Overcoming insecurities and removing external definitions

Typically, we all get defined by our loved ones as we grow up.  You know, those comments that end up defining you as the talker of the family or the neat freak or the nagger, and so on.  While these traits can be a part of who you are, they don’t have to define you in such a way as to make you insecure or self-conscious.  Yet, they do affect each one of us in a way that makes us justify or excuse our behavior in numerous circumstances.  If it only stopped there that would be fine, but these definitions of us also end up affecting what we do or don’t do.

When you’ve been told for most of your life that you’re a certain way (whatever the traits and behaviors you’ve been ascribed) you also think that maybe you can’t do something because of it, and this is where these external definitions stop you from doing something.  But the little component that stops you for good is you, which is why you need to remove these external noises.  The only way you’re going to do this is if you stop thinking these traits are something you need to remove or something that need to be justified.  So, how do you do this?

For starters, recognizing that many of the definitions (vices and virtues) of you come from others.  By others I mean loved ones and guides.  This includes parents (first and foremost), siblings, teachers, friends, and colleagues to name a few.  With this knowledge, you can now move on to recognizing when you’re getting on your own case because of something someone else has told you is a “bad” thing or is something that could be avoided.

We all have had these situations where we stop ourselves or think about something we’re doing in a way where we make an excuse and justify why we’re doing what we’re doing.  It’s in these instances that you should remember that the only reason you’re justifying yourself is because someone has told you that you do this too much or that you should stop doing this because it’s not a good thing.  You become self-conscious and this makes any insecurities you may have regarding yourself that much more present.

This heightened insecurity then brings about a feeling of lack or not good enough or maybe just a tiny doubt about yourself; no matter how big or small, it stops you from being yourself 100%.  You hold back because you have your loved ones’ repetitive voice in your head telling you to get rid of that habit, to stop doing that thing, or just that you’re too much of this or that.

Once you sit down with yourself and ask if you’re ok with being that “too much” or “too little” then it’s up to you to come to your defense the next time your insecurity arises and you hear those voices, those comments, that allow doubt to creep in.  Stop in that moment and remind yourself that you’re ok with that trait, that you accept it and it is others who are different and that this is ok.  It’s ok to be different and at the end of the day, the comments that these loved ones have made are based on their personalities, their perspective, their behaviors.

Another thing you could do in addition to helping yourself overcome these external definitions and stop having them hang over you and keep you from being you is to in turn stop doing this very thing to someone else.  If you define your loved ones or anyone and tell them why they shouldn’t have that trait or that they have too much of that trait, remember how you feel about this exact same situation and keep the comment to yourself.  Instead, be encouraging to them and help them to be themselves 100%, all the way, with no shame and nothing that needs to change.

How have you worked through external definitions of you and in doing so helped to eliminate your insecurities too?

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Moving beyond positive and negative judgements

Moving beyond positive and negative judgements

Along this journey called life there are some that have a positive outlook, while others a negative one.  Even though I use these words, I do not believe they embody the true essence of what a positive or negative outlook entail.  Actually, I don’t believe they embody much, except for an initial thought that can bring about further exploration into that outlook.

For now, our world has a pretty dualistic view of things, this view stops at the surface of things and situations; it does not pursue the depth of each situation for each unique individual.  Humans, society, the world have had to find ways to group people, things and places so that we can function as a whole.  It’s hard to get anything to work without a system, without definitions, and decisions.  However, the reality is that each human being is more than just the words ascribed to them from the vocabulary established so far and from our dualistic system (good/bad, positive/negative).  Behind anything that happens there is much more than a positive outcome or a negative outcome, then good or bad.

Although there are many who still find comfort in dualism and do not venture off to talking about life in a way that tries to see the full depth of the situation or person; I also find that there are many who do see that there’s so much more that meets the eye when it comes to people and life.  Just look at how many are turning to meditation, the rise of leaders who are spiritual in nature (Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Gregg Braden); by spiritual I don’t mean religious, but I mean those who are talking about humans and that deeper level that was pretty much hidden from us until now (hidden from the media and from our human eyes).

It is not positive or negative, it is not good or bad, it is more about encountering something you didn’t expect, it is more about feeling weighed down and like you have no escape from a situation, it is more like feeling there isn’t a place for you, it is more like trying to figure out how to feel secure and at ease when there are so many unknown factors ahead.  It is more about uncovering your purpose, meaning, and achieving things you hold in your heart.

