We have the experience that other people, places, circumstances and situations just “randomly happen” completely independent of us – and we’re powerless to do anything about it.
Our employees don’t show up to work on time, we struggle with increasing our income and sales, we have the belief that we can’t do well in our business because of our location, competitors or the economy.
We get upset when our spouses are irritable and irrational and we feel powerless over our bodies, our diet and illness and disease.
We think life just happens to us
While we experience life as happening to us – completely independent of us, what is actually happening is that we are always interpreting, judging, evaluating and assessing everything that occurs.
It’s human nature to constantly interpret and give meaning to everything that happens in our lives i.e. people, places, circumstances and events.
Many of us fail to realize that our beliefs and interpretations are actually creating our reality, or the current results and outcomes.
We create our reality through what we believe and tell ourselves “is the truth” about everything we experience.
We do this through creating new interpretations, imagining our desired future, taking a stand to reinvent ourselves, choosing to be our future vision right now in the present and committing to what we’ve chosen.
This principle proposes that we take on a radically different interpretation – one where we have the awareness that the drama in our lives isn’t where the meaning lives.
While we may be powerless over the upsetting people and situations, we get to choose what we are going to have the drama and upset mean to us.
We can decide what kind of meaning we are going to give to our particular situation
I can choose to take on the interpretation that what is causing my experience isn’t anyone or anything else – that it’s actually me through the meaning that I’m giving to my situation (how I am interpreting my situation or interactions).
When my wife is cranky, can I create a new interpretation and context of love and understanding? Can I come from a place where I don’t experience a loss of power and I don’t resist the way she is being?
When an employee has been underperforming, can I create a new interpretation of empowering them to live up to their full potential and be a stellar, high-performing employee?
When we’re able to get in to this space, other people and situations will often self-correct.
While we don’t have control over how others show up we do have 100% control over our interpretations and our attitude – regardless of how others choose to respond.
We learn to identify ourselves as the creative beings that we truly are – as someone who is generating and creating our life rather than the usual interpretation of feeling like a powerless victim who is subject to other people and circumstances.
As we identify ourselves as creative beings we claim the ability to interpret our situations, people, places and circumstances in a new and empowering way.
It is helpful to keep in mind that 99% of the time we will probably experience “life as happening to us.” And we won’t be aware that we are creating our reality through our interpretations.
Each moment, however, gives us the opportunity to become aware of what we are telling ourselves to be true about the people and events in our life and gain access to a more powerful interpretation.
Today’s Action Step & Reminder
Today I will be aware of circumstances that arise that cause me to experience any kind of emotional upset: anger, guilt, sadness, overwhelm, anxiety or stuckness of any kind.
When I notice these feelings I will pause and reflect (whether it’s in the moment, or later after I’ve removed myself from the situation).
I’ll ask, “What are the beliefs that I’m holding about this situation that might be triggering my emotional upset?” I will make a comprehensive list of all associated beliefs.
Then I will become willing to examine the truth of my beliefs one by one and ask, “Is this belief necessarily true?” I will stay with each belief until I can see clearly that it is not necessarily true.
Ultimately, the only way I can gain insight into my interpretations is by examining and questioning my beliefs and replacing them with something more empowering.
I’ll continue until I’ve explored all my beliefs that arise about my situation and replace them with new possibility that gives me a great sense of freedom and choice about the action I choose to take.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save lives” – Tony Robbins