First part of Chapter 1 of RTP, still Day 2.
“You can learn to be loving and consistent. You can learn to appreciate yourself. Depriving yourself of happiness is a form of self-abuse and self-neglect. You may currently be doing to yourself what your parents unjustly did to you, but you are not powerless over change. You can learn positive steps to retrain yourself and break self-defeating habits.”
“Focusing on childhood experiences can be helpful when identifying deep-seated issues, however, these issues are sometimes used as an excuse to avoid change and rationalize self-sabotage. Each of us is responsible for breaking the cycle of abuse in our own lives. We do this by deciding not to abuse ourselves anymore.”
When asked to outline the self-talk preceding self-sabotage, Sheri’s workshop participants wrote things like: “Can’t you keep on track?” “I’m not smart enough. Why am I so stupid, dumb, and bad?” “You can’t do it. You’re never going to change. What makes you think it’s going to be different?” and “You’re kidding yourself. You’re a fool.” Sound familiar? Does to me.
In completing the sentence, “A self-defeating belief I hold on to about myself is . . . ,” participants wrote things like: “I’m intrinsically defective.” (my personal favorite:) “No one is interested in what I have to say. I’m not good enough to let other people know me” and “I don’t deserve a mate who is kind, generous, and loving in my life.”
“Some forms of self-abuse are blatant, such as compulsive overeating, self-inflicted violence, smoking, alcoholism, or other addictions.” I know several people who are addicted to people, bad characters. They cannot be alone and they always choose someone who they know will harm them, physically and/or emotionally, and they allow them to continue. They scrape the bottom of the barrel for these pieces of trash, because they believe they don’t deserve better. They think they are trash themselves. Perhaps this is you. Going into it, maybe you think “If I just love them enough, I can change them.” Let me tell you one truth that I am 100% sure of: You cannot change anyone else. The only power you have is over yourself and you can only change yourself. Just as no one else can change you, you cannot change them. Sure, you can make an impact on their lives but it is up to them to choose to change, or not.
Other forms of self-abuse are less obvious. Do you pamper yourself with shopping sprees or special foods? “It may only be when you find yourself overweight and in debt that you realize the consequences of your behavior. These extravagancies are sometimes self-abuse in disguise.”
Just as we have learned to believe we are “no good” and treat ourselves as such, we can also learn to believe that we are capable, competent, worthwhile people. “When this becomes our truth, the self-defeating behaviors will lessen.”
Take a moment and think about how many years you’ve engaged in self-defeating behavior. How many years have you drilled it into your head that you are dumb, stupid, lazy, etc.? How long have you talked yourself into believing you’ll never amount to anything? From this moment on, I want you to keep track of how many minutes, or hours or days you can tell yourself good, positive things. Tell me some of these. Here, I’ll help. “Because I am awesome, I can do anything I set my mind to doing.” “I accept myself. I am me and there’s only one of me; nobody else like me. And I’m a great me.” Cheezy? I know. Sometimes we have to be. 😉
“Many forms of self-sabotage have an underlying theme of fear, impatience, or perfectionism attached to them. Each of these character traits can be modified with positive self-talk, goal setting, and consistent, positive action.” Set a short-term goal. Take baby steps to reach it every day. Such as “walk for 10 minutes today, focusing on tightening my butt and pace my breathing,” or “journal for 10 minutes today, writing about every positive thing that happened around me and in me. What do I like about me?” Leave a comment and share your goal with us if you feel inspired. You might have a goal or set of actions that takes a little longer. A short-term goal is anything you want to happen anywhere within one day or 6 months time.
Sheri talks about who self-sabotages and why. I’m not going to go into the history of our lives talking about why our parents did what they did and why we have done to ourselves what we think we deserve or how badly we are treating ourselves and why. We need to understand this: What’s past is past. We cannot undo the past. We cannot change the past. We can only see ourselves now for what and who we truly are at this moment. We can change these upcoming moments in how we treat ourselves and see ourselves. Who are you? What kind of person are you? Who do you want to be? What kind of person do you want to be? These are the questions you need to focus on. Start talking yourself up as if you are great and deserve great things and do great things for others, then do it. Quit living in the past and get on with your life. Has blaming others really gotten you anywhere? No. Bitterness and being sour with your life and being unhappy is not what you truly want for yourself, so it’s time to make a few changes, starting now. You are an awesome person. I know it and maybe there’s a spark somewhere down deep inside you that says “maybe I can be an awesome person.”
So, quit living to please everyone else and find out who you really are and what you truly want. This is your life. (Thinking of the song, This Is Your Life, by Switchfoot. “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?”) No one else has the right to live your life except for you. That’s why God gave you this life – for YOU to live it. So, quit being a people pleaser, learn to say no once in a while and do something because YOU want to. Quit being afraid to rock the boat. Quit trying so hard to be socially acceptable or worry about making someone mad. Learn that money is a resource. It is a tool. We have to pay the bills with it. Do not go after it to make you happy. It won’t.
Stop feeling pressured to pay attention to what the media tells us is acceptable. The magazines, tv, movies and songs know nothing about who you are and what you want. Happiness is not about attaining a certain standard of beauty. That’s only skin deep. Our looks are going to fade with age. You should focus more on what’s on the inside – that’s who you are. Nothing’s wrong with wanting to look and feel better and live a healthier lifestyle, but do it for the right reasons.
“In our culture it has become commonplace to associate success with money, awards, and achievements. There’s rarely mention of happiness, being true to one’s self, or even being honest and moral in most definitions of success. Success in our society is generally seen as outward attainment.”
“This book is not about success for the sake of looking good or keeping up with the Joneses. It’s about inner success. It’s about following your heart, letting go of negativity that stands in your way, and allowing your innate talents and skills to shine. Sometimes as a result of acknowledging your true self, you will make more money, have more friends, find the mate of your dreams, and all that other good stuff. However, when outward success becomes your primary focus, there’s a tendency to move away from your true self.”
“If you were in charge of writing a dictionary definition of success, what would you include? Is it possible that you have been trying to live up to someone else’s definition of success? Writing your own definition can help empower you to live by your own standards. It’s also likely that using your own definition of success will alleviate some of your feelings of failure.”
What did you come up with for your definition of success?
All homework for today is underlined. 😉 Make it an awesome, positive, inspired Friday. You’ve got the powa! Ok, now I’m singin’ C&C Music Factory. I’ve got the power!