A few days before the election was announced, Jen was attending an outside event on Parliament Hill, the seat of government. As she was leaving the event, she tripped down the stairs.
And landed on her face.
She struggled up, dazed and hurt with a part of her wanting to cry and feel sorry for herself. Instead she did something else – and this is the brilliance of using mind-shift on a personal scale.
Her internal voice was saying “What does this mean? How could I fall on my face on the eve of the election, at Parliament Hill of all places?” Now there are a whole lot of possible responses to this question – and the answer speaks volumes about a person’s ability to create his or her own meaning. One possible answer would be “This is an omen – I will do badly in the election” or “I’m not supposed to be here” or “This election is going to hurt me”. There are all kinds of possible negative reactions.
Instead this is what Jen said to herself: “OK, there goes my ego! For the next 29 days I will put my ego aside, as it won’t serve me during this time. It will be there for me to pick up again after the election.”
This is brilliant! She was able to take an event, one that seemed loaded with symbolism for her, and create meaning that served her, that would propel her towards her goal.
We create our own reality, in part by assigning meaning to the world we live in. We can choose to define events in ways that are empowering and affirming – or which limit us and make us fearful and small. Many of us, however, are completely unaware of this choice and allow events to define themselves through the accumulated voices from our childhoods, our current relationships and the media. If we mistakenly take an attitude of passive acceptance we may end up with negative self-sabotaging interpretations of our lives.
We have enormous power to make meaning in our lives. The meaning we make determines our behaviour, our confidence, our sense of self worth, our self esteem. Consider this: the meaning of what happens is the meaning you give to it.