Today, I’m going to tell you about when I discovered the secret to true power.
Unearthing this secret to true power started me on a path that completely changed my perspective on life...
So let’s see if it can help you too.
Because even though I feel confident today, it wasn’t always like that.
For me, my 20s were so emotional...
I was trying so hard to fit in, to be liked and to be part of the “in” crowd...
And the drama. Don’t get me started on the drama!
I say that but I know that from the outside, people thought I had it all together.
I always had a smile on my face, was always laughing and having fun.
But on the inside, I was a bit of a mess...and I hid my messiness extremely well.
For some odd reason I always felt like I was “behind” everyone else, even though I couldn't tell you what I was behind on…
I always had a feeling that I’d never catch up with everyone else, even though I wasn’t sure what I was trying to catch up with...
And I always felt like I was one bad decision away from catastrophe.
Sounds silly, right?
But to me, it felt so real…
In retrospect, it was probably just my 20-something brain trying to protect me as I was stretching and growing and learning how to do this thing called life.
All I wanted was to be confident and strong...
And to be at peace with my life.
Other people seemed to be able to do this with ease, but it was a struggle for me.
I kept asking myself how they did it. How did they manage their lives with such grace and graciousness? We had the same issues in life — career, relational, financial issues…
How, exactly, did they do it?
Questions like this put me on a personal development journey that started 25+ years ago.
While I started to grow in my learning and mature into my age, things calmed down over the years…
But I still wanted to know what the secret to true power was.
Then one day, I was listening to a guy named Lance Wallnau. He summed up what I needed to hear. He said (paraphrased):
True power isn’t fame or money or information or charisma.
The secret to true power is being able to change your state at a moment’s notice.
This definition took my breath away, primarily because I thought true power was fame or money or information or charisma.
Then I realized…
I was so wrong!
Armed with this new information, I was determined to make true power mine.
To me, having the ability to change your state at a moment’s notice translated to…
Mastering your emotions.
But as I reflected on that, I realized it was actually...
Mastering the thoughts that trigger your emotions.
I knew if I could get those thoughts under control, I’d have a shot at managing my emotions well.
Here are the steps I took:
Owning your “stuff" is the most empowering thing you can do for yourself because...
If you have the ability to create the situation, you have the ability to change it.
Taking responsibility for where you are now — even if you’re coming from a place of not knowing — frees you up to start making changes immediately.
So don’t overlook the importance of this step.
I started paying attention because I knew the basis of change meant being aware…
Aware of what’s happening…
Aware of what’s going on in my head...
Aware of my feelings and emotions.
Watching my own behavior was a fascinating exercise.
I had no idea how many thoughts were going through my head, how they triggered my emotions, and how my emotions went from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye…
And I wasn’t even conscious of it.
The way I did this was to:
Examine the thought, argue with it, and come up with a better thought.
For example, if I caught myself getting upset because someone didn’t follow through on their part of a project, my first thoughts would be something like...
“I can never depend on anyone.”
“I should’ve checked on them to make sure they were doing their job.”
“Why can’t people follow through on their commitments?”
“Why do these things always happen to me?”
These rapid-fire thoughts quickly turned into a spiral that took me down… fast.
So I started examining my thoughts more closely, to see if they had any validity…
And I’m embarrassed to say, about 99.5% of the time, they weren’t even close to the truth.
Here are a couple of things that will help you as you evaluate your thoughts:
If your thoughts include words like “always,” “never,” “should” and “shouldn’t,” you need to disregard them immediately.
That’s because they’re exaggerations that your brain uses to justify your emotions.
Look at my first thoughts above.
Three of my four thoughts include these words, so into the trash they go.
Only one thought, “Why can’t people follow through on their commitments?” may actually have some credibility.
But with a closer look, it falls on its face too.
How can I know why other people don’t follow through? I seriously don’t have a clue why they do that. And knowing wouldn’t make it any less annoying, would it?
If you find that your thoughts are self-degrading, argue with them. Don’t let them bully you!
When you find yourself thinking “Why am I such a loser?” or “I’m so stupid!,” you must immediately become argumentative and not stop until you’ve changed the thought to something more positive.
These types of thoughts are insidious. They erode your self-esteem and self-worth over time, so make them shut their ugly mouths and start taking back your confidence, okay?
When I started, it wasn't easy to get control of my thoughts.
Some days it felt like it was one step forward and two steps back, but I kept at it.
I made a commitment to myself to make this work because I knew it would result in more freedom in my life.
After a few months, I noticed I was a lot calmer. I didn’t take things as personally as before.
As time went on, I noticed I wasn’t working as hard to pay attention to my thoughts.
I also noticed my lows were less frequent and less lengthy. I seemed to bounce back faster and easier.
Today, my life feels freer than ever before.
Do I get frustrated or upset when things don’t go my way? Of course, that’s a normal part of life.
The main thing is that it doesn’t get me down for too long. I shrug things off with more ease than ever before.
So what's the one word I’d use to describe my life now?
Let me know if you use these steps to capture true power in your own life.
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Until next time…
Have a Refreshing and Peaceful Day, Z
I have a LOT more to share with you about maximizing our lives as we age. And, because you’ve proven you’re a true Easy Ager by reading this blog, I’ll give you even more tips and strategies in my Easy Aging™ Facebook Group. Come on over and join us — We'd love to see you there!
#peace #power #truepower #emotions