“I am going to answer a reader’s comment here today! I forgo the formatting and use of bold headlines because I respond with a letter to the reader. While specific to one questioner, the answer as does the question applies to many. The following was sent to me:
‘Hi, I don’t know if you’ll see this but I thought i’d try. I read your posts every day like a newspaper. I tried all your techniques for the past month and have had nothing work for me. I’ve lost my faith on top of it. You know, when things just don’t seem to go your way and are really difficult. What can I do? I tried small steps and nothing. I tried big steps and nothing. Things are very rough right now. How do I get back on track? Can you address this in a post or something. When you think all is lost, when it doesnt go the way you are trying, seeing yourself in a certain good way, and asking, etc. What do you do then? thank you R Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:21 rossirr…
The question you ask is an excellent question. It is not only relevant to you but I’m sure to countless others. It addresses the same concerns I shared for quite some time. I understand that it is tough when times are tough because I too have been in a place similar to what you describe. I am sure many others relate as well. Countless others.
You may or may not appreciate my answer. It may or may not address all your concerns. It may be most relevant at another time reading it days or weeks from now. I will do my best to explain as well as I am able. This will be lengthy, no doubt, as I attempt to cover most everything.
I will start walking you through the answer with tough love. It will be tough but hang in there I will lighten up before I close, I promise.
To put it bluntly that is just the way it goes. Somethings in life are difficult and require massive effort and persistence to get through. Not everything is but sometimes that is what we encounter.
Some people try to quit smoking or stop biting their nails, or reduce the amount of food they eat per meal and find it difficult to do. So what. Some things are difficult to accomplish. Still, many people do accomplish making changes.
They quit many times before they actually quit smoking. Some have tried for years. They stop biting their nails over and over again until they actually finally stop. They yoyo diet prior to throwing in the towel or ultimately succeeding.
Some things require extra effort and time to get through or get over.
That is the bad and the good news. Some things require us to face them as they are. Everyone has obstacles and challenges and some seem insurmountable, at least at first, or even while going through them.
Boot camp for most people will be a miserable experience that in the long run proves rewarding.
Some people wonder if they will make it or even if it is worth it. They want to quit. Some do. It has been said, many people quit while on the verge of success. They stop too early. Had they kept going they would have great success but they quit minutes too soon.
Those who keep at it ultimately get rewarded for their patience, their efforts and their persistence. They get to the finish line.
It isn’t easy changing. It is simple in many ways but not always easy. How many years have you done something a certain way, or your way? If you want to change it don’t you think it would be reasonable to expect that it would take as long to change it as it took you to first learn it?
If it took you 5 years to learn to worry don’t you think taking 5 years to learn to relax would be reasonable?
Most of us expect things to happen in an unrealistic manner. We are conditioned to think it can be quick, easy, no cost, works like magic instead of stick with it, work it, sweat and labor and get through it eventually.
Most of us have wildly unrealistic time frames. We think it should happen much faster than it actually takes. We are impatient.
The good news is YES you can learn to change in less time than it originally took you, but how much is less time? 4 years and 11 months is less time, 4 years and 3 months, 2 years, 1 year all of those (and nearly any other variation) is less than 5 years. So how fast does a person need it? We always think we need it fast, don’t we?
When we are suffering it is not easy. It seems to take forever. It seemed that way for me. Do you know what I was? I was a quitter. I started many thing and if I got bored or they got too tough I gave up.
I became a jack of all trades but a master of none. I lived a huge portion of my life like this. My parent’s were supportive of anything I wanted to do and encouraged me in many areas.
They did not, however, say, ‘Keep at it no matter what. Stick with it and you will succeed if you persist’. Even when it came to acting and making movies by the time I was 23 I stated ‘I want to stop banging my head against all these walls and only focus on one thing.’
It wasn’t until I was somewhat older that I learned what it meant to hang in there no matter what. I started and quit many things YET there were some things I was wholly dedicated to.
I was dedicated completely to acting and making movies. I was thoroughly dedicated to learning personal change technologies and accelerated learning, to meditation and spiritual practices. While I quit many things I also learned some things ONLY work when given enough time and dedication.
