I will like to welcome you to my first article on my blog, Blogging with Adus Michael. But first, let me clear the air. These articles or any other one you will come across do not fix problems. You can only learn from my mistake then fix your thinking. Next, you will see is the problems will start fixing themselves. And that is exactly what I did to be free in life which eventually helped me to improve my self-worth.
Let me start by telling you a little bit about my life, I came to understand that perfection was my worst enemy. I was raised in an environment of high expectation, and every day in school I felt like I was competing with others and fighting to be the best in class.
So many stories contributed to me having not to be very excellent in some subjects and the very few of the once I know very well, I made sure I always leave a signature of excellence. Don’t ask me how I manage the resolve the other subjects, because that will be a later discussion for another article.
But much later in my life when I became a grown-up man, I didn’t see myself as good enough, cute enough, smart enough, or successful enough. I felt unworthy of being loved by a beautiful woman, unworthy of getting a good paycheck to reflect my skills and talents, too unworthy to apply for a tempting position at work.
My life looks completely different today, and I embrace the new me with much gratitude and joy, all thanks to God and to the ability to quickly take note of some certain things I was doing wrongly. But look at me now, happily married to the most beautiful woman in the world, with amazing 3 kids that God has blessed us with. Now am happy and proudly doing what I was born to do in the world.
Well, let just focus on why this article was written, let me tell you how did this shift happen!
If you look back to my stories back in the days, and see where I am now, you will know that Is not by accident. In life you need to get to a point when you will realized that everything you are doing is totally wrong and you have a chance at that time to make a u-turn and start afresh the right way. That’s exactly what I did to make that shift in life.
There is this saying that goes, the teacher shows up when the student is ready— and that’s so true because your destiny holds on for you to be ready to let you shine. God has already blessed you with so many gifts and talent, including an open door to learning new skills. Is up to you to take advantage of that privilege to be free in life.
One of those first steps to be free in life is to let go of old thinking patterns and cultural limiting beliefs that will end up not serving you great and amazing deeds. This na 21st century, you go need to start leaving a positive lifestyle if you want to be free in life and must also start thinking smartly. This will only bring you a new sense of freedom. (Sorry for the pidgin English, just wanted to break it down the best way I can, and if you don’t mind you will be seeing alot of articles on pidgin here.)
The second step to be free in life is to let go of trying to be like others, trying to please others. I’ve let go of the need to be perfect in everything I do. I am perfectly cute and handsomely imperfect, and this is what allows me to be me. Perfection is an illusion—it doesn’t exist.
I stopped stressing myself out trying to be perfect and now I am always aiming for “good enough.” I have learned to embrace my mistakes as much needed opportunities for growth, blessings in disguise that make me wiser. If I fail at anything, it doesn’t mean I’m a failure, because I am not what I do. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. We never lose.
“Your best is going to change from moment to moment: it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”
The third step to be free in life is to learn to be the focus in all you find yourself doing. I’ve let go of the need to be busy all the time. Being in a rush isn’t a sign of virtue. I have learned to listen to my body, and I no longer feel guilty for doing nothing. I know I sometimes need to recharge the batteries of my body and soul, and I don’t feel like I owe anyone any explanation for doing that.
If I don’t have time for myself, I make it happen, because spending time with family is the most precious gift anyone will ever ask for. Don’t allow anything to stand in your way of enjoying those moments together. Be it watching of movies, listening to relaxing music, reading a good book, singing, gisting with wiffy and the kids or taking a walk to connect with nature—I do whatever makes my heart sing.
“I am a human being, not human doings. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.” ~ Dr. Wayne
The next step to be free in life is to stop looking down on yourself, to stop belittling yourself, stop doubting yourself. I’ve let go of self-criticism. I pay attention to my inner talk; I don’t call myself names, and I treat myself with dignity and respect. I stopped telling myself things I would never tell a good friend. I am enough, whole, and complete.
I have come to understand that in life, we don’t get what we want. We get what we think we deserve. That’s why it’s necessary to believe in ourselves and see ourselves as enough and worthy of the best things life has to offer. “You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” ~ Louise Hay
The next step to be free in life is to stop the blaming game. I’ve let go of blaming. I now know that each time I blame someone else, I am making myself a victim. Blaming others for taking my time, my money, or my love is unfair because I always choose how much I give and to whom. No one can hurt me or upset me without my conscious (and often unconscious) consent.
Instead, I now take responsibility for the way I feel, act, and think. I am in charge of my actions, and I know my future is the result of my current choices. I am what I believe and whatever I choose to be.
