Life is a mirror
Posted on 15th February 2017 at 07:45
You may have heard this saying before or one like it. On one level is sounds so simple. Easy to apply. However it also conceals much greater truths.
Even so it’s amazing how many people say they understand it – on an intellectual level – but don’t then apply it. Somehow it applies to everyone else but not them (!).
Now we appreciate that some people will dismiss this as being far too new agey – “peace, love and pan pipes, man” – but, bear with us, it does make a lot of sense.
Not only does it help explain why you encounter certain things in your life. And so gives you the power to change them if they’re not to your liking. But also why some things seem to keep happening over and over again. And who hasn’t experienced that?!?
While it may go against the message being repeated over and over again in the media – or by government – we’re each responsible for our own lives. We’re incredibly powerful and can literally create the life of our dreams. Or our worst nightmares.
While this can sound like an impossible burden to carry, it comes with a set of tools to make the whole process much easier. The problem is that most people don’t even realise that they exist, let alone told how to use them.
At its simplest, what you experience may just be reflecting your own behaviour. How you’ve treated other people or go about your day.
Perhaps you’re so busy rushing from one thing to the next that you’ve been rather short with people. And that’s what you’ve experienced in return, albeit from another source.
Or you’ve driven rather aggressively, only to find yourself carved up by someone else a little further down the road.
Whether you were aware of what you were doing or not, you’re still receiving the same feedback. And it doesn’t matter whether this is how you usually behave – your default behaviour, if you like – or was completely out of character. So, often, all that’s needed is a simple recognition of what you’ve been doing before returning to your normal behaviour.
Going a little deeper, life may be reflecting back your own beliefs – and expectations – about yourself or those around you. As your beliefs determine how you behave, you’ll still receive the same message, but a little more digging will be needed to understand it.
So, going back to the first example, you may not have short with people because you were rushing. It was because you believed – or expected – the people you came into contact with to be unhelpful. “All shop assistants are unhelpful”.
Now that you’ve dug a little deeper and found the belief underpinning your behaviour, you can ask yourself whether it’s really true. And this is probably the first time that you’ve ever really taken a look at one of your beliefs. Seen what it is and put them under the spotlight. Asking whether it helps you or makes your life easier?
If it doesn’t, you can simply decide to replace it with a new – more helpful – belief. “I usually find shop assistants helpful”. “I always find a helpful shop assistant.” You get the idea.
Similarly, if driving aggressively is your default driving technique, then you need to ask yourself “why?” Perhaps you believe it’s “survival of the fittest” on the roads. So, ask the same questions. Does this help me? Does it make my life easier?
And, if it doesn’t, to replace it with a new – more positive – belief. “I usually find other drivers courteous.” “I find driving relaxing and enjoyable.”
As soon as you start to look at your behaviour, and any beliefs that may be underpinning it, you’ll find that your experiences change.
Life will start reflecting back a different picture to you. Shop assistants will tend to be helpful, drivers courteous. Life flows much more smoothly. And, on the odd occasion you do have a negative experience, you can use it to check in on how you’ve been behaving.
Whether one of your old – unhelpful – beliefs have made a reappearance.
Once you start to look within for the answers, you’ll quickly realise that you’re the common denominator in everything that happens in your life. It’s only when you truly accept this that you can start to move forward. And, very quickly, your life will improve and you’ll start to feel more in control of it. More powerful.
You’ll also realise that you’re never stuck. You’re just repeating the same behaviour – or relying on the same old beliefs – over and over again. And now it becomes blindingly obvious that only you can do something about it. You’ve moved from victim mode – “why does this always happen to me” – to taking control of your life.
And here’s an interesting little wrinkle you may come across. And that’s when some positive behaviour or event annoys you, instead of eliciting a more positive response. Perhaps it’s that a person is too helpful or too kind.
Why is this? Well it’s still highlighting one of your beliefs but, this time, one that you’re not quite ready to change. So you’re stuck somewhere in no man’s land.
When you start to dig a little deeper you’ll find this belief doesn’t feel good, but you’re still resisting changing it. And that feels really uncomfortable. So you need to keep digging and find out what’s blocking this change.
Perhaps you’d like to be more helpful but believe people will take advantage of you. And now you’re aware of this you can decide whether you want to continue with this belief or change it to one that helps you. Say, “I enjoy helping people who appreciate what I do.” It really is that simple.
As always, the choice is yours.
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