Stop. Stop thinking for a moment. Then, read this post. 😉
When was the last time you tuned out outer world and just listen to your inner voices?
When was the last time even your inner voice discourage yourself from being fantastic?
I know a friend who was trying to shut out outsiders’ discouraging opinions about her, either it was that her dream job was unreachable, that she will need a long time before trying that career out, that she was not fit for the job, and so on. She excelled in doing so but still has not reached her dream.
Staying away from the discouraging opinions from others may help us being more confident of ourselves and enable us to take a leap of faith. However, sometimes the enemy is not on the outside. It is inside. It is our own mind.
Have you ever heard yourself saying “I cannot do it”, “It is out of my league”, “I am not cool/brave/smart/etc. enough”?
It is a lot harder to break through boundaries made by ourselves than it is to eliminate outside voices. It is because our own opinions are by-products of our experiences, of what we did and what we learnt from others, since we’re little up to now. Count the years and you’ll see why it’s harder to beat the enemy inside than it is to beat the enemy outside. Compare this: someone suddenly said that you are dumb (while you know that you’re smart) vs. you said you’re dumb (while others never said so). Which one do you think will stay in your mind longer? For me, it is the latter.
I can think of two methods on how to defeat our own mind. One of the methods is by being mindful. The other is by asking our dear and respected ones what they see in us.
Method no.1, being mindful, is when we attend to everything we do; being focused. An interesting approach to mindfulness is covered by Chade-Meng Tan in his Search Inside Yourself. To have our own mind supporting us, we need to know when the mind is not supporting us. By then, we will have the power to analyze the condition and “fix” it. Try to find some time when we could sit freely, free from any worrying thought, being quiet inside. Let our mind wanders (if needed, ask our mind why we have negative thought about ourselves). While doing so, always be aware of what our mind. By practicing more, we will be able to recognize our mind’s pattern and let our negative minds go.
Method no.2, listening to our respected ones, needs us to be quiet, to be receptive of the good or not-so-good input. Although I believe they will try their best not to hurt us (if we have some areas that need to be improved), we will still feel slightly hurt when someone said something bad about us. The purpose of this activity is for us to know our own blind spot as we cannot see ourselves 100% objectively. There are always some spots recognized by others that we have not realized yet. There might be some strength that we have not realized yet!
By doing both methods, we are building virtuous cycle for ourselves. We look positively at our own experiences while we seek good quality opinions, from ourselves and others, to enable ourselves of having great experience.
In response to Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence
Kindly give comments, of how I could improve my writing skills (the topic, the way I deliver my short opinions, etc.).