Negative Labels and Limiting Beliefs

Unique TwinsThis week I tuned into Joel Osteen’s television sermon about getting rid of negative labels. It spoke to me so much that I took notes, thinking that I’d get around to writing about it here.

So on what’s left of this Christmas Day/Evening, I am appreciating the way that Joel Osteen and others can deliver a message about a familiar topic in a way that it speaks to me in a new or renewed way. I always love Joel’s sermons as they are uplifting, positive and inspiring. I really love that he starts out with a joke, too. As a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, I am very aware of the value of laughter: it truly is one of the best ‘medicines’ out there.

But this post is about appreciating the message he had in this sermon: that of ridding ourselves of negative labels, often spoken (either directly or implied) to us by others in our lives. Then we embrace these labels to the point of making them our own “story” about ourselves. Below are some of the quotes from his sermon.

“You cannot stop the negative comments. You can’t prevent the negative labels, but you can choose to remove them.”

“Words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they will take root and become what is said.”

“The only power that that label has over you is the power that you give it.”

“The real battle is taking place in our mind.”

“Nothing that was spoken over you has to define you – even if it was from people who raised you.”

“You are not who people say you are…Hurting people end up hurting other people. Bitter people are quick to stick on those negative labels.”

So in other words, we have the power to choose to think and feel differently than any negative label has over us. It is in our hands. If we buy into the negative label or image of ourselves and keep repeating it, it does take root and becomes a belief that limits us. Limiting beliefs are often there because we feel we’re not deserving or worthy in some way. The negative labels are just examples of limiting beliefs like: others are better than us, that we don’t have what it takes to succeed, that we’re not good, pretty, handsome or smart enough, etc…The key to understanding how limiting beliefs restrict us from living life to the fullest is that they are not who we truly are! We are not defined by these negative labels. We are all worthy and deserving and we all have unique gifts and purposes in life. So look inside yourself for your own inner beauty and discover your gift to this life that you are.

Today I appreciate Joel’s sermon for reaffirming that message. I appreciate people like him and the venue he has to reach so many people through his ministry. It is truly a blessing and I imagine that there are others out there who were touched by his words of encouragement. If not, I don’t think he would have a ministry that is so large.

I am grateful today. I appreciate positive messages that change peoples’ lives, from different people who deliver the messages. The world is full of many “teachers” and I appreciate that as we don’t all learn in the same way. We are unique and need diversity to thrive. No one “label” fits all!

I am particularly appreciating my own knowing that I can choose to change any belief that may be holding me back from my highest potential, too. I appreciate that I have the tools I need for myself and to help others in getting rid of these limiting beliefs and creating new ones that are positive, loving, inspiring, uplifting and fun.

Now that’s a good thing to celebrate as I end this year and get ready for another!

Advertisements

Appreciating The Contrast – Day 14

Focus is possible through contrast

Today’s appreciation has to do with the law of attraction. The law of attraction works, whether or not we focus on what we want or we focus on what we don’t want: we get what we focus on. And we get what we focus on, whether we’re consciously creating it or just living life, reacting to events, people and circumstances. When I talk about focus, I’m not referring just to your thoughts, but also your feelings as we’re really talking about energy. So when you focus on being well, for example, but worry inside because you’re sneezing and fear you’re catching a cold or getting the flu, you’re really focusing on what you don’t want. Guess what happens? You likely will get that cold and end up in bed with the flu!

Contrast doesn’t have to be “bad,” but often we focus on what is unwanted because it doesn’t feel good. Unwanted contrast truly serves as a tool to clarify and focus on what one really wants. When you’re sick in bed with the flu, you really, really want to get better. Those desires are great, but if you keep reminding yourself of how sick you feel and tell others about how awful you’re feeling, you’re not aligning yourself to becoming better.

So as crazy as it sounds, you get what you want when you learn to focus and appreciate the contrast (the good and the bad). You learn to let go of “what is” and appreciate it because you know that something so much better is on its way.

