The stories you tell about yourself become self-fulfilling prophecies. They drive your behavior, influence how others respond to you, and either empower you to achieve your dreams or place unnecessary limits on your potential.
Let's look at an example. Imagine that you are a high school student and you tell yourself this story: "I am not very good at school."
This belief would make you feel insecure and anxious in the classroom, which would likely make you reluctant to participate, as well. This would cause your teachers to judge you poorly and give you lower grades, which would corroborate your belief in your academic ineptitude.
All this would probably make you less likely to try very hard at your schoolwork, which would further perpetuate the cycle.
On the other hand, if you told even a slightly more empowering story, the cycle would perpetuate on a more positive track. Imagine if this were the story instead: "It sometimes takes me longer, but I always figure it out."
Daydreaming offers a chance to believe that your desires are possible.
When we first have desires, they can feel out of reach—too big to even hope for. Daydreaming allows you to expand what is possible and explore those kernels of passion you have stowed away in the deep recesses of your heart.
Every great athlete imagined standing on the podium receiving a gold medal. Every great musician imagined playing in sold-out concert halls or sports arenas. Every great actor imagined giving an acceptance speech at the Oscars.
There is power in imagining that a dream could possibly come true. Daydreaming is a building block of believing, and when we believe, we take steps toward making our dreams come true.
We live in a time when we are attached to devices that ensure we never have to be bored, but this means we never daydream. This means we cannot hear our Inner Wisdom or tap into our inner sense of creativity.
There is a...
Some activities make us feel empowered, strong, and happy. Others drain us. And it might seem obvious which activities are which, but sometimes, you will find that you are surprisingly disempowered or drained by activities you initially engaged in to feel relaxed.
Here are two examples: Watching television and spending time on social media.
If you watch television to relax, make sure that you haven't started watching shows that make you feel anxious. For example, I stopped watching the nightly news years ago because I found it depressing and anxiety-producing. Now I get my news from other sources that do not make me feel so disempowered.
If you spend time on social media to feel connected, make sure you aren’t engaging in arguments that leave you feeling disconnected or angry. Some people thrive on political discourse, for example, and there is nothing wrong with that. But pay attention to whether your time on social media leaves you feeling empowered or disempowered. If you...
No two people are alike. Everyone has a unique combination of strengths, interests, and values.
Resilient people believe that they (along with everyone else) have the potential for greatness. After all, if no one else is like them, they have something unique and valuable to offer the world.
Be developing their personal strengths, pursuing their interests, and living in alignment with their personal values, they own their potential and live up to it.
The problem is, people often spend more time comparing themselves to others and trying to be something they’re not than they do developing the things they are naturally good at and the things they are actually interested in.
Instead of deciding for themselves what kind of greatness they want to be, they spend their time trying to measure up to someone else’s standards of greatness.
When your kids realize that the things that make them unique are the very things that will propel them to...
We all get to choose the beliefs by which we live. In fact, changing beliefs that aren’t working for you can be one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and one of the most empowering skills you can teach your children.
Let’s talk about what beliefs are. Beliefs are thoughts that we have decided are true and immutable. We have many thoughts over the course of the day.
In the morning we might have thoughts like, “This day is going to be great! I’m going to get so much accomplished. My kids are so sweet, and I love them so much.”
But by the end of the day, we might have entirely different thoughts: “My kids are driving me crazy. I didn’t get anything done. This day was lousy.”
Our thoughts vary based on our mood and circumstances.
Beliefs, though, are thoughts that persist. Beliefs are the thoughts that we have accepted as true, that we have collected evidence for, and that we use to make...
Consider the messages that kids get about “controlling” their emotions …
Before they can truly be in control of their emotions, though, kids need to learn something that most adults don’t even know ...
They need to know what causes their emotions.
Most of us think the situation causes an emotion. If we are bored, for instance, we think it is because we are stuck in our homes and forced to social distance.
But the truth is that it is not the situation that causes us to suffer. It is our thoughts about the situation that cause us to suffer.
Let me repeat that: Our thoughts cause our emotions.
For example, imagine that your friend snaps at you.
If you think, “Wow, my friend must be having a bad day. This situation is tough, and we are all having a hard time,” you will likely feel...
Here is a tip for helping your children build healthy, resilience-based paradigms about money:
Replace "We can't afford it."
This phrase, and the belief it expresses, sets up a paradigm of being powerless with regard to money. But if you frame your spending decisions as a choice, you take your power back.
Instead of saying, "We can't afford it," try, "I am not going to choose to spend my money on that today."
Sometimes, you actually can afford it; you simply don't want to spend your hard-earned money on the trivial or useless thing your children is asking you to buy.
If you say, "We can't afford it," you are wasting an opportunity to say something that proactively builds a better paradigm about the relationship between values and money. More on that in a bit ...
Even if you truly cannot afford it, saying that over and over to your children build a disempowered model in their heads of your family relationship with money. It communicates that you are never...
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