Did you know that your feelings about the holidays do not come from the holidays?
Your feelings do not come from its commercialism, or the Christmas music, or the chaos, or the glorious Christmas lights, or the relatives you see once a year. Nor the wonderful Christmas food that seems to be everywhere, or your attempts to make the parties perfect, or your desire to make it the “best Christmas ever,” or your resolve to ignore it altogether.
Do you know where our feelings are coming from? They are coming from our beliefs about the holidays; and our beliefs about its commercialism; and our beliefs about the chaos and the parties, and the Christmas rush and our beliefs.
Psychologists generally agree that our feelings primarily come from our beliefs. For instance, as the people of the world watched the Twin Towers collapse on 9/11, our feelings were instantaneous. However, over time, the feelings of every person in the world gradually changed according to what he or she believed about 9/11. This is what makes each one of us unique.
So… our feelings do not come from what is happening to us; they are coming from our beliefs about what is happening to us.
And dear reader…we can change those beliefs!
And when we do, our feelings follow!
For instance, you have met people who were raised in horrendous conditions who have grown into amazing people. You have met others who were raised in situations to die for and some of them wish they could.
What is the difference? The difference was not the situations. The difference was in their beliefs about those situations.
In other words, our feelings follow our beliefs!
Now, our brains believe everything we tell them, without question. So, when we say to ourselves, “The holidays are going to be really hard this year!” our brains say, “OK!” and then find ways to make them hard.
That’s the scary part.
However, there is an encouraging part. When we say to ourselves, “This Christmas is going to be a really warm and fun time!” our brains agree just as quickly and then become obsessed with finding ways to make them warm and fun.
Now, is what we are saying about the holidays true? Our brain doesn’t even care. All it cares about is what we tell it.
A new way of thinking for the holidays
ALL of us do the best we can for the holidays, which includes a lot of mistakes. However, when we make those mistakes, many of us find ourselves asking “How could I have been so stupid!”
When we ask that question, our brain can give us a crippling answer. “I know! Remember that dumb thing you did LAST year, or last week!” And then we pull out a mental list of all the stupid things we’ve done.
However, remember this! Your brain doesn’t know those memories happened a year ago or a week ago. It is recording them again as if they happened today…right now! And then we carry that stuff around with us. That is a tremendously heavy burden to bear during the holidays!
I have some wonderful news. You don’t need to bear that anymore! Starting when? Right now!
So when you begin making your daily mistakes and start pulling out that mental list of the dumb things you’ve done in the past, THROW IT AWAY! (Who in the world told us we needed to bear it anyway?)
And then use three wonderful words; “The Next Time!” “The next time during the holidays I’ll do it this way...or that way.”
And how does your brain respond? “OK…if you say so!” And then it looks for ways for you to do it differently!
In addition, when you say “The Next Time” you’re making three WONDERFUL declarations for yourself!
There IS a next time! As many as we want!
When you say “The Next Time”....you are saying that I will NEVER GIVE UP!!!
(THE BEST FOR LAST) When you say “The next time” you’re declaring “I’m still learning, I’m still growing, and I’m still changing, which means I’m still making mistakes!”
However, just because I fail does not mean I’m a failure.” Thomas Edison was asked how it felt to fail 999 times when looking for the filament of a light bulb. He said, “I did NOT fail 999 times, I simply found 999 ways that didn’t work!
That is what we are doing, dear reader. We are finding ways that didn’t work, and then finding ways that do!
Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent” and conducts “The Winners Circle” every two months at Sonoma Mountain Village in RP. Contact Steven at 480-5007 or go his website at stevenrcampbell.com to ask about his one-day free monthly seminar.