The more I discover about myself, the more at peace I am with myself and I can guarantee the same will happen for you. Writing articles for E-HIS. ca has caused me to research new ideas that I am reading about in Marcia Wieder’s book Doing Less and Having More: Five Easy Steps for Achieving Your Dreams. As I am discovering, the more we know about ourselves the more confident we become. When you recognize your weaknesses, you actually become stronger. When we begin to understand why we operate the way we do it gives us choices on how to change our ways of operating to help us move forward in our life.
When operating any business or even in everyday life the more we know about our habits and patterns the easier it is to choose what options we will act on. Many times we make our lives more difficult and lose our energy because we are following unhealthy patterns and/or habits. According to Wieder, there are numerous ways we make our life difficult, but the top ten common ways are as follows:
- Vagueness – If you don’t know what you want, you can bet that others won’t know what you want either. People will not know how to help you. When you are unable to be clear about what you want or what you are doing it leads to confusion and self-doubt. To help yourself make decisions, make a list of pros and cons for decisions you are struggling with. Set a deadline for when you want a decision to be made by to help yourself from waffling back and forth and never making a decision. Many times fear is what is causing you to be stuck in indecision and sometimes the only way to deal with fear is to push past it and meet the situation head on.
- Reacting without thinking-Have you ever jumped full into a project and regretted it later. Enthusiasm or moving too quickly without thinking is the opposite of vagueness or the inability to make a decision. The best place to be is if you can find the balance between the two extremes. When asked to do a project, check in with yourself first, evaluate your needs first off before giving of your own energy to help someone else.
- Believing what you see and hear- Everyday people are bombarded with information coming at them from all directions. Everyone is willing to offer an opinion on what they think you should or should not be doing in any given situation. You cannot believe everything you are told and you cannot please everyone when making a decision. To try to will only lead to confusion and unrest in your soul. The only way to be at peace with yourself is to know yourself. Live according to your own convictions and have the courage to stand for what you believe in. You can be open to new input from others and see things anew, but have the courage to disagree with information that you feel is invalid.
- Automatic pilot-Sometimes we are operating according to habits or behaviours that are no longer useful or effective but that is what we have always done so don’t know how to change them. Many times we don’t even recognize that we are just following old habits. Habits are hard to change but rely on others to point out where you are stagnant and need to change. Wieder states, “If you are hearing the same feedback often- say three times or more- take a good hard look at what’s being said.” Reevaluate, try something new, start small, be open to new ways and your confidence will grow.
- Complaining-Marcia Wieder states that “If we take half the energy we use to moan, groan, and complain and direct it into achieving our hopes and desires, our lives will look completely different…Complaining is a waste of energy.” In support groups they often recite the serenity prayer – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.” The complainers prayer would be – “Change what you can, release what is not needed, accept what you are able to accept, and get into relationship with the rest of it.” So many times people are just complainers – they don’t want to do anything different. Are you willing to take action to change things? Be open to new ideas and act on them so that you can effect change.
- No action-Often we know what we need to do but we don’t do it. This leads to us becoming stagnant. Taking actions changes things. Taking action usually produces new ideas and new resources. To keep a dream alive we need to move forward. Break down your big dreams into smaller projects and move forward.
- Blind faith-Be careful that you are not living life from a naïve place. Do you want something so badly that you have disconnected from reality and are making bad choices and decisions? Remember to listen to your internal guidance system. Act on your inner wisdom and it will build self-confidence and self-trust.
- Expecting the worst-What do you expect from life? Do you expect life to let you down or even to knock you down? Do you live your life in fear? Fear paralyses – immobilizes – kills your dreams! When you go through life expecting the worst it drains your energy and kills your dreams. What if you went through life expecting the best? Usually life ends up somewhere in the middle? Explore new options and make new expectations. Notice what you are doing so you don’t sabotage yourself. Above all else – laugh – have a sense of humor- it is useful when changing a behaviour, habit, or belief.
- Searching for something that doesn’t exist-When you are following a dream you can make plans and strategies to make the dream a reality, but you cannot do that with a fantasy. Embracing a fantasy is self-defeating and will set you up for failure. When you are seeking something, define what it is, where it can be found, and who can help you get where you need to be.
- Withdrawing or isolating-Sometimes in our lives we need times alone to rejuvenate but make sure you are not just withdrawing as an avoidance technique. People in our lives are essential and useful to help us become the best we can be. We need to have a support team who can help us when we are stuck, help us solve a problem, or just help us when we are in need of support. Other people are essential on our journey.