In my blog I use many analogies. One is planting a seed, nurturing it and harvesting. Once planted the seed begins to grow. You gotta have faith since you can’t dig it up to check. Yet that is what we try to do with our personal development. We monitor and keep checking to see if we are growing enough or fast enough.
You can’t dig up a plant and do this. You will kill the plant. You just have to wait it out. Eventually, it sprouts but it is still young and tender. It needs time to get strong and sturdy. You can’t pull it up by the roots and keep checking if they are growing deep enough.
The same is true about personal change. Once you start have some faith. Whatever amount you have IS what you have. Use it. Believe that your efforts will ultimately pay off. Stop comparing with others. Stop comparing with the clock. Let go and trust you will succeed if you keep at it.
Do what you do and build the success habits. Read daily! Fill your mind and keep at it. I struggled and struggled throughout my life. Many times. I got to the point of not having anywhere to go. I was desperate, hurt, disappointed, scared, devastated and worse.
When I finally committed I decided I would read inspirational material for at least one month. I didn’t know what else to do but I knew I must do something. I had to make a change or else!
Everyday I would read a chapter from a book. I did that. During that month I spent as much time reading at other times as I could. I read. I devoured. I listened. I took notes on what I read and listened to. I re-read what I had read.
I chanted affirmations while I drove. Any time I was alone and no one could hear me I stated my affirmations. I kept my mind focused on what I wanted to become because I kept remembering that we become what we think about. I put positive posters all around my house.
So I focused. The world did not change one single bit. I did a little. Bit by bit I felt better. The floodgates did not open and I did not experience riches, new relationships or new possessions instantly coming too me. I just felt somewhat better.
At the end of 30 days I faced a decision. Stick with the practice or give it up. I decided to keep going. What else could I do? I figured if I never got what I wanted at least I could be happy with what I had.
I decided that if I did nothing more than learn to live better and nothing else worked then I would have succeeded.
I was eager for my new life to take hold. Somewhere in the future was a promise but the current situation still sucked. I compared where I was to where I wanted to be and the difference was vast. I did this too often too. Took me some time to realize what I was doing.
Eventually, I realized some important things. Critical things that helped me greatly.
One was about my expectations. I expected things to change over night just because I implemented a new thought program. I expected magical miraculous results. My faith was in the process but it also was a little bit like religious faith. I thought if I did enough things right everything outside of me would change.
It was as if someone else would grant my wishes as long as I stated them loud enough. When I realized I was putting my faith in ‘powers’ other than my own I began to awaken a little. I began to understand that it was from within me I may change my world and not the other way around.
Later, I realized I needed to take full responsibility for everything. Good, bad, past, present and future. I was responsible for everything in my life! Even if I wasn’t. Even if this is all BS! I discovered great power.
Acting as if I were responsible gave me the mental attitude and the ability to make changes. I decided I was no longer a victim but a victor and I should act like one. Most of us give our power away through blaming ourself and others. I decided to own up for it all.
Again, there were some changes in me. AND guess what. There were times I was powerful and confident and many times I was doubtful, worried and confused. Nothing really seemed to change, yet, was changing in many positive ways.
You see, it is very difficult to analyze and assess a process when you are the one going through it. That is why athletes have coaches. They need someone to tell them when they are off and when they are on. Same with personal change. We are not the people who should be judging our progress but that is what we do anyway!
What had bothered me for years was beginning to give way. I had new problems instead of old ones. I found new responses to old triggers and habits and I began to realize my being was shifting.
Slowly, I became a creator. I decided if anything were going to happen it was because of me. Well, some of the time I did. I was learning to steer back to the positive. I realized how important it was to self correct. I realized sometimes I had to just keep at it until nearly exhausted.
I fell off the positive wagon numerous times but now I was getting back on. I wasn’t quitting but boy I was tempted at times. Instead, I kept going. I determined to see it through even when I wanted to give up.
I kept reading books, listening to audios, doing affirmations and asking questions. I practiced keeping the faith. Some things got really much easier.