So today, I’m appreciating the contrast. Contrast such as:

how sickness reminds us to take better care of our bodies, or can serve as a reminder to self to S-L-O-W down and relax

the confession from a child that s/he broke a favorite family heirloom as an appreciation of telling the truth (and our great relationship with the child who felt comfortable confessing)

rain on a picnic outing for the value it brings to making things grow (and appreciation for the shelter at the park where we can still have our picnic)

the loss of a job to help us focus on pursuing a better job or our own business

a family crisis for the appreciation it brings in bringing people together and strengthening ties

an earthquake for the appreciation of new buildings designed to withstand earthquakes, the emergency-preparedness of the community, the people who come together in times of tragedy, the emergency workers and the opportunities to re-build in new ways.

Tragedies serve to remind us to appreciate what’s important: people, our pets, the joy of life and being present.

In times of appreciating great unwanted contrast, others may feel that we are not truly caring. But appreciating unwanted contrast is truly caring: it’s caring about how we feel enough to not re-tell the unwanted contrast story that digs a hole of pity and sorrow so deep that we become depressed! It’s caring in a way that helps us find peace with where we are right now.  In doing so, we are offering ourselves and others a focused energy of appreciation, peace and love in being OK with “what is,” as we anticipate better times ahead.

NaBloPoMo, Snails, & Appreciating Illness

Today I’m beginning my November month of blogging everyday as part of the NaBloPoMo’s challenge. I’ve done this before. Last year, I wrote on 2 blogs everyday during the month of November.  But this year I’ve decided that it was not in my self-interest to over-commit myself, so I chose this blog. After all, this blog is the “youngest” of my blogs and doesn’t get a lot of love from me often. Yet the topic is so important: appreciation is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and others. So in a way, this is an act of self-love on my part: I’m not over-extending myself with a 2 blog commitment like last year and I’m giving this blog some extra tender care, which means more TLC for me. (Yes, what goes around, comes around.)

To start my 30 day “blogging for blogging’s sake” challenge, I decided to appreciate illness. I imagine many may be shaking their heads about that as an appreciation topic today. Why would anyone want to appreciate illness? As someone who understands the law of attraction and as a deliberate creator, I know the opportunity that “contrast” brings for better things. “Being sick” is a contrast I don’t intend for myself, but I recently experienced it and I’m grateful. Let me explain.

Photo courtesy of http://www.pdphoto.org/

I had a cold for about 10 days and stayed home for only one day in that first week (but ended up working all day), only to find myself out a couple of days the next week (plus a visit to the doctor) because I had a re-lapse. It was nothing serious, but it certainly did drain my energy. Having no energy and sleeping most of the days really was a wake-up call that I needed to slow down and get more rest!

So I was reminded of a snail, who by human standards doesn’t appear to move very quickly, often pausing for long periods of time before inching onward to a new leaf. Being sick is a reminder to be like a snail in that respect: slow down, take my time, pause, rest, then slowly move on again. My sickness and probably what created it (lack of self-care, over-working, little sleep, etc.) really emphasized how much I want to be well. It also served as a reminder to take better care of myself: by loving myself enough to say “no” to the increased demands in my professional life, by taking time for “me” everyday, by getting enough rest and making room for plenty of fun in my days as well.

So even though I hated being sick, I can sit back and appreciate the illness as it made me more aware to be present with myself each day: to take time for self-care and love.  In doing so, I can detach myself from the illness: see it as a catalyst for personal growth and change and appreciate it for creating wonderful wellness and healing that leads to more good things down the road.

Life is full of contrast and if you can recognize  the beauty of the contrast you’re in by finding an appreciation for it, it will open up wonderful, new opportunities and experiences later on. So while I probably won’t slow down as much as a snail, I can pause and be present in a spirit of appreciation and love, which creates excitement for what’s to come. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Until tomorrow,

Barbara