I’ve never believed in good and bad, just different, more pleasant or less pleasant, choices of love or choices of fear.  Obviously, this type of thought doesn’t resonate with everyone and that’s ok because it’s not about bad or good, or positive or negative, but it’s about how you can overcome your frustrations, fears, weighed down feeling and get out of a rut if that’s where you’re at.

The reality is that those who believe they are chained down to and by the events and circumstances that happen to them aren’t reading this blog, they’re not even exploring such notions or if they are, they’re finding it very hard to believe that we, humans, have a choice and aren’t chained down to anything, but what we choose to have us chained down.

Those individuals with a negative outlook aren’t negative per se; they are simply weighed down by events that come their way.  They feel there is no escape and they’re stopping at what they see as their proof of that.

And they will say to someone who tries to tell them to believe that everything will work out, “I’m being realistic, stop dreaming.”

I’m sure you’ve heard that time and time again.  There is no changing someone’s outlook on life and their experiences, to someone who is in that negative mindset you can only offer unconditional love and support; as long as they don’t start imposing their challenges on you and stop you from pursuing your own inner growth and happiness.

 It is not right for anyone to impose their way or view on someone else or think they need to convince the other of their view because that’s what will bring them happiness.  Each individual has a journey and if they choose a negative outlook that is their choice, it is not up to anyone to judge it right or wrong.  And if you really want to help, then love and support are the only thing that will provide some comfort to those individuals.

For those who are struggling to believe in life and trust that everything will be alright and that these moments of discomfort are opportunities for inner growth, harmony and happiness; I say to you, it’s a process.  Up till now, we’ve been wired (so to speak) to see things as good or bad, to judge and categorize humans, identity, and things into sets of right and wrong.  To reach your balance, to lift that weight, you must start releasing these old ways of seeing things and the only way you’re going to do this is by applying your new found thought process to situations of discomfort, to situations and people you judge, to anything that comes your way and that you cringe at.  These are your opportunities to explore yourself, pursue inner growth as you do this, and rewire your brain to stop seeing only two sides of the coin, but instead to see the depth behind the surface of each situation of each individual.

It is known that each of us on earth is simply trying to pursue happiness, to understand our purpose, to reach the highest potential we can that makes us feel we are expressing everything we feel we are everyday of our life and in everything we do, and to live a good life.  When you start looking at the world from the depth that it is made up of, instead of stopping at the surface, then you will have begun an amazing journey that will also help those around you to catch a glimpse (at the very least) of the beauty that life entails.  There are no real chains, just our own chains.

What do you think about positive and negative outlooks?  About the dualistic view the world applies to things, events, people?

Wednesday Wisdom Tip

Wednesday Wisdom Tip

#WednesdayWisdom Tips

For Wednesday Wisdom I thought I’d share a tip I find helpful in inspiring and uplifting my days.  Since #WW takes place on a weekly basis I figure I update this blog post with tips when they come to mind.  If you’d love to contribute your wisdom tips too, leave them in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list (with the appropriate attribution of course).

So here goes… Wednesday Wisdom Tips

  1. When something upsets you, take a deep breath and think of one thing you’re grateful for (if you’re alive and healthy you’ve already got two things to rejoice); doing this should help you turn that frown right back up into a smile outside and inside!
  2. When the day is done, right before you go to sleep, think of one thing you’re happy you did today.  Then think of one thing you’d like to get done tomorrow and why it means so much to you that you get it done.
  3. What is one thing you know you have when a day has passed?  Simply put, you have life.  When the end of the day arrives, look back at all the moments you lived that day and pin point one of your favorite moments for the day.
  4. Your outlook on life can take different turns as you explore the experiences you live day by day.
  5. In those moments of drained energy, those tiresome days, take a minute and redirect your focus to a moment you recall where you were at your best.  Feel the energy of that day and let it help you get through this one.
  6. The struggle is real so long as it is in your head; for the mind has limitless potential in what you can see, if only you choose to dive into the different possibilities.
  7. What makes the process challenging is having the patience to let it take its course.  All needs time, and when you remove the expectation of a set time, this stops you from feeling weighed down and allows you to enjoy the process.
  8. Create your own boxes for you because at the end of the day, you’re the person you’ll be answering to when it comes time to how you feel about something and how you live your life.
  9. If you find yourself in doubt about something, focus on the one thing you are sure about, and ask yourself to truthfully answer how certain or afraid you are about the thing you are doubting.
  10. Listening to yourself is important, but so is seeing with the eyes of others when trying to truly understand them.