Have you ever stopped short of pursuing a dream because you felt it was unattainable? Second guessed your abilities? These are all things far too common to the human experience. But it doesn’t have to be this way. What if I told you that the secret to achieving your success was already within you? It’s the truth. As a practicing psychologist, I am well familiar with the research. As a person who has experienced these same things, I have had to navigate these oppressive thoughts and feelings on my way to a solution.
So what is this secret of which I speak? The answer is mindfulness and self-image (Psycho Cybernetics).
Earlier in my life, I struggled with the desire to be liked by others. I often cried myself to sleep and never pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. I had big goals, but never truly pursued them wholeheartedly due to fear. It was a long process of intentionally refocusing myself that allowed me to become the person I am today.
What do I mean by mindfulness? Mindfulness is essentially intentionality with our thoughts. Are you familiar with that voice that often keeps you awake at night or breeds anxiety? This is what is known as the “thinking mind.” And it can be our own worst enemy. Its evolutionary purpose is caution. However, as a side effect, it causes us to worry about all the “what ifs” and shy away from the uncomfortable. This makes us settle for the status quo instead of pushing forward towards our goals.
However, with mindfulness, we can counter the thinking mind. We can gradually work on building our self-image. Instead of focusing on past failures, we can realize that everyone fails sometimes. It is one of life’s realities. This is exemplified by the classic tale of Thomas Edison’s countless failures on the way to producing the light bulb. Failures are expected and should be valued learning experiences. Thus, the mindful person will remain focused on their successes and their strengths. They will consistently reflect upon how they can successfully navigate situations with those strengths. Positive psychology illustrates the power of positive thinking and affirmations.
Mindfulness is not an easy process but is an effective one. Consider how you put on your pants. Which leg do you put in first? If it is your left, begin tomorrow telling yourself to put your right one in first. It will be difficult to remember at times because the left is your instinct. However, over time, you will learn to put the right in first without any effort or thought. This is the way that training ourselves to be mindful with our thoughts about our own abilities work.
Thus, I recommend following this path of mindfulness towards achieving your dreams:
1. Identify your goal(s) and write them down somewhere where you can see them daily.
2. Write steps that should be completed on the way to your goals.
3. Write the skills and experiences that you have that enable you to attain these steps.
4. Create your own positive affirmation or mantra that incorporates these things. Something like, “I am smart. I am resourceful. I am creative. I have the ability to write an excellent novel.”
This is the first step. Now, keep it up. Keep pursuing your dreams and practicing intentional positive mindfulness for success. Remember that your thinking mind is your own worst enemy in terms of goal setting. This can only be overcome through continual practice at changing your mindset and self-image. Look at you, well on your way to achieving your goals!
Photo by Juan Jose on Unsplash