The Inner Work That Matters

Posted October 9, 2013 by Rebecca Niziol in Life After Five
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“Changing your circumstances is not going to make you happy.”

Last week I revealed that truth bomb in “Want Better Results? Focus on This.” If you want better results you have to turn your focus inward, and start looking at what’s really going on in your head and heart.

It ain’t always pretty. This is a part of yourself that you probably look over, or shove into a theoretical closet, because it’s not fun facing the gremlins inside. It is necessary, and the next step in reconnecting to yourself and your dreams. You can’t truly find yourself, all the light and goodness, until your journey into the dark.

Start this process by looking at these three areas:

  • Ego: That little voice inside your head that keeps you playing it safe, by sending lots of fear and stress filled thoughts into your conscious mind. All of that doubt and mental chatter comes from this part of your system. It isn’t all bad, it does protect you from harm and hurt. It also blocks you from going after your dreams and fully expressing yourself by discouraging you from taking risks or being vulnerable.

What are your deepest fears? What do you say in those moments when you doubt yourself? Answering these questions will lead you directly to your ego. Once you’re aware that these thoughts are coming from your ego, not from you, you can start to separate yourself from them. You have a choice of which voice you want to listen to: that ego or your higher mind (a combination of your practical, emotional, and intuitive mind.) The voice you choose to listen to will dictate how successful you’ll be at achieving what you want. Getting up close and personal with your ego and gremlins requires a lot of courage, acceptance, and love. Journey here mindfully, and practice compassion rather than judgment.

  • Limiting Beliefs: Any belief that holds you back or limits you in some way that you believe to be true. These beliefs can come from anywhere, your parents, schooling, friends, society, the media. They usually hold some sort of generalization that limits what is possible.

What do you believe to be true about yourself? Your capabilities? The world? Write down at least 10 of your current beliefs, and make note of any of them that are limiting. Ask yourself: how true is this really? Look beyond, and you might notice that there is some space in between the black and white extremes. Now would be a great time to update some of your beliefs so they more accurately reflect your current level of consciousness. Many of the beliefs we have, we picked up years ago as kids, or in times of extreme hurt or struggle. Beliefs are incredibly powerful. Ensure yours are going to help you instead of hurt you.

  • Rules: The guidelines and laws you live your life by. They dictate your choices and behaviors, and usually include lots of “musts” and “shoulds”. They are the unwritten and unspoken regulations we unconsciously follow.

Start by becoming aware of what rules you currently live by. Do you live by the rule that you’ve got to finish all your work before you have fun? Maybe that doesn’t line up with your value for work/life balance at this point in your life. Do you believe you can’t meet the man of your dreams until you’re perfectly ready for him? That might hold you back from meeting some really great guys right now. We all need rules to follow, but chances are you’ve got some that are no longer aligned with you are and what you want. Re-evaluate your rules.

Break the ones that are outdated, and set new ones that will guide you in the right direction, towards what you DO want.

About the Author

Rebecca Niziol

Rebecca Niziol, ELI-MP, is many things: a life coach, yoga teacher, dancer, event planner, connection catalyst, and your new best friend. Her mission is to empower others to live the authentic life of their dreams. After years of traveling North America and Europe, she is happy to have found a home and community in Chicago.