I’m pretty sure that throughout our lives, we’ve met different kinds of people who have inspired us, taught us a lesson, gave us joy and love, taught us humility, made us angry, made us sad or made us wonder. We’ve met people who have the drive, visionaries, dreamers, hard-working people, people who excel in whatever they do, and honest ones. Some are on the opposite spectrum, like those who are dishonest, cynical, lazy, complacent, abusive, and selfish. For some of us, we have experienced being on both sides of the spectrum. I certainly have.
There have been specific points in my life that I was cynical, angry, jealous, dishonest, complacent, selfish. I had consistently fed my subconscious mind with negative thoughts that manifested in my whole being. I once remember discussing with my sister about the financial difficulty we were facing with our business. I was so upset that I blamed it on everything and everyone but myself. The conversation was rapidly turning into an argument. I turned my back to avoid the issue instead of resolving it because I knew it would turn sour. As I was about to go up the stairs, my sister stopped me and said something I would not forget. She told me to stop being negative because it affects our business. She further said that I must always think of positive thoughts to bring in good vibes.
It took a while for me to change. What was planted in my subconscious for a long time has deep roots. It’s like when we are taking the weeds out from our garden. We know that it’s always hard to pull out the weeds that are deeply rooted and overgrown. Over time, my behaviour and attitude have become unbearable to the people around me and myself. I also recognized that I was not thriving, and it made me feel unfulfilled.
I later realized that my stagnation and negativity are by-products of two factors: staying in the COMFORT ZONE and my EGO. I have been lingering too long in a level of my life and career that I didn’t want to change because I know deep inside that to change means I have to experience some discomfort. To change means that I have to learn something new, which would require time, effort and attention.
I had a big EGO, too. But what I discovered is that I was trying to hide my inadequacy with my ego. I was arrogant enough not to acknowledge my mistakes. I was not asking for help or advice, thinking that I would be deemed stupid and lacking in skills. My ego was my mask. A mask that hid my true self – a scared person, hurting, desperately needing help.
Many of us wear masks every day (and I’m not talking about facemasks here). We don’t show our real self for fear of being seen as weak or inadequate, and may not be accepted for who we are. Don’t get me wrong – some situations warrant the wearing of our masks temporarily. But wearing our masks for a long time can be suffocating. There will come a time when we need to get a whiff of fresh air. We need to set aside our ego to open doors for us to grow. We need to come to a realization and awareness that things need to change for us to grow. And that change must start with ourselves.
It took humility and courage to recognize that I have to change my story to change my life. I made a conscious decision to change, which led me to the other side of the spectrum – I became more positive, joyous, grateful, honest, kind, compassionate, driven, confident, calm and energetic. It was not an easy shift. It involved a lot of discipline on my part first to change my mindset. I was comfortable with my old habits and attitudes, even if they don’t serve me well. But with the change came success at work and business, peace at home, calmness amid challenges, and I attracted successful people in my life. My purpose and goals became more precise and attainable. It also opened the opportunity for me to become a coach to inspire and motivate others to discover their full potential.
In the process of breaking free from my old self, I went through these significant steps towards a transformation:
- DEVELOP A NEW MINDSET. In a magazine, I once read that where we live every day is not in a physical address, but instead in that space between our ears, our brains. Our brain houses our mind, and the mind is the brain in action. Our mind is composed of our subconscious mind and conscious mind. The subconscious mind is like a garden – whatever you plant in there, it will grow. Eventually, our subconscious dictates our conscious mind and influences our behaviours, reactions, character and personality traits. Isn’t it scary that if we continually harbour negativity in our subconscious, that those thoughts eventually influence our personality? So if your subconscious is full of weeds (meaning negative thoughts), you have to remove these weeds and consistently plant flowers (positive thoughts). I always and diligently do my prayer of gratitude, meditations and practice self-affirmations each day, at the first hour upon waking up. I also listen to motivational speakers on youtube and podcasts. Why do it on the first hour upon waking up? Because our mind is in the Theta Phase when our brain produces waves that experts believe are important for processing information and creating memories. So, when we take care of our thoughts first thing in the morning, we are also taking care of how we will respond to different situations during the day and take control of our future. A healthy mind creates a healthy life.
- MOVE OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND MANAGE YOUR EGO. As I have mentioned above, staying in my comfort zone and having a big ego brought me stagnation. Take courage and take the first step out of your comfort zone. It may be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk each day to be healthier. Or it may be taking courses to develop a new skill. Condition your mind and focus on the result. It will help you persevere and grow. Also, manage your ego and be honest with yourself. Remove the mask and practice authenticity. The more you hold on to a big ego, the longer you are in stagnation. Humility and gratitude allow one to grow. Think of them as fertilizers to the beautiful garden you’re trying to cultivate in your subconscious mind. Assess yourself and identify areas where you need help to flourish. This may involve seeking advice from well-meaning friends or family members, collaborating with colleagues or even getting a coach or a mentor.
- SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE YOU TO BE BETTER. Nothing can stunt growth faster than being in a circle of negative people. Have you experienced sharing your dreams or a recent success story to somebody you consider a friend and the first thing they say is, “I don’t think that will work.” or “You don’t have what it takes to achieve that.” or “Are you sure that it’s because of your work that it is successful?”. How did you feel when you heard these words? Painful, right? Some people will not be happy to see you flourish, and by getting out of your comfort zone, you are making them uncomfortable. You are part of their comfort zone that you are disrupting it when you decide to better yourself. When you notice that your circle is not inspiring you, have the courage to get out. Surround yourself with people who have the drive to succeed, the purpose of inspiring others, the intention to make this world a better place to live. You may ask, “Where do I find these people?”. Here’s what I can say based on my experience – the moment you change your mindset and develop higher self-worth and purpose, you will attract people that are at the same or higher level than you are. The universe works that way. Whatever we focus on, that’s where the energy flows (Tony Robbins).
Exciting opportunities await those who dare to break free from the old, those who adapt positivity in their lives, those who are always grateful for every blessing, those generous in giving of themselves, and those whose faith remains strong.
YOU ARE THAT PERSON. I believe in you.