What you think about yourself is vital to your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.  What you think about yourself is proportional to how race, socio-economic class, gender, and  level of education are interpreted in the society in which you live.  Another very important factor is how well loved you were as a child.

All of this cultural and personal “stuff” has created an unconscious image that you refer to as your “self. ” How you interpret this “stuff,” either as positive or negative, will determine your personal level of happiness.

Over-coming the belief that you are powerless in the face of external circumstances is the most difficult aspect of any spiritual or self-development path.

Perhaps you were not well loved as a child, you live in a culture where you are considered a second class citizen, or you are hungry for food, shelter, warmth, love.  Your external reality may indeed be a source of pain and suffering.

However, the question you need to ask yourself is this, “Am I going to continue to be vicitmized by being in mental agreement with what my parents, society, or circumstances say about who I am and what I am capable?  Or am I going to live an empowered happy life?”

Here are three things you can do today to change your thinking and empower yourself:

1. Listen to your thoughts and challenge your negative beliefs.  Ask yourself, “Is this thought serving me?”  “Is it empowering?” “Is it helpful?”  If not, then consciously choose another thought that does serve you, that is empowering, that is helpful.

2. Read a short story about a person who has overcome a similar circumstance.  Then tell yourself, “If she could do it, then so can I.” Keep this story handy so you can look at it when you feel unsure.

3. Take one situation that isn’t working the way you would like it to, and re-write it to reflect how you would like it to be.  In this re-write paint yourself as the hero, say what you  want, do what you need to, and be the person who triumphs!

Shanti, Shalom, Peace

Photo Credit: Ben Blennerhassett