During all this time I became much more sensitized to when I was positive and when I wasn’t. I began to more quickly notice getting off track and more quickly making corrections. Before I knew it a year had gone by.
I had not reached any financial or career goals. I did however feel better about myself. I also realized that during the year I had done more for myself AND my career than I had done in some time. I was proactive. This pleased me enough to want to keep going.
I spent days listening, reading, studying, buying book after book. I got more into celebration and feeling gratitude too because I noticed how much better I felt when I began the day this way.
One day it occurred to me that one issue I had was in not realizing that I was already enough. I kept thinking if I read another ‘how to’ book I would learn a secret I didn’t know and then everything would magically transform.
I began to see that I was an info junkie more than I was a practitioner. I filled my mind with book learning more than I practiced what I was learning. I began to understand that to know and not to do is not to know. If I knew what I should do but I didn’t actually do it. Then I really didn’t know it
Knowledge is only life changing when applied!
I read about vision boards and visualization and the importance of writing things out and I would agree. I just didn’t do it. I kept reading, I did keep affirming, but I wasn’t doing some of the critical inner work. I decided I needed to change that.
I continued to fell off the positivity wagon numerous times over the years. On and off. When it occurred to me one day that I was right where I was supposed to be. You can’t push a rope.
Right where I am right doing whatever I am doing is where I am. I am doing what I am doing. No that sentence is not weird for no reason at all. It is akin to ‘I am because I am’. I realized I was perfect. Perfectly flawed, perfectly blessed. Whatever I did or felt was as it should be.
If I were stuck in traffic, as an example, that was where I was supposed to be. Now I don’t mean it was ordained by god or the universe. I don’t mean anything like that at all.
I mean it just is where I found myself and I could choose to hate it or choose to accept it. Whatever I chose determined how I felt. How I felt often determined what I chose.
I learned there is no other place to be than where I am in this moment. Whomever I am, that is who I am. I am right where I am because of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. It can’t be otherwise. I am right where I am on the path. The joke version of this is ‘Wherever you are there you are’. Nope, not a funny joke.
Believe me when I tell you some of these insights were powerful moments of ‘aha’. Other insights crept up gradually. Some times I had a burst of awareness but a slow creeping realization of actualizing it. In other words, I would get glimpse that excited me but took time to understand.
My point is – IT is what IT is. Wanting it to be more or less, wanting it to be other than it is, is where suffering comes from. It is no different than longing for your neighbors, boat, car, home or wife. Envy, jealousy, comparison, judging all tends to make us feel inadequate.
Comparison is the devil’s volleyball. We go back and forth between where we want to be and where we think we should be and where we actually are. Where we are IS ACTUALLY the only place we can be so accept it. If you don’t you suffer.
I began to celebrate wherever I was at. Good or bad it didn’t matter. Rich or poor. I would accentuate the present moment positively and feel as good as I was capable of feeling. Hey, we all doubt, worry and fear at sometimes. It is human. We also can gain mastery over most of it, if not all of it, through dedicated practice.
Still, the goal is not to become not human. The goal is to become more human and make better use of our talents and abilities. We aren’t super humans we are humans after all. Everything we think and feel is part of being human. For everything there is a season.
Does this make sense? We cause our own suffering by trying to push the rope. By wanting it better, bigger and faster. We try to manage our change. We can’t. We can only do what we do and let the results come because they will in their own time.
Actually our results follow our mindset. Thought precedes action and I will get to that in a moment. I told you this would be lengthy.
If you want a highly ripped, muscular, lean body then you must undertake an entire training regime for as long as it takes to carve that body out.
You have to eat right, exercise right, rest and sleep right. There is no substitute. Yes, they try to sell it to you on media but frankly, nothing works but the original process.
You have to dedicate yourself to making it happen because no one can do it for you. You won’t wake up one day to a miracle and have cut calves and biceps. If you are going to get a healthy, lean physique you are going to work at it through time. You are going to repeat what works daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
Once you have the physique you still must do what it takes to maintain it. Use it or lose it. It requires rigorous application of known principles. Each is simple enough though not necessarily easy.
Those who get the cut body are those who wanted it badly enough to do whatever it took to make it happen.
If you are going to back a cake. It requires the correct ingredients and the correct cooking temperature and the correct time all done in a proper order. If you mess with anyone of these you most likely won’t get the cake you hope for. If it says bake for an hour and you bake for 15 minutes you don’t get the cake you hoped for.
If it says mix eggs and milk and chocolate together and then put in the over for x time… you won’t get the cake you hoped for if you put milk and chocolate in the pan, bake it and then try to add the eggs. You already know this, right?
When things happened for me is when I decided that no one and no law of attraction was going to make them happen. I was not going to manifest anything out of thin air. God, the universe, my family, a stranger was not going to save me or do it for me.
If I wanted anything then I was going to have to make it happen. That first and foremost required the correct mindset. I had to believe it and know that I could and would do it. I had to decide it was up to me and I had to follow through.
I had to feel like it and feel good most of the time. If I wanted to get what I wanted I needed to focus on it and nothing else. If circumstances around me sucked so be it. I would ignore those and concentrate my attention of my mindset and getting the results I wanted.
The circumstances I live within are not relevant to what I make happen and what my future will be like. My circumstances do not have to define me. I can define me and change my circumstances.
I needed to live like a gladiator. FIght the good fight and let nothing prevent me from winning. I determined to be the one who makes what I want to happen, happen. I want to live as a champion and not a wimp.
Boy, have I ever wimped out in my life. Of course, I already said that in a different way.
I resolved in my mind that nothing was going to happen because I hoped, wished or chanted for it. It would happen if and when I aimed my thoughts and actions at it. It would happen when I believed I can do it. ‘If it is to be it is up to me’. I need to take the right action steps.
What I discovered is I made plenty of mistakes and faced numerous obstacles. BUT SO WHAT. Everyone does. Baseball batters batting 300 miss the ball 70% of the time. Still they are top athletes!
Instead of feeling sorry for myself I began to see that each time I slipped up or got off track was a valuable lesson. Plus, it was an opportunity to get back on track. I realized I was building new habits.
New habits come from doing the correct thing repeatedly long enough. Once we make the new habit it replaces the old way. BUT we have to make it. We literally rewire our brain for success. It doesn’t happen over night but by successful repetition through time.
We live in a world that wants it fast. I decided I was in for the long haul no matter what it took I will make it happen. NO MATTER WHAT! Do you realize these realizations came to me over time. Not within the first 30 days.
I am now two years or more applying these practices as I discovered these things. Today, many years later I am still learning and discovering new things I did not know and rediscovering other things. This old dog IS learning new tricks.
Then life and some circumstances began to change. Did challenges disappear. Heck no but my ability to handle and overcome challenges changed and became an asset. I’d have quit before.
I’d have gone into doubt, worry, fear, self criticism and loathing before. NOW I celebrate that I am learning even when I make mistakes. I am filled with gratitude that I am on this path.
Does it mean I never have doubt or fear. AGAIN heck no. But, not for as long nor does it take the toll it once did.
My life is great because I say it is. I assert it and I declare it. I make it so.
Each day is an opportunity to find more joy and delight because that is what I want to find.
I deliberately look for the silver lining and now I find more gold. It is a training process just as getting cut abs are.
Some people have it easier than me that is certain. Some have it harder. I have it the way I have it because I have it that way. There is no other explanation. I am that I am. I gotta tell you, yes plenty of times I felt like giving up. Sometimes, I did. A few days or weeks would go by before I got back on track.
Things change. Everything changes.
We miss this because we are organized to keep ourselves the same. What we believe is what we see. So we miss a lot because we don’t already believe in ourself 100%. You have to decide to believe first. Not necessarily easy that is true.
The more you practice the visualization and the affirmations repeatedly the more swiftly you come to accept it and make it happen. Some people aren’t prepared to overhaul their lives.
Some jump in to exercise programs and gym memberships in January only to abandon them in February. Some take on more than they can handle. Some don’t take on enough!
