Here are three new and true beginnings you can start with today that will put you in the right place for leaving old self-defeating choices behind you for good.
1. Each time you find yourself face to face with some overbearing man or woman who in some way intimidates you, dare to make this new and true beginning: act toward that person in exactly the way you want to act, and: not in the way you think he or she expects you to.
Within the guidelines of being kind and true, speak to that person as though you are completely free to say what you feel, for you are. What any individual may think about what you have to say is not your concern. So let this false concern go.
This highly personal act of independence will likely cause you to tremble. That’s all right. And should your shakiness become visible, proceed anyway. This true beginning will reveal that the cause of your unhappy endings with others has never been in what they’ve demanded of you, but rather within your own impossible and conflict-creating demands on yourself: that you be in charge of your own life and, at the same time, please everyone that asks you to do so.
2. The next time you begin to feel any conflict or confusion over some shaky situation that won’t go away, dare to make this new and true beginning: refuse to cave in to any painful inner prompting that urges you to just “get things settled.”
Deliberately defy those clamoring thoughts and feelings that want to send you on a search outside of yourself for peace of mind. This true beginning will help you to see that bringing an end to conflict must begin and end within you. Look nowhere else!
No snap or desperate decision made in conflict can ever resolve any shaky inner state, because part of any conflict is the fear of making a wrong choice, and fear is at the root of your shakiness, not the solution to it.
3. Any time someone criticizes or corrects you, dare to make this new and true beginning: go against your habitual urge to defend yourself.
Instead of reacting with heated resistance to something you don’t want to hear about yourself, just listen to what’s being said. This true beginning gives you the opportunity to see what you need to see about yourself. And here’s a good guideline for evaluating moments such as these. The more you want to resist the things being said about you, the more you need to hear those very words. So don’t criticize back, either out loud or under your breath. If you meet these moments with an argument, you’ve already lost.
Remember, there’s always something to learn from something said that stings, even if it’s just to discover that you’re still being tripped up by the long shadow of your own falsely inscrutable image.