As I sat around waiting for him to call, I found myself whispering those fateful words I had told myself thousands of times throughout my young adult life.
"Ugh! Guys SUCK."
Again, I had been let down by a lover. And again, I was left feeling confused, unworthy, and empty.
At this point in my life, I was practicing yoga regularly and had begun reading blogs and books on personal development. I was learning more about spirit, soul, and mindfulness. I felt like I was coming home to myself as I took the time to honor my body and peer deeply into my inner world. And I'll be honest, that inner world of mine, it did not seem so bright and tidy.
But I remember on this day, as I said these words, something in me shifted.
"Hold up, hold up... Why am I saying this? What if the very act of me saying, 'Guys suck,' attracted shitty guys into my life? I really need to be more aware of the message I am putting out there."
I felt a dam had broken open.
In that moment, I began to understand that the beliefs I had been holding onto, specifically my beliefs about men, were limiting me from actually attracting the right person: someone present, caring, respectful, available and, frankly, one that didn't SUCK.
I made a decision in my life right then and there to take absolute responsibility for my life circumstances. I made a commitment that I was no longer going to tell myself (and the powers that be) this old limiting story about men. I made a vow to wake up to how the self talk, the projections, and the choices I made were reinforcing the core beliefs from which I was experiencing the world. I made a choice to throw those old stories in the trash.
That day, my story about the world changed. Specifically, I chose to change the story I told myself about men. My new story became, "Guys really aren't that bad" (Okay, I'll be honest. I wasn't quite ready to make the jump to guys being totally awesome. I obviously still harbored some resentment). But soon enough, the story became, "Guys are amazing."
Even if I didn't necessarily believe it to be true yet, I still told myself that new story. And sure enough, from that point forward, I began noticing subtle shifts in the kinds of guys I was attracting into my life. While not all Prince Charming, they were a far cry from the men I had manifested in my life up to that point. And soon, I was actually attracting great guys.
These past two years or so, I have become increasingly interested in new scientific findings in the fields of health and quantum physics that support the idea that our beliefs and expectations indeed influence our unfolding reality.
I hadn't known it at the timethat I shifted my story, but new scientific paradigms seem to suggest that the limiting belief I held about men (that they sucked) was actually creating a world which validated that belief. Once I began to consciously change that belief, my world reflected that change.
Very likely you have heard of the placebo effect. In countless studies, this medical phenomenon has been shown to trigger self healing using fake pharmaceutical drugs. For instance, if I were to take a sugar pill believing it was a pain reliever, my brain would actually respond as though it were in the presence of pain relieving medication.
Further studies on the placebo effect have broadened to not only include sugar pills, but examining a patients belief systems regarding treatment, their views on their doctor´s behavior, and news reports regarding health scares and treatment side effects. It has been shown over and over that a person's beliefs were statistically significant in altering the outcome of their health and healing.
Tests conducted in the field of quantum physics have proven parallel outcomes. There is a well known study in which scientists from two schools of thought were working on a physics experiment at the quantum level. One group of scientists had been taught that a particular atomic function they were studying behaved like a wave. The other group had been taught that the function in question behaved like a particle.
When they had completed their experiemental trials, the scientists came together to discuss their findings. They soon found themselves in a quandary. Individual scientists actually observed the subject behaving in a way that was congruent to their paradigm. After debating their findings for some time, they slowly came to a startling conclusion: that the observed and the observer cannot be separated, that the expectation of an observing party affects the outcome generated. The broader implications of these findings are astounding.
I volunteered at an amazing personal development conference this year called Awesomeness Fest. At this conference, MindValley CEO Vishen Lakhiani relayed a story illustrating the spillover power of other people's expectations.
He told us of a study that was conducted in which school teachers were told before the start of the school year that they had special high scoring "gifted" students in their class. They were told that all their incoming students had taken a academic placement test and they were given the names of the particular students who had scored in the top percentile.
However, no such test had been given and these students' names were picked at random. They then told these teachers that they were not to reveal the results of this test to anyone else, including the students themselves.Furthermore, they were under oath not to treat these particular students any differently than any other students in their class.
What they found was that these particular students actually outperformed their peers on multiple levels of intelligence throughout the course of the year. It appears that the expectation of the teacher had a direct affect on the students' academic abilities.
What I love about these stories is that it shows that we live in a time when the imposing border separating science and spirituality is beginning to blur. With this new scientific information, we can see that Mystics and spiritual leaders throughout millennia may have been onto something.
In our modern scientifically driven society, we often place undue significance on what is "real" and what is not. I believe that these findings show us how our imaginations, our expectations, and our assumptions can actually bleed into what we deem as "reality." That's not to discount the findings of science, but rather, open up a healthy dialogue about what we accept blindly as hard fact or truth.
Based on my own experience and the research I've done in my own life, I believe that we can actually begin to bend our reality using the power of our minds. What a wildly empowering concept!
When we begin to question and dissect our ideas of how the world works, we begin to see that many of our beliefs are in fact limiting us from stepping into our greatest lives possible. From the kinds of romantic partners we believe exist (in my case) to broader and more impactful paradigms related to abundance and wealth, healing and health, war and peace, ecology and environment, and more, we can begin to examine where we are locked into confining and dogmatic patterns of thinking.
Using the power of our minds, we can begin to tell ourselves new stories. We can choose to tell ourselves the greatest stories possible for our lives. Even if we don't believe these stories at first, such as in my case, we can begin to see that the mere act of affirming these beliefs as truth creates them real. We can actually begin to shift our entire lives based on these new beliefs.
I think it's time we rid ourselves of these bullshit stories. It's time we take our own lives back into our hands and create our own rules. I challenge you to rewrite the story of your life and the story of the world.
What kinds of limiting stories are you telling yourself? What are the beliefs that lie at the root of these stories? Are these stories aligned with your dreams and your highest self? What is a new story you can begin to tell yourself right now?