Everyone has challenges and negatives in life. We all have our shadows and voices. I know that because you are human.
Past experiences and environmental programming have left a residue in you that can continue to affect your quality of life and your ability to be the amazing person you are meant to be.
We all have them. Doubts, fears, shame and defenses in place to manage them. They are the dreaded flaws that we try so hard to hide, hoping they are gone and that nothing will bring them up again. If we all have them, why do some people seem to have success in life and others don’t? How do some people continue to grow and advance while others stay stuck?
It isn’t because some people are smarter, more educated or luckier. They think differently. You have the seed of potential in you to be just as successful and awesome, but do you find that success seems to slip through your fingers? Why is that?
While there is more than one factor, I want to talk about one today that I believe can make a huge difference in your life on all levels. It’s the negatives, limits and blockades to being your awesome self. Yea, I want to talk about the negatives, not the positives. That may seem weird, but stick with me!
A commonly held belief is not to focus on the negative and only allow the positives to be your focus. We have affirmations, mantras, positive thinking which I am a big fan of and yet there is another side to it. For success to happen you have to have your whole being engaged, not just the positive places. Whoa. Did I really say that? Here’s why this is important. The yin and yang of energy make up the whole and both serve a purpose and yes the negative serves a purpose. It’s how you manage those dark places that makes the difference in what you experience in life and how that goes is totally up to you.
In recent years we have all heard not to focus on the negative. I agree. It is not healthy to focus on them constantly, but ignoring and burying them isn’t healthy either. And here is another news flash, just focusing on the positive doesn’t make the negative go away, at least completely. They linger in the shadows and sabotage your efforts to be the best you can be and they do it very effectively, causing you to repeat patterns in relationships, emotions, finances, career and life in general.
If you don’t want to be a ruled by your shadows, you must disable them so they are not there waiting to defeat you. By burying them you allow them to fester, grow and come out sideways despite your genuine effort to change. The more you clear are, the more whole you are.
Have you ever noticed yourself repeating the same thing over and over, even when you know you don’t want to? Those patterns don’t repeat because you are lazy or stupid, they repeat when the residue of that negative shadow shows up and gives you the same thing, no matter how hard you try to be different. Unchecked they create patterns in life.
Being wiling to look at and be aware of the source of the patterns is the first step to freedom. It takes a lot of courage to be aware of your shadows, aware of your patterns, aware of your fears and most of us don’t do it. We have perfected the practice of distracting ourselves so much that we are too busy to attend to those places that we are afraid and ashamed of and yet that awareness is exactly what allows you to break free of them. Understand that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges, they just don’t have to crush and dictate the life you live.
When you use the be positive strategy you choose to ignore what is real (how I am feeling and thinking), push it down and pretend like it isn’t really there. Just mask it with something positive and it will go away.
That is like deciding to be positive and believe that a leak in your roof isn’t there. If I ignore it it will stop. If you do you that you better have buckets ready to catch the water the next time it rains. It’s like having a splinter in your finger but deciding you don’t. You can see it but you choose to ignore it. That doesn’t work long and it affects your life a lot, even though it is really small.
I am going to suggest another way because after years of using the be positive strategy and struggling to believe it, I gave up. Why? Because it made me mad. When I was positive and still I had to use the buckets to catch the rain, I was angry. Why didn’t this work? I tried so hard to be positive and here I am still cleaning up a mess and even worse, it’s one I’ve cleaned up before. Something had to change.
Now I use the “dare to discover” strategy. When you bravely take a look and find the source of the mess and fix it, heal it, change your beliefs around it, your experience changes. Just ignoring the symptoms doesn’t get rid of the source. When you dare to discover what is behind them, what is going on, what makes me do this over and over, what am I allowing to stick around and affect me, then you have the info you need to change at the source.
When I starting using this I discovered something amazing. The source of the problem is really there to teach me something. It can be a gift (if I let it be) and ignoring it prolongs the patterns I want to stop. No matter how bad the source may feel, it can be shifted and used to grow. Really.
Allowing yourself to pay attention to the patterns and cycles you want to end, gives you the information you need to shift them. When you allow yourself to observe your behavior and follow it down to the source you have the opportunity to release it. (BTW, if you limit your ability to feel the bad, you limit your ability to feel the good too). It is not a mistake that you have feelings, just that you don’t listen to them.
Logically the negatives feel like your enemies since they stop you over and over or keep you caught in a never ending circle of defeat. That will continue until you choose to shine the light of truth on the shadows and break their power over you. The fear has grown because you have allowed them to hang out for so long and given them permission to hide. In essence you are continuing to give them their power by not calling them out.
I honestly think people are ready to be real and are strong enough to see the source of the negatives that are dug in. I think people are longing to let it go, but aren’t sure how. Successful people in life are dealing with their negatives challenges and changing their beliefs around them. Just shifting to the belief that problems are there to help you, not ruin you makes a very different life for you but it means bravely looking at your own stuff, your own negative thoughts and patterns that keep reoccurring in your life, learn what they have to teach them and let them go.
For example, you may have recurring failure in relationships. You choose the same person over and over in a different body and experience heart break again and again. Until you look at why you are choosing that person you will keep doing it. What is driving you to make that choice? When you figure that out, you can make a different choice.
When you are willing to shine the light on those places that keep sabotaging you or limiting you, you will see a whole new world. I believe when you are truly real and honest with yourself first, and brave enough to go to the source of your “leaks” you can create a very different life for yourself.
It takes courage to face the grizzly bears in your life, but living with them is even harder. You probably know what those bears are and you may need to change, you may want to change…but until you choose to change, it is just a desire.
As long as you hold at bay those things that you don’t like about yourself or perceive as negative, you allow shame to reside within you. Shame goes to the heart of who you are and causes you to believe that there is something wrong with YOU. Shame is a personal attack on yourself.
The negatives can be changed. The limits can be lifted, but only when you know what they really are. What is behind them? Are they true? Do I want to continue to believe that or can I choose to make a change?
When you choose to believe that those dark places can change, when you let light shine on them, you are half way there. You can gather the information you need to banish them once and for all.
And remember to be kind to yourself. Where you are in life has been years in the making, and the unraveling of these patterns is an ongoing process. The first step is to shift your beliefs about the negatives is to get familiar with them. Can you let go of the need to punish myself for things you did or didn’t do? Can you let go of the need to blame others for where you are? Is it possible that these patterns are gifts to show you that you have so much more potential than you can imagine, no matter where you are. If you are just willing to consider that, not necessarily believe it yet, you open up the space to see another way.
Cindy Hudson coaches and supports women to build successful relationships in love, family, and friendships by loving themselves, trusting themselves and being themselves. Using her creative tools, The Tree of Me Discovery Process: Finding Myself in 3 Hours or Less, Getting Real About My Dreams: The Down and Dirty Reasons Your Dreams Don’t Come True and How to Change That, and The Big Idea Playbook: Mapping My Big Idea From Thought to Reality, Cindy guides women to open up possibilities through creativity, mindset shifts and intentional behavior in order to confidently create the relationships that honor and support her to become all she is meant to BE.