In the past, when I heard about highly successful people and their ideas, a curious thing often happened. I was constantly studying success because I believed it would help me be happy and, of course, successful. I was often genuinely inspired by the examples and ideas I learned about. However, very often, though I was inspired, my mind would at the same time yell at me things like this: “Look at what he accomplished! You’re such an effing loser! You haven’t done anything like that! What the hell is the matter with you?”*
This of course made me feel lousy. The weirdest part is that for a long time, I had no idea my mind was doing this to me. I just thought that this was how life is. I guess I believed that focusing on improving my life required an equal amount of self-torment.
If you asked me what it was like for me as I was experiencing this, I would probably have said how inspired and fired up I was. And some of the time I was. But often the exact opposite was actually occurring: my own thoughts were stressing me out with self-judgment. Studying success and successful people was a double-edged sword: part inspiration, put giving myself holy hell 🙁
Believe me, this sucked!
I had to stub my vibrational toe on this particular blind spot one or two or three thousand times before I started really looking at what was going on. Eventually, I decided never again to let myself get so out of whack, thinking I was doing myself good while doing the opposite.
I determined to get clear on the difference between being truly inspired, on the one hand, and kidding myself while actually being miserable! Happily, this is happening. These days, I am constantly doing a sort of “gut check” of how things feel. I am so clear that everything I do has to feel right for me–in other words, be in alignment– that I feel completely changed from the guy who drank that poisonous self-torture soup one too many times (!).
Thinking about things that were making me unhappy was not good for me.
What a concept!
Yet I had to stumble through life for awhile before I finally got clear on this.
*I know. My brain is especially nice to me. Not. Although it sometimes still pulls this crap to this day, I’m getting much better at seeing through its tricks.