If I asked most people, what is the most important thing they wanted to change about themselves in order to create an ideal life, I would hear the following answers: 1) I want to be healthy (thin); 2) I want a relationship (be happy); or 3) I want to be rich or have more money (have freedom). Most people fall into one of these categories: fat, lonely or broke…the three things that seem to stop people in their tracks from accomplishing their wildest goals and dreams. And it seems they all intertwine. I’m too fat for anyone to want to be with me. I’m too depressed and lonely to lose weight. I don’t have enough money to do what I want to do. But what is really the root cause of us being fat, lonely or broke? And why do we stay that way when we say we want to change? Is it possible that the thoughts we have, the things we tell ourselves over and over and the lies we have come to believe are the reason we are stuck in the exact same place? Is it possible that our thoughts and our beliefs create our reality? And even more intriguing – is it possible that as we change our thoughts and beliefs – our reality changes?
I’ve never been fat – but I’ve certainly been lonely and most definitely been broke. Maybe not broke in the sense of having no money and being homeless, but broke in terms of living paycheck to paycheck. It wasn’t until I started learning about the law of attraction and studying the power my mind had over my life that I realized I had in fact, created my own reality. And that was a slap in the face. But after I got over that shock, I learned something so valuable – that if I could create an unwanted reality, I most certainly could create a desired reality. I thought – if I was this good at creating what I didn’t want, what could I create if I really applied myself to focusing on what I did want!
As I thought back over my life, I realized that I’d been creating my reality since about the age of 14. This may be a silly example, but it serves the purpose. When I was in 8th grade, I really liked this boy and every night I would imagine him asking me to this upcoming dance. This went on for months – I would visualize him calling me on the phone, what he would say, how excited I would be as I accepted, what it would be like to be at the dance with him – you get the picture. I was creating in my mind a crystal clear picture of this possible reality. And the important thing was, I actually believed it might be possible. Well, you can guess what happened. A week before the dance, he called and asked me to go. It played out exactly as I had imagined.
Which leads me to another example of a situation that I created that wasn’t so favorable. I was home over break during my master’s degree program, having dinner with my family. I can’t remember the exact conversation that was occurring between me and my parents, but I said something and then my Dad said, “how can you be so stupid!” Unfortunately, I chose to carry that thought around with me for the next several years into a doctoral program I was enrolled in. Throughout the entire program, I kept worrying about how I was going to pass my dissertation defense, because…”I’m not smart enough.” Sure enough, I ended up failing my first defense, had to rewrite my entire statistics portion of the dissertation and defend again. However, one very important thing changed. After a few months of wallowing in self-disgust and despair, because “no one fails their dissertation defense” or so I thought, I made up my mind. I told myself – you’ve come too far and worked too hard to give up now. You are going to give this your all and you’re going to pass. Again, you can guess what happened. In fact, I did so well on the defense, my statistics advisor wrote me a personal letter that said,
“Dr. Diane: I should have written this much sooner. I have served on 300+ graduate committees at Maryland. You were not the only one that was offered the opportunity to defend their work a second time. It has probably happened 20 to 25 times since I have been at Maryland. I cannot recall ever writing a letter like this one before. Most of the time I go away from these second defenses, wondering if I had lowered my expectation or if the student had really performed better to justify having passed. Yours was different. I left your exam feeling very good about your defense. You really did a GREAT job and should feel very satisfied with what you accomplished!!! Congratulations and best wishes in your future pursuits.”
It’s a letter I will save for the rest of my life. So many stories where a simple thought has changed our lives – for better or worse. The challenge is understanding this, having awareness when it is happening, and doing whatever it takes to change the negative into the positive. That is my hope for you – to not only expand your mind to an alternate way of thinking, but to help you create your ultimate reality…from a simple thought.
Dr. Diane Hayden is the owner and publisher of Natural Nutmeg Magazine, Essential Living Maine Magazine and Nutmeg Creative Media. She is a speaker, writer and workshop facilitator. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut, a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland and is an Empowerment Life Coach. For 20 years, her work has focused on inspiring individuals to learn about the power of thought and emotion and how it shapes their lives. Her passion centers on helping even just one person navigate the dating scene and find the perfect partner with whom they can share their life.
You can learn more about her online at: https://naturalnutmeg.com.