Have you ever felt something like a ‘nothing’ emotion if I could call it that? Where you feel neither happy or sad, excited or afraid…just nothing. Almost a bit of a neutral space. Now for some that may be a great space to be but for me it is a ‘no good’ space as it limits me in so many ways. When I get like this I have no energy or inspiration and it puts a film over my vision and my faith. In a nutshell the faith is still there, the vision is not lost but I lose sight of what I am working towards and hoping for and get totally side tracked by daily life, mundane chores and the stuff.
This is a sneaky little trap and it robs us of our fight. It comes up behind us so cunningly. It starts with busyness which leads to tiredness. Tiredness leads to a lack of motivation. The lack of motivation leads to an ‘oh whatever’ or a ‘maybe later’ attitude and this leads to being neutral about so many things – especially the very thing you are fighting for and are passionate about. When this happens, you, without realising it, stop praying as fervently and your declarations of life, faith and hope begin to die down day by day until you no longer declare anything great at all. You are neither good nor bad – and this doesn’t even bother you…..
If you are in this space…best you make a conscious decision to move out of it before it creeps up on you like a bad lasagne.
I was facilitating a little while ago and one of the things we did was watch an insightful DVD by Dewitt Jones “Celebrate what’s right with the world.” I have watched this DVD before and remember being inspired by it then and it was still just as inspiring when I watched it again. Dewitt’s focus has become looking at what is right with the world and how we can find something wonderful in the most normal and average situations if we just open our eyes or shift our perspective.
We have this deep-rooted habit of first looking at what is wrong and taking an exceedingly critical approach to people, life events, ourselves and just about anything we could possibly be critical about, we are. When we do this we limit not only our ability to smile and to be content but we cut off any possibility that a situation could be presenting to us.
In the DVD Dewitt talks about the life changing moments he has had taking photos, just waiting for something incredible to reveal itself and experience a good shot. By waiting just that little bit longer he was able to move beyond the good shots and find countless, inspirational great shots. Those great shots, he says, are not measured in metres or yards but in millimetres. It takes just a fraction of a second to win an Olympic gold medal and that is all that it takes to move from good thinking to great thinking, a few moments in time. It starts with our vision and if our vision is skewed so will our reality be. They exist on the same level and one directly impacts the other. So often we wonder why we are not getting where we need to be or why our circumstances are not shifting or moving forward.
I believe that sometimes it is because we are simply focused on what is not working or on the things which leave us uninspired and tired. How on earth can we move forward if our vision is on what lies behind us or to the left or right?
What if we saw something wonderful in every moment and in everyone? What if we spent a little extra time waiting for that great shot and stopped settling for an okay one. If we could just try the life situation from another angle, saw it from an alternative perspective. Wouldn’t the natural outcome be the possibility for something wonderful to emerge?
When we believe there will be no good or possibility we immediately shut ourselves off to possibility and opportunity. When I look at a colleague, a family member or someone who is in my regular space and all I see is how much that person infuriates and annoys me, I will not be able to see the potential possibility that person has to be something great to me and to others. If I see myself as mediocre and average I shut myself off to growth and success.
Right now I know I am not saying anything you don’t already know on this topic but all of us keep coming back to these places in our lives don’t we? You know why? Have you ever had a pair of glasses or spectacles that you never needed to clean? Are they always clear and smudge free? No, you need to clean up the lenses to make sure that your vision is not blurred and in just the same way we have to keep making sure that our vision is not obscured by negativity, lack of focus and meaningless things that keep us busy but add no value to our thinking or lives.
Dewitt says that: Vision controls our perception and perception controls our reality.
Our reality is again our choice, impacted over and over again by our words and our thinking – our perception of the things around us. What if we chose to see our circumstances from an alternative angle and review how we perceive things?
Many of us know that the above it true but still we do nothing to shift our thinking or make the changes necessary to move to the next level. In my journey thus far this is what I have learned to do toshift out of this space – call it the ‘Creating possibility tool’:
1 – Recognise your state of mind
- A negative state of mind says you can do no right, eliminates possibility or hope and clouds any dream sparking or visioning
- A neutral state of mind focuses on neither the good nor the bad. You feel like you are sitting on the fence with no real excitement for anything or anyone. It leaves you unmotivated and you almost need to force yourself to do anything.
- A positive state of mine…well if you are excited and motivated, energised and inspired despite circumstances or the people around you, you’re good – just stay here!
2 – Do something about your mind-set/perception
- Read an inspiring book
- Journal about where you are at
- Make a list of things that you are grateful for and what inspires you
- Visit a friend or person that is honest with you and will bring out those positive and inspirational in you
- Set yourself some simple positive goals – even if it is baking a cake, making lemonade or writing in your blog once a week and then diarise it. You may need to hold yourself accountable to these things in the beginning to move you out of your slump
- If you are a writer – write a funny story or a nonsensical poem. If you are a photographer go and take photos of the simple but beautiful things in your home or garden, things that make you smile
- If you paint, paint something comical and laugh
- Watch a romantic comedy or a movie that warms the cockles of your heart
- Let a puppy lick you face
- Make some mud pies in the garden
- Dance with your children or your significant other
- Listen to opera or your favourite inspirational music
- Jump in the pool with all your clothes on (or off) which ever takes your fancy
- Buy groceries for the family down the road who are struggling
- Bake cupcakes for your boss. (mmmm that what would not be so easy for all…)
- Get creative and find simple wonderful things to do with your day that will fill you up and make you smile
3 – Focus on your dream, your vision for your future
4 – Stay away from people who will bring you down or who are very negative
- I am not saying never talk to these people again but there are people who tend to drain us as all they do is criticise others or speak negatively and this will do nothing for your mind shift. If you are working on shifting your perception and increasing your positive outlook – then you need to spend less time with these people for now, hopefully in the future your vision and outlook will positively impact them.
5 – Change the way you speak about yourself and your future
- So many times we will say things like “I am dead tired” or “I am sick and tired” – well no wonder you feel like a bag of dirty laundry…or you keep getting every nasty virus that is floating around. The things you think about the most will eventually become part of your behaviour and personality
- Stop putting yourself down or saying you feel like you are never going to get there
- It is all in the power of the tongue – read my previous post and maybe you need to invest in some ‘bug spray’
- Speak life over your body, mind and future. You have so much more power and influence over your life than you actually realise
6 – Look at what is right with your world
- What do you have?
- What do you see outside?
- What is wonderful about the bed you sleep in, the fridge you store your food in, the hot bath you can take at night and the laughter you can share with a friend
- So much is right – look at that and give it the space it deserves in your mind
You cannot wait to see it to first believe it (whatever your ‘it’ may be) – you have to take the plunge and believe it first. Have a little faith that there is still goodness and wonder in this world and that some of that belongs to you. Believe it and when you do you will see the possibility that is just waiting to be discovered by you.