What did you get punished for as a kid? What got you into trouble?

What did you get rewarded for? What got you ‘kudos’?

I ask these questions because the answers will shine the light on the set of RULES taken on by you when you were very young. In those early, impressionable, years you observed your environment and made up a Rulebook to help you get by.

You learned the rule that if you put your hand on a hot stove you would get burned. You learned the rule that in order to cross the street safely it’s important to look both ways for oncoming traffic before you cross.

Perhaps you noticed that if you made a mistake your Mom would get angry, not very loving towards you. So, you wrote in your Rulebook: Love = not making any mistakes. If I want to be loved I have to not make mistakes – be perfect.

Or you might have written a rule that read something like this: If I’m a good girl I can have dessert so “extra food’ is confirmation that you’re good.

Or, you may have been told that men don’t cry – so you rarely express any emotion when you’re sad or hurt (until you can’t keep it in any more and you explode!).

These rules served you well in your environment growing up as a child. Many of these rules have no relevance in your life today – yet you still live by that very same Rulebook that you created when you were oh so very young.

It’s time to create some NEW RULES!

The most important step is to be WILLING.

Be willing to self-examine – without judgment. Be willing to take responsibility for all of your experiences good and bad.

Question your thinking and ask your Inner Wizard if there are thoughts that are holding you back. You developed these thoughts as a coping mechanism when you were young. This is how your Inner Critic was born. He served you then by keeping your safe. Does your Inner Critic and these thoughts serve you now? After all, you are no longer in that same environment.

You may discover that an event from your childhood has made you think that you need to respond to current situations in the same way you responded when you were young and just developing your skills. It may have been a good strategy when you were little but if it's not working for you now, then you need to change it.

For example, if a parent scolded you as said you were ‘bad’ you might have created an “I’m not good enough” rule. Is this true? Of course not! Create a new rule. “I am good enough. I do plenty of good things for others and myself every day.” And notice when you do something good – even if it’s just offering a kind word to someone you work with.

Be mindful. Pay attention to how you react and what actions you take to solve certain problems. You should be able to see where how your behavior is creating the results that you get. Who made the decision upon which you took action – your Inner Critic or your Inner Wizard?

If you don’t like the results then you your thoughts might benefit from a few minor adjustments. Often just becoming aware of what you’ve been doing will change your habit.

It takes practice. Just like when you learned how to ride a bike, you might have a wobbly experience at first. You might even skin your knees. That’s ok. You will heal easily and eventually become an expert at riding your bike – and using your new rulebook!

If there are areas in your life that just aren't working whether it's with friends, work, or personal relationships, then this might be a clue that you are following old rules and it’s time to create new ones that serve you instead of hold you back.

Give it a try. You’ll be amazed at the difference you can make in your life simply by developing NEW RULES!

©2008 Valery Satterwhite. International Association for Inner Wizards™ All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

As Founder of the International Association for Inner Wizards ™ I am able to enlighten and inspire the members to express their Inner Wizard and to turn their dreams into reality as I have. The Members are also encouraged to influence others to do the same. Imagine a world where everyone achieves his or her fullest potential! Collectively, and as individuals, we can be the change we seek in this world.

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