5 Quotes from Wayne Dyer That Can Help Silence Your Inner Critic
#4 “Failure is only bad when you equate it to your self-worth.”
Personal growth is an endless journey to mastery. When you continue to evolve past your former self, you must continually find new people to extend your learning horizons.
When I find someone who inspires me, I go deep down the rabbit hole and consume everything I can find about them. I recently discovered the work of Wayne Dyer, who has written over 40 books, including 21 New York Times bestsellers.
Here are five quotes that have profoundly shifted my most important relationship — the one with myself. I hope these equally inspire you to be a little more unconditional friendly and kinder towards yourself:
“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”
The difference between loneliness and aloneness is a choice. You can be in a group of people and still feel lonely and be on your own and feel content. The difference is how you feel about yourself.
When you enjoy your company, you create an inner peace where you can be comfortable in any situation. When you like yourself, you will find that social anxiety tends to dissipate because you know you bring value to a conversation. You drop the self-talk of ‘what could I possibly contribute?’.
Julia Cameron, the author of The Artists Way, recommends scheduling an artist’s date with yourself every week. What are the activities that bring you back to yourself? It could be dancing, painting, photography, scrapbooking, or journaling. How about visiting a museum or doing a cultural trip in your city? It doesn’t matter what you choose to do; the condition is that you must do it alone.
Most people avoid meditating for fear of being alone with their thoughts and emotions. Meditation and yoga are not only about stilling the mind but creating a connection to yourself. If you struggle with your own company, I encourage you to try a few minutes of yoga and meditation daily.
Give yourself permission to get to know yourself again to remember who you are at your best.
“You don’t need to be better than anyone else. You just need to be better than you used to be.”
Comparison is the thief of joy; most of the time, it’s based on a story you know nothing about. Social media is a curated version of someone’s best life; it’s the highlights reel with no bloopers included. You never know what’s on the other side of the photograph. So instead of trying to live up to other people’s ideals, raise your own standards and compete against who you were a year ago.
Think about a challenging situation you faced recently. If you think back to the version of yourself five years ago, how would they have handled the situation? Have you evolved and grown? This is what is essential. If you’re staying the same, then consider Alain de Botton’s similar message,
“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”
“I am thankful to all those who said no. It’s because of them, I did it myself.”
Hearing the word no can be a soul-destroying experience, but what if the word no was your greatest gift?
The next time you hear the word no, thank them. They have reminded you that all the resources you need are within you. What if their no is the catalyst to dig a little deeper and find a better way to achieve your goal?
What if hearing the word no forces you to do it your way because you may have handed over your power and creativity by putting your idea in someone else’s hands? What if it’s your permission device to be courageous and do it anyway?
When you run out of options, you have no choice but to trust in yourself, make a plan, and find a way. When you hear no, it’s time to choose yourself rather than wait to be picked. As Seth Godin shares in his legendary blog:
“It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out permission and authority from a publisher or a talk show host, or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.” Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one will select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–you can get to work.
If you’re hoping that the HR people you sent your resume to are about to pick you, it’s going to be a long wait. Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, opportunities to contribute abound.
No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.”
“Failure is only bad when you equate it to your self-worth.”
Failure often isn’t rock bottom; it’s more that the situation didn’t go as you intended. When you can view failure as feedback, it forces you to adopt a learning and curious mindset rather than a self-critical one.
There’s a difference between this idea didn’t work; it was a bad idea versus this didn’t work, and I am a failure.
Your failure can be your greatest teacher if you shift the meaning you give it. Thomas Edison didn’t fail 1000 times at inventing the electric lightbulb; he discovered 1000 ways how not to do it.
When it comes to failure, you can choose to show up as a victim or an owner. Choose the latter and incorporate the lessons and growth to avoid the same mistake again.
Do you want to be someone who has twenty years of experience or someone who has one year repeated twenty times? Embrace failure; it’s your greatest coach.
Remember, once is a mistake but twice is a choice.
“You change your behaviours by leaving them behind.”
You will naturally outgrow the behaviour when you value something more than the habit. If you’re a smoker and have a health scare, you will most likely begin to value your health in a new way. One of my wise mentors has often told me that in her experience, you don’t give up smoking, but smoking gives you up.
You can substitute smoking with whatever habit you are trying to move past, whether it’s procrastinating, sugar, alcohol or fill-in-the-blank. Decide who you want to be and begin to act in alignment with your new identity. Anything that no longer resonates with this vision will begin to dissipate because it is no longer who you are.
Sometimes you need to make a conscious decision to let go of the version of yourself who no longer serves you along with their habits. Maybe these habits were created to protect you but are now hindering you from moving forward and making progress.
Rather than try and break the bad habit, move forward by outgrowing it.
The final bonus.
“With everything that has happened to you, you can feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
It’s easier to channel the inner critic when times are good, and life flows according to your plan. When a challenge shows up, this is when you need to take the reigns and channel your inner coach.
My late father instilled in me early on that life is choice. It continues to be my guiding mantra because you cannot control your external circumstances, but you can choose how to show up and the meaning you give to the situation.
You get to decide — is it the end or the beginning? Is life happening to you or for you?
When you can find the gift and the growth, no matter how difficult the situation, you can turn suffering into significance which is the ultimate fuel to keep moving ahead.
Here’s to personal mastery,
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