It takes courage and effort to get rid of old, disempowering thoughts and beliefs that hold us back, but it can be done!

Not long ago, my late mother was very weak from cancer and lying in a hospital bed. My brother and I were trying to figure out how we might get her outside on a lovely day so that she could enjoy the sunshine and be in touch with nature. Mom was a little agitated, and said, "Don't be silly. I can't go outside!” My brother had the idea to roll her bed, which was on wheels, down the corridors and out the door to the hospital's grassy courtyard. I was saying something about how maybe Mom could transfer into a wheelchair when my mother emphatically said, "I just can’t stand Peggy!"

Although I am successful and happy, and have worked hard to build my self-esteem and confidence, in that instant, all of my feelings of being unworthy rushed to the surface. Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt all the pain of my childhood, when it seemed I just couldn’t please my parents, coming back to me. My mother can't stand me. What a painful thought! I turned away so that my brother and mother wouldn't see the expression on my face or the tears that were threatening to roll down my cheeks.

"Yeah, Peggy. Mom's right. She can't stand, so we're going to have to forget about the wheelchair and just try moving the bed," my brother said, totally unaware of how upset I was.

"Yes, let's move the bed," my mom said plainly.

Then I realized what had just happened. My old feeling of inadequacy had distorted what I'd heard. What my weak and fragile mother had really said was, "I just can't stand, Peggy." As I realized my mistake, I started to laugh. It was a powerful reminder of just how strong our old, disempowering thoughts and negative thinking habits can be!

If we manage our thoughts, and the feelings that we wrap around them, we can escape the prisons of our own making. We don't have to hold on to the old beliefs that cause us to suffer. We can redefine ourselves and create new thoughts about who we are and who we can become. Too often, we take security in predictability and convince ourselves that since we have always been anxious or unhappy, had to struggle financially, or been without a romantic partner, that is how our lives will always be. We live in a town called Misery but think it's a town called Honesty.

Each of us creates our own reality. If you want to believe that your existence can be deeply fulfilling and joyous, you can manifest that, starting today.

The day you switch your perspective and recognize your power to change your life, you'll be astonished by how much more hopeful you'll feel. Awareness is like a staircase: each step brings you up one more level, and the farther you ascend, the more you can see. Eventually, you reach the top and those old, disempowering thoughts will have been replaced by positive, empowering beliefs. Be patient with yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McColl is the author of the New York Times bestseller Your Destiny Switch. She is a much sought after motivational speaker and goal achievement coach. This article is adapted from her book The Won Thing, published by Hay House, copyright 2009 Peggy McColl,