Several of my top questions for my maker, when I meet Him, are these: “Why did you make the little voice in our heads so un-empowering? Was it a design flaw? Or was it intentional to make us muster faith and strength to generate power and positivity in our lives?”
That little voice in our heads serves many purposes. It is our intuition (“I don’t think that person fits in our firm”), our warning system (“I smell smoke”), and it gives voice to all of our fears, worries and inadequacies (“I’m afraid I’ll sound stupid if I share this idea”). That little voice also hatches plans, ideas and visions for what’s possible in our future, but the problem is that this voice too frequently focuses on the negative and generates uncertainty and doubt that holds us back from our true and absolute potential.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., we also have a plethora of negative, fear-based external messages bombarding us in the form of 24-hour news stations and other forms of media that seem to dig for the worst in others and publicize it broadly and repeatedly. These negative messages generate disappointment in others, fear for our safety and economy, distrust in other nations, and real concern for the health and well-being of this Earth. These news stations have managed to make the weather, even on a clear day, “must-see TV” and have caused many to thrive on and share the most fearful and negative information with each other as “normal” conversation. We have been, and are being conditioned to be, negative and dramatic to get attention.
I, for one, am sad about our willingness to waste time generating fearful, negative thoughts and messages and wish for myself, for you and for our nation that we would each begin to generate a positive, solutions-based vision for our futures. I believe if each of us operated from faith in ourselves and others that we could accomplish incredible feats – but we have to first get over the deafening defeatist messages that we say to ourselves (in our heads) and that we allow others to plant within us. Consider shifting away from this fear-based, negative way of being and:
• Take a break from 24-hour news – even the evening news and newspaper. Consider taking a 1-week sabbatical from your usual media outlets. Use the time you would normally spend reading or listening to the news to read something that will center and empower you like Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophecy, or Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. I realize you may feel you have to wait until after the election to do this, but that’s only 6 days from now, so calendar your sabbatical to begin November 5 and notice the difference in “weight” you feel when you take a break from this negative noise. I’ve been doing this for years and get my weather forecasts from my husband or www.weather.com and my news from other web outlets or news magazines that I feel are less inflammatory and dramatic.
• Say positive things – to yourself and others. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Whenever a negative thought concerning your personal power comes to mind, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out.” When you are getting ready to complain or say something negative, think about how you can phrase the idea more positively or generate a solution to the problem you were going to point out. If you’re afraid you won’t perform well at something, instead of giving those fears a voice, consider instead expressing all of the things you can (and will) do to ensure that you succeed. My mother’s saying is, “If you can’t say something positive, don’t say anything at all.” How well are you adhering to that advice?
• Engage in various centering techniques to overcome fear and generate positive thoughts and visualize successful outcomes. My partner, Tamera, wrote a blog entry on October 15, 2008 that explores the power of visual imagery as a way to achieve results and overcome your fears. Other centering techniques include meditation, prayer, saying an affirmation over and over (it worked for The Little Train that Could and it will work for you, too!) and good old fashioned goal setting, too. For some of you reading this blog, your inner voice just said “oh brother!” – which is exactly the kind of cynical self-talk I’m referring to!
So, what other ideas do you have to maintain a positive outlook in your life and in your workplace?