In my 25 years experience as a psychologist and life coach, I have discovered three empowering principals that are key to lasting and enduring happiness regardless of your current challenges, life experiences, or ongoing circumstances.
First, let me share with you a true story. I have a friend who likes to go to garage sales. One day she found this beautiful small antique table that had lovely lines to it. However, throughout the years it had been painted over many times. Somehow, she saw the potential in this table, in spite of all the coats of paint that obstructed its original wood. She took it home and began to strip away the layers of old paint. She was in awe of what was revealed — an exquisitely inlaid design of rare and exotic woods in a stunning starburst pattern, hidden under those layers of old paint. A true gem. A treasure.
Well, that table is just like us. We have been covered over by many layers of other people’s imprinting of who we should be, who we could to be, who we ought to be.
How you see yourself is a mixture of influences by the important people in your life — parents, teachers and friends. Unfortunately, they don't see you as you really are, they only see you from their own point of view!
There is an old saying that when the pickpocket sees a Saint all he sees is his pockets, and when the Saint sees the pickpocket all he sees is pure love. This saying shows that we don't see the world as it really is — we only see the world as we are. Every thought you have, every decision you make, comes out of how you see yourself.
Everything in life matters — your health, wealth, successes, personal relationships. However, what matters most is first discovering the essence of who you really are. Self-knowledge is the seed from which everything else grows. With this background, let me now share the three empowering principals that are so important to living a happy, fulfilled life.
Empowering Principal #1: Use The Power Tool Of Choice To Improve Your Life.
To create a future different from your past requires that you have the freedom, the choice to pursue your own purpose in life.
The measure of your success in life is directly connected to the proper use of your personal power. Personal power develops through self-knowledge. The biggest obstacle we have to gaining self-knowledge is our lack of understanding of our true self.
The most successful people, the ones that live significant lives, know themselves best. They are aligned with their essential nature and navigate life with grace, ease, and peace.
When we don't know ourselves well, our life is filled with struggle and effort. It may feel like we are living someone else's dream. It leaves us with uncertainty, confusion, and conflict.
Knowing your true self puts you at the helm of your own ship. When you know who you are, getting to your destination, your desired goals, is more effortless…it is an expression of your creative nature.
Choice is the ability to design a life that is consistent with what you most value. The more you know about yourself the more choices you have. Self-knowledge is the power that drives the engine of your life forward.
Empowering Principle #2: Your Outer Life Reflects Your Inner Self Image.
Everything in your life, without exception, mirrors how you see yourself. Your self image is put together by the building blocks of self-knowledge. The more you understand your essential nature, the more consistent, congruent and aligned you are with your power and your purpose.
When you are no longer in conflict relative to who you are and what you're doing, you create a life of freedom, peace, abundance. That's the true law of attraction, that like attracts like.
When you're at peace within, your life is in harmony.
Your self image is the lens through which everything is seen. How you see yourself is how you understand your world.
Empowering Principle #3: Your Mind Designs Your Life.
Your thoughts are more powerful then you realize and often create your actual life experiences. Your thoughts are a blend, a combination of the inner pictures of how you see yourself. You are the cause, and what you experience is the effect.
Your mind is the master key.
You have approximately 60,000 thoughts a day. If I could give you a gift it would be to have someone transcribe for you all 60,000 thoughts you have every day. Then you would see how your consistent thoughts translate into your everyday experiences.
Thoughts are energy. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, only transformed.
Do you remember from childhood the magical invocation of abracadabra?
The word abracadabra comes from ancient Aramaic and means "I will create as I speak." You are creating your reality through how you consistently speak to yourself. Your thoughts are translated like magic into your life experience, and can effect your health, wealth, relationships…everything!
The mind is an awesome instrument that can be used to architect a successful and significant life. Or when misused through ignorance, it is the most destructive force on the planet.
As Henry David Thoreau said, “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is in out into the world, miracles happen.”
You already are, and already have everything you need. You just have to improve your knowing. The more you know about your self the more you can appreciate the unique contributions you’ve been given to share with the world.
Knowing your strengths, your gifts — and embodying your self-knowledge — naturally gives you power, resilience, courage, inspiration and illuminates a clear path towards meaning, direction and purpose in your life.
The only place that the answers reside is inside yourself. Invest in yourself. Improve your knowing. You’ve got everything you need…just use it!
One tool that I have found very helpful in improving one’s self-knowledge is the KnoU Profiles. I've had the privilege of working with the information in the KnoU profiles for over 20 years with my students, clients, family and friends. The information contained in these reports have been profoundly valuable in clarifying and focusing their thoughts, intentions, and actions — illuminating who they were really meant to be — from the inside — out.
Cheryl Malakoff, Ph.D, is a psychologist with 25 years teaching and clinical experience. She has specialized in the art and science of transformation to help people activate their unique inborn abilities and to fully realize their human potential. Cheryl has taught advanced classes involving the Transformation Lessons, and is currently the Director of Wellness Through Awareness and in private practice. She is also a co-founder of KnoU Profiles, which specializes in online reports to help empower individuals through greater self-knowledge.