Models of Reality. Our Models of Reality reflect the beliefs, opinions, perceptions and assumptions that we have been conditioned to believe in order to make sense of the world. In other words, our Models of Reality reflects the story that we are telling ourselves at each moment about ourselves and experiences. It creates the lens by which we perceive ourselves, other people and experiences.
Because of social conditioning from the moment we were born, many of us reached adulthood believing what we were told by those in authority over us as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And the truth is, in many cases, some or all of what we were told and conditioned to believe about ourselves and life reflected the limiting beliefs of those who had authority over our lives.
Therefore, the story that we tell ourselves about who we are, what we are smart and strong enough to handle and what we’re worthy of experiencing in life often requires constant revisions in order for us to champion the fullness of our potential and live a life that inspires the best in us.
This is not to say that everything we believe has to be challenged. On the contrary, when our core beliefs inspire, encourage and empower us to grow and contribute in ways that add to our well-being then we should build upon these beliefs. It is the limiting beliefs that discourage and disconnect us from our personal power and freedom of choice we need to demonstrate a concentrated focus and energy toward transforming to achieve the goals we desire to accomplish.
What You Think About Yourself Matters
Why is this important? Because we never rise above the way we see ourselves. Nor will we pursue experiences necessary for the accomplishment of our goals if we don’t believe we are worthy of the goal. We may succeed at accomplishing an awesome goal only to sabotage ourselves because of limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves. Have you ever had this experience? I sure have. And as a result my courage and confidence diminished toward getting back up after the setback.
Fortunately, many decades ago, I began a journey that would lead me to the understanding that I've come to about how the stories we tell ourselves either empower or disempower us. In my latest book, Get Unstuck Now: Changing Your StoryUnleashes Your Power to Move On and Be Happy I share several personal experiences that forced me to raise my awareness of how the scripts playing in my mind were creating the limitations in my life, not my circumstances. Life challenged me to accept living below my potential or transform my thinking. I chose to transform my mindset and as a result began to do the work required to put a greater demand on the seeds of greatness in my potential. This shift in my thinking and the story that I was telling myself about what was possible in my life, despite my mistakes and imperfections, led me to change the trajectory of my life, the life of my children and achieve award-winning business leadership success.
Life Hits Me with a Sucker Punch
Six months after my first GM’s promotion, my life was forever changed as a result of the unexpected death of my fourteen-year old son, Blease on August 22, 1995. He died from cardiac arrest. My son’s death ushered me into a mental and emotional hell I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. For three years after his death, I continued to tell myself the following stories, “I’m not strong enough to handle the truth of my feelings about Blease’s death.” “The death of my son is going to lead to my demise, after all, my mother only lived nine-months after my brother Arthur was murdered.” In my 13 year-old mind, I’d attributed my brother’s death as the cause of my mother’s death. I believed at the time that it was too much for a mother’s heart to bear. Thus, the death of a child became my greatest fear. The stories that I began to tell myself after my son’s death reflected this fear stored in my sub-conscious. In other words, my 13 year-old mindset was dictating my response to my son’s death. I was 33 years-old at the time of my son’s death.
I made every attempt to resist the truth of my feelings which only led to major health issues, creating a wedge in my relationship with my daughter, Dee and my feelings of powerlessness. In spite of the success I was achieving as a GM of Marriott’s Fairfield Inn in Wilmington, NC, my “strong, black woman” social mask began to crack under the pressure of resisting my truth. When I resigned from Marriott, I made healing my heart wound my #1 priority. I no longer wanted to live my life in a state of quiet desperation. I no longer wanted to suffer in silence. I decided being angry with God had served no good purpose. I prayed to God to show me how to help myself.
My prayer was answered a few weeks later on October 12, 1998 when I saw Jo Ann Compton on Oprah. Jo Ann shared her emotional anguish over the death of her daughter in front of millions of viewers. My heart went out to her. I understood her pain.
Dr. Phil was a guest on the show that day and he challenged Jo Ann to focus on the 18 years her daughter had lived instead of focusing all of her focus and energy on the day she died. I had an Aha-moment. I’d been so focused on my son’s death that his beautiful life was in some ways being devalued by my response to his death.
On this day, I sensed a glimmer of hope in my soul. I didn't know exactly the specific actions I would take to heal my heart wound, I just knew deep within me that with God’s guidance and my burning desire to rise above my pain I would somehow figure it out.
The Answer to Our Challenges is Often within Us
During the period of time after my son’s death and before seeing Jo Ann Compton on Oprah, I started to identify with the disempowering stories that I was telling myself about my inability to move beyond the emotional pain I was feeling from the loss of my son. Identifying with disempowering stories about ourselves and experiences disconnect us from our intuitive wisdom and personal power. I say that because I had the answer to rising above this circumstance deep within me as a result of overcoming my mother’s death when I was thirteen.
A Proven System for Happiness and Success
Without concern for managing a million dollar plus business, I began to practice mindfulness meditation which allowed me to “tune-in” to what I already knew. This practice enabled me to become conscious of actions I’d taken over the course of my life since my mother’s death to overcome adversity, rise above daunting odds to create my award-winning career success and develop the grit it takes to challenge self-imposed limitations.
These steps, which I’ve termed the My DRIVE Advantage™ empowered me to heal my heart wound and reclaim my power. I share the inside-out framework of proactive steps with the belief and intention that they can serve as a guide for helping you develop the mindset and behavioral habits crucial to the achievement of your goals.
The My DRIVE Advantage™ reflects a system of actions that when consistently executed over time will empower you to identify internal blocks and resistance to the happiness and success you desire. The first two steps help you achieve private victories while the last three steps help you develop effective strategies for producing results key to the accomplishment of your goals.
Today, it serves as the framework from which I help individual and group coaching clients identify and overcome internal barriers while developing a strategic plan that champion the strengths and smarts already dwelling within them to focus on effective actions toward the manifestation of new possibilities in their lives.
Champion for Your Success
Author Bio: Jackie Capers Brown is the CEO of Positive Change Coaching Solutions. She is an author, motivational speaker and Mentor to Game Changers. Feeling stuck? Move forward empowered by the My DRIVE Advantage™ Strategy. Start to manifest new possibilities in your life. Wake up feeling good about yourself and life. Read Jackie’s latest book,