There is no getting out of it–every person on this planet gets to experience ups and downs. Knowing what to do during the “down” times is the difference between life and death–literally, for many people.
The brain is fascinating! When we have a challenging experience it tries to convince us that we are less valuable as a result. For some reason, it thinks that a challenge means we are “less than” or “not good enough.” And the subconscious part of our brain grabs these beliefs and files it away as evidence that we do not have value. Some people have so much of this swimming around inside of them that they want to take themselves off the planet.
Well, there is good news! We can find wisdom–we can learn something–from challenges, which then allows our challenges to loose their power. So, when someone bullied us at school…or we got made fun of as a child…or we got embarrassed when we did something wrong at work…the thoughts and emotions surrounding it cease to influence every aspect of our lives as we find the wisdom. We remember the event but the negativity surrounding it is gone.
Some people I work with wonder about remembering stuff that happened long ago…they don’t want to bring up all the old feelings. I get it. To this I ask, “What is it costing you to relive the emotions from the challenge over and over again?”
I have been doing this for 9 years now (as of 2020). My capacity to create has increased a hundredfold. Before learning this skill, my former and current challenges were costing me creative power because all of my energy went into my negative emotions.
I invite you to try the Write, Burn, and Learn (WBL) skill:
Take several minutes to write down EVERYTHING you are feeling/hearing surrounding your current challenge. For example: “I feel _____________ because _____________…” Don’t edit it; don’t hold back anything. No one is going to read it!
Next, in a place where you are alone, read out loud what you wrote. This helps the body to expel the negativity around the challenge. Having the words pass through your vocal cords and come out your mouth is very healing; involving another sense helps the negativity to lose its power.
Then rip the paper into small pieces. If you can burn it, great! If not, throw it away and dump the garbage.
Next, write down 2-3 things that you realize from the writing. An example could be that you realize you are still really upset about something that happened long ago; or you might realize that what you initially thought was making you upset was really something else. Take these thoughts and create a declaration about how you want to show up when you think about this challenge in the future. For example: I am calm and peaceful as I hold my power in my interactions with others…this declaration would be a result of recognizing that you expressed to another person deeply upsetting feelings; that you “threw up on them,” and that you want to express more appropriately in the future.
This is the learn piece…the wisdom. All of the sudden the mind then says, “Oh. I got this. I learned something from this challenge and therefore I have value.” And value is the first step towards creating the life you want!
Repeat the statement of wisdom every day. Write it on your mirror. Put it on a 3×5 card and tape it to your steering wheel! The more you repeat it, the more quickly your brain will create a new neural pathway and the closer you will get to creating what you want!
(IF abuse, adultery, or addiction are challenges you face, this tool requires a more in-depth starting place.)