You eat your meal one bite at a time. Whether you push the entire meal into your face cavern as one bite or whether you take numerous little ones you still eat your meal bite by bite.
I recommend making your self change program manageable. Do a little bit each day. If you can handle more do more.
Some people do almost nothing and expect gargantuan results. Some do everything and still don’t believe much will happen. Fill your mind, do the work and commit.
You read about leaders who sent army troops sailing to a new land to invade and conquer. Once there the leaders burned the boats. The troops triumph or the troops die. There is no other option. There is no leaving. Commit!
Many of us take the easy way out and quit when the going gets tough. I decided to live by Vince Lombardi’s statement, ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going’.
I have found I can handle far more than I ever was able to before because through the thick and thin, through the good times and devastating, disappointing times I was growing muscles and know how. I was growing an unstoppable attitude.
Many people don’t stop and really consider that to develop a champion, winner attitude you have to be challenged. It isn’t a free and easy ride.
Without challenge and obstacle, without resistance your muscles won’t grow. We need to exercise our faith muscle first and foremost.
We have to come to believe in our own ability to make the future what we want it to be. We have to believe in ourselves. We have to trust ourselves and know that we can handle anything thrown at us.
The only way for us to know that is to be tested. Why do you think marital arts do belt training tests. To demonstrate competency as they move along.
One master told me, you learn martial arts until you become a blackbelt. Then at blackbelt you truly are ready to learn martial arts. It is mindset, attitude and spirit. The only way you develop that is to commit to it and be challenged. If it were easy it wouldn’t be worth much.
As it is, all of it gets easier through time, testing, and more time. The more you have to self correct the faster you will learn. SOME get upset because they seem to be self correcting a lot.
BE GLAD because that means sooner you will get it because you are getting so much practice. You are getting the opportunity to repeat your good habits again and again through time.
Things come to them that wait. Wait with faith that you will make it happen. You are the captain of your fate and the master of your soul. Be the author of your life, be the director of your own life script. Take charge and decide no matter what you will see it through.
There is great power in making a decision. You will have to make it daily until it becomes habit. Commit. Everything does get easier. Along the way you do discover magic and things do seem to work out in mysterious ways. That doesn’t mean there will never be a challenge or a loss or a disappointment.
Read daily, fill your mind. Commit to doing whatever you can positively to make your life wonderful. Be thankful for where you are, the good and bad times. Be thankful for everything and your life will begin to change.
Stop comparing. Look to what you want and not at what you don’t want. What you wrote in your question shows what you are most aware of and paying attention to. That is natural.
It is about learning a new way that doesn’t come easy but will get easier. Yes, there is a price to pay to have what you want. Those who want to be top in sports, theater, the arts, finance, anything commit and do whatever it takes.
They dedicate themselves to becoming the best. They believe it and keep the faith come what may. Those who get to the top do so because they don’t lose sight of it. They know they will make it before they make it.
It is easiest to succeed when you begin by feeling successful.
This is the secret no one tells you. Feel successful first and success comes. Be successful and money comes. It is not the other way around but that is how most of us learn it. Get the money and then you are successful. NO NO NO NO NO!
Be successful and the money will come. The fame will come. The glory will come. It is attitude first and then all else follows. What you hold in your mind you will one day hold in your hand.
You get what you focus on. See your goals as already accomplished and feel the feelings of how good that feels and you will make them come true. Believe it first, see it, touch it, taste it and you will get it!
I DO believe in the Law Of Attraction but I don’t believe it is as much about you attracting good things as it is about you learning how to make good things happen. You create more than attract. You make the future you want come into being by aligning like thoughts and feelings and actions. YOU do it. No one and nothing else does it!
Still it is true that birds of a feather flock together. Thoughts do. One negative thought and you can easily find more. One positive thought and you can find more. So I talk about the LOA so you are aware of what you are generating or paying attention to most of the time.
The important point to remember is that whatever you have been doing most, for most of your life, is what is already easiest for you. This is true of everyone. If you want to change it you can. I have told you how numerous times in this post and others.