“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, it will not change you. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.” ~ Wayne Dyer
On this step, you will also stop judging others if you don’t want others to judge you. I’ve let go of judging. I know that everyone is on their own journey, and my job is to focus on my own. I also know that each time I am judgmental with people, I’m reacting to something that bothers me about myself. If I believe you are mean, it means I can also be mean; how could I see that in you, otherwise?
“Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgment gives you the power to change them.” ~ Byron Katie
Again you will need to let go of making assumptions about what other people feel, want, or think if you want to be free in life. I am not them, so there’s no way to know what they’re feeling and thinking. I stopped making up imaginary scenarios and letting my mind play with me. Each time I find myself disturbed by what people do or say, I know it’s time for a reality check.
From “The Work” of Byron Katie, I’ve learned to examine the thoughts that trouble me and ask myself: “Is that true?” Many of my assumptions likely aren’t. For example, I might assume someone doesn’t like me when really he’s just having a bad day. Or maybe he’s just shy. Not everyone is the same.
The moment I realize I can’t know what this person thinks, simply because I am not him or her, my mind gets clear and I am able to meet this person with an open heart. “I found that my unquestioned assumptions were the cause of all war and all peace in my world.” ~ Byron Katie
If you really want to make it in life you will need to let go of competing with others. I now know that my need to fight is nothing but my ego’s scream for self-validation. I don’t need anyone to lose any game so that I can feel good about myself. I love harmony, collaboration, and win-win.
I remember the story of Vitoria-based athlete Iván Fernández Anaya who refused to take advantage when his rival stopped short of the finishing line in a cross-country race. I remember he ask this following question, Is winning all that counts? Are you absolutely sure about that? “I didn’t deserve to win it,” says 24-year-old Fernández Anaya. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”
I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. I choose to connect with people from a place of love instead of fear, and I believe in abundance. I choose to believe that we live in a supportive Universe, where there is enough of everything and for everyone, including myself. “Love is cooperation rather than competition.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
Another thing I did to be free in life was to let go of chasing happiness. I no longer project my happiness into an imaginary future, hoping that someday, when I have that job, that house, that car, that success, I will be happy. I have learned to find happiness in the small pleasures of life, and I embrace the only reality that is, the present moment, with gratitude and much joy.
I stopped waiting for the weekends to feel like living because each day is a gift and every single moment is precious and equally important. The day I shifted my focus from stressed to blessed, everything changed. I am thankful for everything I am and for everything I have: a healthy body and mind; a loving family; a few genuine, last longing friendships I’ve made over time; and a job I love and believe in.
“I have noticed that the Universe loves gratitude. The more grateful you are, the more goodies you get.” ~ Louise Hay
This brought me to the next step as I round up this article. I’ve let go of worrying about the future. I accept that there are things in life that I cannot control, no matter how hard I might try. Each time I find myself worrying, I keep telling myself “Time will tell.” I might not always get what I want, but I know I always get what I need.
I trust the flow of life and choose to believe we live in an intelligent Universe, where everything unfolds perfectly. Sometimes in life, even the time needs time. “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it…it’s just easier if you do.” ~Byron Katie
As I conclude, you need to learn to please only yourself especially your faith if you want to be Free In Life. I’ve let go of pleasing others. I no longer seek external validation so that I can feel liked or accepted. Worrying about what others think is a waste of time. Other people’s opinion of me is all about them and what they see in me, filtered through their lenses; it has zero to do with me.
I’ve stopped expecting others to give me what I wasn’t giving myself: love, care, and attention. Loving myself as a whole—body, mind, and soul—is not selfish. I keep my cup full of self-love, and I take good care of my needs and my heart’s desires, especially that of my family. I have learned how to make powerful choices for my highest good without worrying about disappointing people. People disappoint themselves by setting expectations for who they want me to be or what they want me to do.
Saying no to things we don’t want to do is a learned practice and a sign of self-care. If it sounds like a “should,” I don’t do it. I go for the things that feel like a want. My wants come from myself, instead of being imposed on me by others. I always choose how I am spending my precious time and with whom. I know my time is my life, and it’s never coming back.
My life is about me and I have the right to make my own choices. Life is to be lived, not existed, and I choose to live it authentically, with no apologies and no regrets. “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
My self-transformation into the mindful person I am today didn’t happen overnight. It’s been an ongoing process that required continuous inner work. Today, I am still a student at the School of Life, and every day is a great opportunity for new learning. I know that I have the power to create my own reality, by the way, I think.
So I make sure I nourish my mind with healthy thoughts, knowing my mind has power. And now, I would like to hear from you. Are you holding on to any of these things? What’s preventing you from letting them go?