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“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” – Napoleon Hill
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash
I have a saying, a quote I made up for myself, that I lean on often to guide me:
Hopeless and defeated is not my jam.
As a kid, these feelings were with me often. I didn’t have a terrible childhood. Quite the contrary, my parents were very loving, I had a great extended family, and I was supported and safe. But I didn’t always feel that way, because despite the support, I also learned to judge myself pretty harshly.
Working with people that have to deal with dementia and neurological disease, either in themselves or in someone they love, hopelessness and defeat is a common recurring theme. When we live in a mindset that what is on the outside of us controls what happens inside of us, we are reactive, and can’t see a way out.
But here’s what I have learned through my years of meditation and being courageous enough to get coached and really peel back the layers of my thinking:
What happens inside of me is due to the brain inside of me. No outside circumstance has any effect or meaning until my brain, my own filter of reality, tells me how to think and feel about it.
When I found out that Huntington’s disease runs in my family, and that my mom has it and I live at risk for it, it seemed hopeless. At the time, there wasn’t even the hint of a possible cure, and my family was scared. Some in my family felt defeated.
I developed anxiety about it, but I am naturally a glass is half full kind of person, so I tried to keep things in perspective, but there was still a constant, underlying unease that I didn’t want to acknowledge.
Then I found coaching. I found the coach I was certified by, Brooke Castillo, and her teachings began to change my brain. Literally. A rewiring started to take place.
Through the work I learned, I decided that if I’m in control of my emotional experience of the outside world, then I didn’t want to feel hopeless. I didn’t want to feel defeated.
I want to live a connected life. Connected to myself. Connected to those I love. Connected to humanity. Connected to nature.
Hopelessness and defeat in and of themselves do not connect, they separate and isolate. We feel those emotions for a reason, but as the quote says at the top of this post, “accept it as a signal your plans are not sound.”
The thoughts with which you’re thinking about neurological disease, yourself, your loved one, and anything related to the experience, are creating that “unsound plan”.
Changing thought is not easy. The thoughts that you create your reality with have been in use for a long time. But something quite miraculous happens when you take the time to bring these thoughts into your awareness; they start to loose their emotional power over you.
I still experience the feelings of hopelessness and defeat, but I understand why they happen. I know what the computer, the programmed biological wonder in my skull, is thinking, and how that is creating those emotions in the moment. And I know how to look at those thoughts, thank my brain for just trying to keep me protected in a chaotic world, and then get deliberate about what I WANT to think.
You think the thoughts that you do because somewhere, along the road of life, your brain determined that is was best for your survival to think them, and it keeps them for efficiency’s sake. But you have the power to get a little less efficient for a short amount of time, so you can change the way you are experiencing all aspects of your life. You’re already able to do this, you just haven’t been shown how.
Work with me
I can help you see your mind, and see those thoughts that are inhibiting change for you. Once I teach you how to see them, you’ll have a tool to use for life.
Or, sign up for my email list for twice weekly coaching straight to your inbox.
In the meantime, listen to the podcast that changed it all for me: