Normally my columns are directed to foster youth or alumni of the foster care system, but this column is for anyone whose heart it falls upon. For the past couple of months I have been reading more than normal – which is good because my normal isn’t really often at all.
I often tell myself that I’m too busy to sit still and read a good book but I’m realizing more and more that people make time for what they believe to be a priority. So, the books I’ve been reading haven’t been the Science Fiction/Fairy tale books I’m used to reading but they’ve been books by Napolean Hill (Think and Grow Rich and Outwitting the Devil) and Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist).
I’ve also started reading a book that my dear friend gave to me for my birthday called Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I have always known that I’ve viewed the world differently than many people but through reading these books it has become clear to me why and they are beginning to unravel a mystery that I have been fighting off and on to overcome all of my life-
The mystery of the mechanics of FEAR.
I never REALLY understood the importance of “positive self-talk” and “mindset training” until now. I didn’t understand how powerful my own words and thoughts were. I look back over my life and realize that there were times that I didn’t pursue a goal or didn’t even entertain the thought of certain achievements because I held within my mind and my heart all the things other people told me I couldn’t do because of my circumstance or because of what I didn’t have or what I looked like. I allowed the opinions and the fears of others to be projected onto me and internalized. I didn’t understand that if I truly wanted something to exist for me and was determined to work to get it, it was already mine.
As I was reading “Think and Grow Rich”, I began to see that some of the Law of Attraction Principles it discussed in detail were ones I was using without knowing what I was doing.
Many people ask me how was I able to overcome transitioning from foster care without parents or strong family support. They ask how was I able to finish college, start my own non-profit, find a loving and supportive spouse, become a nurturing and loving mother, own my own home and start a for-profit business and all before the age of thirty. I would answer that I wasn’t sure. I believed that there was something inside of me that was “different”. But I was wrong. It isn’t what is inside me that is different because everyone has “it”, it’s that I CHOOSE to USE “it” that makes the difference. I achieved these accomplishments because I knew I would.
Now, I’m not saying that I knew all of these things would happen before I even thought them up; I’m saying that once it was set in my mind that I wanted to do it, I knew there wasn’t anything that was going to stop me from making it happen – not my circumstances, my background, my age or what others perceived I needed but didn’t have. I have been baffled all these years when people have asked me “How did you make it through foster care and transition to be so successful?” “What do you have that other foster youth who aren’t so successful don’t have”? “What is the secret?”
The answer is…NOTHING! THERE IS NO SECRET! Everything I have been able to do can be done by ANYONE from anywhere.
What people must do is to REMOVE FEAR from their thoughts. Stop the negative self-talk because it allows fear to live in your mind rent free.
You have to have FAITH in yourself and know that everything you need to be who you are destined to be is already INSIDE of you!
Your history, where you’re from, your family and your past circumstances are to be used to propel you forward, not keep you locked in the past and paralyzed in fear unable to move forward.
Who are you NOT to be great? Who are you NOT to be successful? Why can’t you have all that you desire?
There is no valid reason, only excuses that you feed yourself. If you are going to live the life of abundance that you deserve, you have to shift your thinking.
You ever notice that people who complain about everything only get more to complain about?
You ever notice that people who are happy and positive always have something to be happy about? You get more of what you feed the most. Most people feed their fear more than they feed their faith. They think about what they’re afraid of or what they don’t want more than they think about what brings them happiness.
Your actions follow your thoughts. It works just the same for what you’re going to eat for breakfast as it does for what you want your life to be like.
When you wake up in the morning, one of the first things on your mind is what you’re going to eat. You’ll think about what you have in the fridge and how you’re going to satisfy your hunger, probably before your feet touch the floor.
Every moment after that your actions are leading up to making sure you eat what you have set your mind on. It’s natural.
This is the same process for your life!
When we are children, we think about what we want our lives to be like when we grow up. We dream about the kind of house, car, job and family we will have and we get excited.
As we get older something happens.
We allow the old stale and dream deprived opinions of others to influence our thoughts. As our thoughts change, so does our opinion of what he can have and what we deserve. We begin to allow fear and doubt and the comfort of the mundane to inhabit our minds. Once there all of our actions follow, only to produce more of what we have lowered ourselves to believe is possible. It is a vicious cycle that only YOU have complete control over. It’s not your environment. It’s not what happened to you when you were a child. Now, I’m not saying that these things do not matter as they influence your development but ONLY YOU determine HOW.
You have control over whether you allow your past and your current environment to influence your perception of yourself in a negative aspect or in a positive light.
Yes, I was abused physically, sexually and mentally as a child and I am still working through sorting the emotions that come with it but I can guarantee you that those emotions that do not suit the life that I want for myself will be discarded just as quickly as they come.
There is no room for FEAR and negativity in my life and I will do all that I can to nurture the FAITH, PROMISE and HOPE that occupies my mind space.
You have a CHOICE to make. You have EVERYTHING you need to make this decision and to manifest all that is good because you are deserving of it. SAY IT: “I deserve ALL things good and beautiful!” If it hurts or you feel foolish saying it, YOU HAVE WORK TO DO!
When was the last time you said such positive things about yourself and what you deserve? If it’s skittles and rainbows and sunshine and apple pie you want and it makes you happy, YOU DESERVE IT! It is yours just as soon as you realize that you already have it.
When I began to realize this, the fear of not being good enough or not being able to achieve my most elaborate desires began to melt away. I can do anything. I will be successful in ALL that I do. Just as the Earth doesn’t worry about whether the sun will rise or the seasons will change, I will not worry about my place in this world. I know that I will use all that has been given to me to bring all that I want TO me.
The moment you SHIFT your thinking from that of all that you’re afraid of to all that you hope for and have faith that you will achieve it, your actions will change. Old bad habits will be broken and new healthy ones will form.
Your actions will begin to produce fruit instead of despair and your belief in your gifts will increase. The more your belief in yourself increases the less space fear has to occupy your thoughts.
You will begin to notice that everything you touch prospers because you expect it to.
Remove the negative people from your circle and replace them with people whom you admire, want to be like and who motivate you. Do not entertain negative conversations. Do not let anything in your space that does not feed your dreams and aspirations. You have control over whom and what you allow in your presence. USE it!
You say 2015 is going to be better than last year. You say it’s going to be the best year yet.
Well, make sure it is. Make sure it isn’t like the last 5 years that you said were going to be different but they weren’t. It is not going to miraculously happen. You actually have to CHANGE and it starts here. I believe in you. Do you?