The mind is everything. What you think you become.Buddha
In 1954, Roger Bannister ran a mile in less than four minutes. It was deemed to be impossible. The specialists at the time said that to achieve such a feat was “beyond human capability”. Despite this, Roger Bannister trained and attempted it. How did he achieve the impossible? Hard work and a belief that it could be done. When all around saw impossibility, Bannister saw an opportunity. He opted to test how true the narratives of the time were. He pushed the boundaries of belief and conquered the impossible.
The narrative of impossibility stands as the guardian to the gateway for many of our dreams. Things in life that appear impossible, remain that way because we believe they are. The narrative dictates our self-worth. Steals progress. We become paralysed by the knowledge that to attempt, is to fail. Inaction is the outcome. But look around. Take a look at the people who have achieved what you want. It is possible.
Many stood in the wreckage of a life destroyed by the effects of addiction. Each thought how the fuck do I put this together again? How do I live a life without a drug? How do I even function? This is impossible!!! But how many are there sharing their story? How many thought it was impossible but still gave it a go, only to succeed? Millions of people. Some found it impossible. Or should I say they let the narrative win? Many others stayed the course. Despite the odds being stacked against them. Each positive change was another piece of coal that kept their belief burning. It is imperative to have faith that things will work out. How do you get it?
Years of guilt and shame. Years of not being able to control your behaviour are enough to destroy self-worth. But it can be rebuilt. It can be restored. Repeat “I can do this!” Scream it. Exercise and repeat it until you believe it. Want to lose weight? The same “I can do this.” YOUR PAST FAILURES DON’T DICTATE YOUR FUTURE! You have the capabilities to do it! You just don’t know it. They got lost. The path to success got clouded by the narrative that was adopted. The one that says it’s impossible. The negative thinking patterns that limit our progress are changeable. The belief that the future will end up the way it always has creates anxiety. The ominous outcome that is predicted by the negative narrative is debilitating. Fuck that narrative. Take control.
That negative narrative will kill you. It will leave you broken and trapped. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things that can be done to change the narrative:
- List all the things you have that you are grateful for. Not superficial things. Genuine things that resonate with your soul. Love and connection. Something that feeds life. Things like food and water are often taken for granted but they are vitally important.
- This is hard but necessary; what do you like about yourself? Not superficial. Something that defines you. That gives you a connection to life. Write them down. If you can’t find something then it is time to accept that those parts of yourself do exist. It is time to shine the light on them once again. “There is nothing to like about me!” that is the narrative, not the truth.
- Set small goals. For example, to lose a small amount of weight. Or to pay off a small amount of debt. Then repeat this process. It is small steps that build to larger change. But also by achieving things, no matter how small, it builds confidence.
- Celebrate your achievements. You deserve it.
- Tell yourself you are good enough. You are capable. You are beautiful. Repeat it until you can say with conviction.
- Take action to improve the things you wish to improve. Setting goals is important. But without the action they may just remain as goals. Instead of becoming achievements.
“Strong, pure, and happy thoughts build up the body in vigour and grace. The body is a delicate and plastic instrument, which responds readily to the thoughts by which it is impressed, and habits of thought will produce their own effects, good or bad, upon it.”James Allen, As a man thinketh (1903)
In 1903 the book “As a man thinketh” by James Allen was released. Over the years the ideas have been reshaped and relabelled. In 1957, Earl Nightingale released the strangest secret. Which reignited the ideas. In modern times, terms like the law of attraction and The Secret have been reignited the belief in the power of positive thinking. The message remains the same. If we plant the seed of positivity, it will alleviate the anxiety created by the fear of failure. The mindset that something is achievable is the start of it becoming achieved. But the thought is just the precursor for the action. Thinking that something will happen, then sitting and waiting is not the way. Belief is the fuel for success. It is the thing that gets us up to go again. It is the crack of light in the darkest days that make us realise that there is a way out. But we have to put that faith in motion. “Faith without works is dead!”
Many people ask “what do I want out of life?” Which to me is a vague question. Life is made up of many parts. It is complex. The reason many people get lost in this question is that it is a huge task to try to figure out. Life can be broken down into smaller components; health, relationships, finances, knowledge, personal goals. Each one can be reviewed. They can be measured by our metric and evaluated where we are on that path. Is it okay or does it need improvement? For me, many improved with the removal of alcohol but others needed to be cultivated. By breaking them down they become manageable and more realistic. This process removes the ambiguity of the whole and enables growth through smaller steps. Positive thinking is the belief that we can achieve those goals.
In the misery of addiction, the only goals I had were 1) not get sacked for drinking 2) drink. That was it. That wasn’t my life. That was the life afforded to me by an addiction to alcohol. Sobriety became the first goal I set. “To try and stay sober!” that was the start. How? By not drinking! But it seemed impossible at the start. Unrealistic. Unachievable. Yet, I just kept going. Eventually, it became natural. I found the simple things that worked for me; exercise, connection, creativity, meditation reflection. When the gloss of alcohol disappeared it left behind the mind it had created. One of negativity and poison. Of defeatest low self-worth. That narrative is the one that destroyed me. Drove me to the gutter and kept me there. That mindset wouldn’t enable growth. It had to change. I read psychology, philosophy, self-help. I watched numerous videos on promoting self-belief. Eventually, I stood in the footsteps made by my beliefs. I walked in the shoes of the person I believed I could become. Yes, it took time. But my god it was worth it.
I believe it is available to us all. That we all have gifts and talents that are restricted by the limiting chain of self-doubt. But with a little encouragement and rewiring through changing our beliefs then we can achieve what was once impossible.
“Just because they say it’s impossible doesn’t mean you can’t do it!”Roger Bannister
Some of the darkest times in my life have led me to great achievements. Once, amid alcoholic ruin, I imagined being on a beach far away. The sun was just rising and I was happy. It was a far cry from the situation I found myself in. Years later, I was lucky enough to rent a beach hut in Cambodia. The sun was just rising. The sky was illuminated. I walked down the steps of the hut onto the beach. At that moment I recalled the visualisation from the years before. I was standing where I had imagined myself being. It had come to fruition. It had been nothing more than a comforting dream but eventually became reality. The seed had been planted. Sobriety freed me to take the action needed to make it a reality.
So try it. Listen to that inner chatter and hear what message you are repeating about yourself. Is it negative or is it positive? Is it one of love and gratitude? Or one of scorn and fear? You can change it. You can become the beautiful soul that resides within. I know you’ve got what it takes. Do you?
“If you realized just how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.”
Don’t forget to follow and share 🙂