You just have to do it. Practice it. Spend time at it. Heck, if you want to be a better bowler, golfer, knitter, cook, driver, banker, piano player you need to spend the requisite amount of time to become proficient.
If you want to be the best you have to go beyond what anyone else would normally do. So be reasonable and realistic. Understand it will take time. Not forever, but it will take time.
Sometimes things get worse before they get better because you are shaking up the system and entering uncharted territory. You can be waking up old patterns or fears. No worries you will get though them. Stay the course. Drop by drop fills the tub.
Most of all love yourself. Appreciate yourself stuck or not. Failure or success. LOVE you! Appreciate you. Be glad you experience everything you experience. Celebrate and appreciate. Delight and enjoy! Love and lavish positive regard on yourself and others.
That helps take the sting out of it too. When you can accept where you are and keep moving forward without digging the plant up and checking on it every few moments you are progressing.
Your car is a great analogy. You have a gigantic windshield (windscreen) and a tiny rearview mirror. You move forward by looking forward. Only occasionally do you glance behind you. So keep looking ahead at where you are and where you want to be.
You occasionally glance at the dash panel to notice if any emergency or alert buttons are on. Most of the time you keep your attention on the sights in front of and around you as you move towards where you want to go.
My guess is you desire to make it work. Am I correct? You will. Keep the faith. Keep doing it. Some day at some time you will begin to surprise and delight yourself. You will have those ‘ahas’ and insights.
Yes, there will still be obstacles. Be thankful. Allow whatever is going on to go on without taking it personally. Take responsibility for making your life grand and you will. Just stick with it and do not quit.
This is an excellent opportunity to prove to yourself you have what it takes. If you screw up one hundred more times SO WHAT! We all do until we don’t! Mistakes are all part of learning.
Falling down is part of walking. Staying down isn’t. Get up and go on. Shift your focus to what you want.
You know already what you do not want so turn your attention to what you want. You said you tried all my techniques for a month and nothing has worked.
You said you have tried small and large steps and have lost faith. Currently, things aren’t as good as you’d like them to be.
I have responded at length and here is my reply in wrap up. Stay with it. Nothing has worked, yet. This work takes time. Please, be patient. Keep doing. Even when you don’t feel like it. Do it.
Read, listen, visualize, affirm. Steer back to the positive whenever you notice yourself less than glorious. Accept that there will be times when nothing seems to work or when it appears hopeless.
It isn’t and things are working. Sometimes it IS darkest before the dawn.
Don’t substitute doing the actual work for looking for an answer. I did that. You have everything within in you that you need to succeed. Find it! It is there.
Spend time relaxed visualizing what you want. Enthusiastically chant your affirmations.
Ask potent powerful questions that lead you to where you want to be. Repeat and do over and over and over again. Manage your self talk and internal imagery. K
Stop worrying and start living. Celebrate. Find everything you can to be grateful for and savor these. Keep your focus positive. Keep in mind we become what we think about most often.
ULTIMATELY you will notice the difference and you will enjoy the difference as you persist and stick with it.
Commit to yourself! Don’t give up. Yes, it may be tough, but so what. At other times it will be easier too. You can do this and you can be the master of your fate. You can make your dreams come true. The very fact that you want to is an indication that you can and you will.
Let go of how long it takes and commit to the haul no matter the time frame. Keep doing the little things consistently. A month is a short time given the years you have.
It takes a long time for the baby to become a toddler, the toddler a child, the child an adolescent, the adolescent a teen and then young adult and then adult. Growing and developing takes time. Maturity takes time and experience.
You will progress. Stay in touch! Stay on top of your own personal change. Find ways to make it fun. Find support and positive people around you. Get coaching or a mentor in person or online. Keep the faith and keep the practice.
Find a church or temple or synagogue or a science of the mind gathering. Find some happy meditators to hang with. Commune and find positive energy people who can encourage you. Find people who inspire and motivate you.
You can and will absolute prevail if you will persist. Believe it. Make it your mantra and keep on going. Believe in yourself!” Rex Sikes
Fill today with fascination!
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